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For Kids Like Gabby

Compassionate, extraordinary care every day

January 21, 2018 was supposed to be a fun day of sledding with friends but turned into a day Gabby’s family will never forget. While on an outdoor trip with her brother’s Cub Scout pack, eight-year-old Gabby went sledding with some other parents while her mom, Michelle, stayed behind to clean up the campsite. Suddenly, Michelle heard a blood-curdling scream and one of the moms yelling, “They hit a tree! It’s bad! We need help!” Michelle instantly knew it was Gabby.

Gabby lay on the ground with her leg twisted in terrible directions. The mom she had been sledding with had been thrown from the sled and lay unconscious nearby. The group of parents leapt into action, getting medical care for the mother and quickly transporting Gabby by car to the nearest hospital.

While there, the emergency center staff failed to recognize the severity of Gabby’s injuries as the child waited more than 40 minutes before being taken to triage. Gabby began to turn blue and as Michelle says, “The looks on the doctors’ and nurses’ faces said it all. This was bad.”

After stabilizing Gabby, the doctor told Michelle a helicopter was on its way to transport her daughter and that she had the choice of three hospitals, one of which was Beaumont, Royal Oak. Without hesitation, Michelle chose Beaumont and eight minutes later, Gabby was being whisked into the emergency center where a team of doctors awaited her.

Gabby had sustained a broken leg, four broken ribs, a lacerated liver and a pulmonary contusion. She was admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) to start the long process of healing.  They set her leg from her hip to her toes and she received continuous CT scans, x-rays, and blood draws. The laceration to Gabby’s liver was the most concerning.  She ended up needing a blood transfusion and by the following morning she was a totally different child.

During her stay at Beaumont Children’s, Gabby especially loved the visits from the pet therapy dogs.  Her face lit up whenever they would enter the room.  She received physical therapy in the hospital and after nine days was sent home with a wheelchair and a walker to assist in the next four months of recovery. Then was four months of homeschooling, physical therapy and learning to trust in her body and strength. Today, almost two years later, Gabby still has some aches and pains in her leg and sometimes in her ribs but has overcome injury and fear.

“We are forever grateful to the amazing doctors and nurses at Beaumont, Royal Oak. They were reassuring, positive and compassionate during the worst moment in a parent’s life and certainly the scariest for Gabby,” says Michelle.