Children’s Miracle Network – William

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In September of 2018, 10-year-old Academy for Classical Education student William had a scheduling conflict – his Beta Club induction was at the same time as his youth football game. Although this appeared to be a crisis, he and his mom Lisa managed to get permission at the last minute to miss the induction for Beta Club. Unfortunately, their excitement didn’t last long.

During the game, William, a running back and linebacker, collided with a volunteer and immediately knew something was wrong. William began to throw up and had difficulty walking. “The pain was so intense,” said William, recalling his accident. Strangely, there were no external symptoms and no broken bones.

A teammates’ father helped Lisa carry William to her car. “I knew that if he was letting us carry him, something was really wrong. He insisted on riding in the front seat, which he never does,” said Lisa as she described the ride to the hospital. “I called all the doctors I knew, but no one answered. I called William’s dad and he left our daughter’s softball game immediately. I got a hold of a nurse friend of mine who directed us to the Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital.”

When they arrived at the emergency center at Navicent Health, they were met by a nurse who immediately took them back to the pediatric emergency center. They gave him fluids and pain medication before taking him for an X-ray and CT scan.

“Once he received the fluids, he looked better and his pain began to subside. At first, we were thinking that we may be able to take him home that night,” said Lisa. However, William’s scans revealed a severely lacerated spleen. “The doctor called us out of the room to give us the news. It was scary,” Lisa added, shaking her head. “He told us this injury couldn’t be recreated if we tried – it’s almost always caused by someone landing on you, not from collisions.”

The laceration was graded a high 4 on a scale of 1-5 and caused internal bleeding, so William was taken to the intensive care unit. Due to William’s age, the medical team wanted to avoid removing his spleen if at all possible, so he was closely monitored in the ICU from Monday to Wednesday. After one more night in a regular room, he was released that Thursday.

“The doctors and nurses were so good at explaining everything. They explained the tests and injury so well. The nurses were very attentive – they brought him games and talked him through everything. It was a great process and they kept us informed the whole time.”

Following his release from the hospital, William was required to take it easy for 6 weeks so his spleen could properly heal. This meant there were many normal, everyday activities that he simply couldn’t do. “It took a few days to get it into his brain that he had to slow down, even with things around the house, like running up and down the stairs. I caught him doing a pushup about 3 weeks in.” Thankfully, he was able to return to school the Monday after his injury. “He had a great teacher who took care of him.”

After being cleared to resume normal activity, William and some friends went to play paintball. “My mom had me put on what felt like 60 jackets, 7 long sleeve shirts, and 6 pairs of pants,” said William, grinning. “I thought I was going to sweat to death.”

“It was tough,” added Lisa. “I was a little nervous. One of the moms told me not to watch and to just go ahead and leave,” she said with a laugh. “My sister took me out to lunch to take my mind off it.” William has made a full recovery and is excited to return to the baseball and football fields with his friends. “We were just so fortunate,” said Lisa. “It felt like God was really watching over everything. I never felt like the doctors or nurses were rushing with us. I never felt like if we asked for something, they weren’t going to get it – we never had to ask though, because they just knew what we needed. Everything was so good – I just can’t say enough good things about Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital.”

Despite the severity of the situation, William’s family is able to get a few laughs out of the memory. “The doctor in the emergency room was wearing the exact same shirt William was supposed to wear for Beta Club the night of the accident,” said Lisa as she and William laughed. “It became a running joke… a sign that we should have chosen Beta Club.”

William wouldn’t have it though. “I’d still choose football,” he said, grinning at his mom.

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 William 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.