Children’s Miracle Network – Jackson

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The Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital sees thousands of children each year for numerous reasons. Once patients are healthy, they rarely have a reason to return. However, in 2018, Jackson sustained an injury that found him back at the Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital 14 years after his first visit.M

Jackson, along with his brother and sister, was born 9 weeks premature in 2004 at the Children’s Hospital. He and his siblings spent 7 weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit (NNICU), receiving the around-the-clock care they needed. The triplets were eventually released and grew up to be healthy, active young people

On August 14, 2018, while riding dirt bikes with a friend, Jackson’s bike hit the root of a nearby stump, sending him nearly ten feet through the air before landing on the handlebars. “I should have hit the brakes, but it wouldn’t have done much. I tried to just go over the root because I was on a small bike, but the soil was soft and it bottomed out,” Jackson said about his accident.

Jackson’s friend immediately called his mom Stephanie who rushed over to pick him up. “There was a bruise under his ribs, but nothing that looked too serious. I decided to take him to the Pediatric Emergency Center just to make sure,” she said. When they arrived at the EC, Jackson was seen promptly. It was quickly determined he had a grade 4 liver laceration and a grade 2 spleen laceration, so he was sent off to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) for monitoring. However, Jackson’s condition grew worse throughout the night and he was sent to the operating room the next morning to repair his liver.

“It put me in a bit of a fog,” said Stephanie. “The whole situation was just overwhelming. He barely had any scratches or anything external. It just didn’t seem that serious, then all of a sudden he’s in the PICU and it’s extremely serious.”

Due to the severity of Jackson’s condition, he experienced multiple complications during surgery, and he even coded for 5 minutes. “He actually died on my birthday before they brought him back,” said Stephanie. “They used defibrillation, chest compressions, and shot epinephrine into his heart to resuscitate him.”

Thankfully, the Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital’s skilled pediatric surgeons were able to revive him and successfully complete his surgery. Following the operation, Jackson was required to stay on a ventilator for several days and had to undergo several blood transfusions due to severe internal bleeding caused by his accident.

During his recovery, it was discovered that Jackson had also suffered a perforated duodenal ulcer, which was likely caused by the stress his body had endured. As a result, he was unable to eat by mouth and was put on total parenteral nutrition (TPN) for 12 days. By the time he was well enough to go home, Jackson spent nearly 50 days in the hospital.

Despite his successful surgery and treatment, Jackson was not done facing challenges. His injury caused him to miss 2 months of school, putting him far behind his siblings and friends at Banks Stephens Middle School in Forsyth. With the help of a private tutor, online learning, and pure determination, he is caught up with his schoolwork. “The school district was just amazing working with us,” said Stephanie. “Even though he’s been behind, I think he’s making even better grades now than before.”

His physical recovery has also been going well. Although he has some difficulty running, he’s able to work out and hopes to be back playing football and running track soon. “I may even be back running track this year,” said Jackson confidently.

“We’re so thankful for the Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital,” said Stephanie. “They brought him games, puzzles, and whatever else he wanted. The Child Life Specialists offered everything you could think of. They absolutely took care of our family too. Whatever we needed, they were there. They made as many concessions as they could with visitors. We even had off-duty nurses coming to visit him.”

Jackson was equally thankful for the entertainment. “I love dogs and they brought in a lab and a border collie a few days after my surgery. There was also a girl who came in to play ukulele and sing. It was awesome.”

“We had a great experience with the NNICU in 2004 and a great experience with the PICU in 2018,” Stephanie said. “I think it’s so important for people in Middle Georgia to know they don’t have to go all the way to Atlanta to receive excellent care. We absolutely made the right call coming here.”

Robins Financial Credit Union has partnered with the Children’s Miracle Network to raise money during a 6-week campaign that we are calling Miracle May. Help us reach our $30,000 fundraising goal to help kids like Jackson receive the treatment they need.

To make a donation, stop by any of our branches or call our Call Center. Branches will also host special fundraising events every Friday during the campaign. Help us create more miracles for children in our community through Children’s Miracle Network.