In my last entry, I talked about a sad case that came into the ED. A small 5 year old running in the backyard with his new bow and arrow that he received for his birthday. In a freak accident, he tripped and fell right onto the back of the arrow.
Initially it was thought that he had suffered some eye damage, but then he began to have seizures which signified a brain injury, and he was transferred to Children's Hospital. Our E.D. was mobilized from the moment we heard about the patient coming in on Mercy Flight. Neurosurgery and ophthalmology were both called in even before the child arrived. He spent less than 5 minutes in the E.D. before being rushed up to the CT scanner, from there straight to the Pediatric ICU.
The injury was devastating. There was a laceration to one of the blood vessels in the brain, and he was bleeding which was leading to the seizures. A sister hospital is the regional stroke center, and he was sent there to further assess the damage in their brain imaging suites. Unfortunately, it was too extensive.
When I came on duty last night, I ran into one of the ICU fellows that I know and casually asked about the child. His face said it all. From one of my colleagues, I heard the rest of the story. One of the ICU nurses came downstairs and was telling us that the family decided to make the child an organ donor. Throughout the evening, multiple phone calls were being made to awaiting hospitals. At one end death, on the other end hope for a life.
I keep the green donor ribbon on my sidebar as a reminder of the importance of organ donation. The lives that this little boy touched will be immeasurable, and he will remain in our memories for a very long time.