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Don's Story

Don's mom, Denise, shares her family's experiences at WakeMed Children's.

September 18, 2009 was a day 14-year-old Don would never forget. He jumped on his Yamaha Rhino, an off-road vehicle, and drove down to see the geese that had just landed on the pond near his house.

After 5 years of driving his ATV utility vehicle, he felt confident in his driving skills - even after watching a national news story just weeks earlier on the prevalence of Yamaha Rhino accidents and roll-overs. He soon realized the meaning of the word "accident" as his Rhino suddenly flipped over on that September afternoon.

He was taken immediately to WakeMed Children's Emergency Department where he quickly received a CT only to find out he had a crushed spleen, bruised lung and broken several ribs. He was in unbearable pain.

The team of trauma doctors was remarkable. Initially, it appeared that Don's condition would require surgery to remove his damaged spleen. However, while understanding that surgery may be necessary at any time, Don's physicians decided to monitor his condition in PICU. I am so thankful that they chose that option in order to save his spleen.

From the moment Don entered the ED, the entire WakeMed staff demonstrated the utmost compassion and attention - especially his nurses Pat, Mandy and Rita who were gentle, caring and kept Don smiling through the pain. Dr. Goodwin, one of the physicians caring for Don, had a contagious sense of humor and a remarkable ability to communicate with teenage patients.

It was a mother's nightmare to get a call that your child has been in an accident. Yet, WakeMed was a blessing because all of the staff worked as a team to meet the medical needs of my son during a critical time. Not only did WakeMed take remarkable care of my son, but they were conscious of our needs as a family.

Where else can you find such personal attention and compassion from beginning to the end? Nowhere, except WakeMed.

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