As my son, Zachary, was taken by Life Star helicopter to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, there were hundreds of thoughts racing through my head. First and foremost, I wanted to ensure that he was going to the place that would provide the best possible care for him. Shortly after arriving at the Medical Center, I knew we were exactly where we needed to be.
Last June, Zach was riding his bike to a friend’s house when the unimaginable happened. In order to avoid a car that was making an unexpected turn, he swerved and lost control of his bike. Zach, who did not have a helmet on at the time, went head first into a tree. Surrounded by friends, he lay unconscious with blood flowing from his ears, nose and mouth. He was rushed to Waterbury Hospital where it was determined he needed the highly specialized trauma and intensive care that Connecticut Children’s provides.
For the first twelve days that Zach spent at the Medical Center he was in a medically-induced coma in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). He had multiple brain contusions, fractured a bone deep in his skull, and broken his collar bone and shoulder. During this time, he had a brain tracking device to monitor his cranial pressure. Each day that we spent by Zach’s bedside, we were also cared for by the outstanding people who have dedicated themselves to giving children and families the care they deserve. His doctors and nurses in the PICU were amazing and helped to allay our fears and ease our anxiety while helping us set realistic expectations for Zach’s recovery.
Zach’s first memory of this ordeal is when he was wheeled out of the PICU to one of the inpatient floors. It was there that he would need to learn how to walk, talk and eat again. Through rigorous occupational, speech and physical therapy, and with the assistance of the most skilled and compassionate healthcare team, Zach gradually regained his life. Since the part of his brain that was damaged controlled his equilibrium, many hours were spent each day working to recover his walking and large motor skills. After 22 days, Zach came home – it was his 15th birthday.
When you look at Zach today, you would never know that just 5 months ago he was fighting for his life. Although he still experiences ringing in his ear and will not be able to play basketball due to his healing head injuries, we are optimistic that he will be on the baseball field this spring.
Connecticut Children’s saved my son’s life. We are forever grateful to Dr. Martin and the dozens of other caregivers who were involved with Zach’s recovery. Your support of Connecticut Children’s is what makes their life-saving work possible and restores the precious treasure of childhood and family. I hope you will consider making a contribution to the Annual Fund today.
A very grateful mom