One Person’s Story — Jesse Lewis

Kids who enter the doors of Hoops Family Children’s Hospital do not realize the impact they will have on the medical professionals who work there.  But the stories of courage in the face of dire circumstances – of helplessness turned to hope – these are the stories that change OUR lives, too.  Jesse Lewis is one of those patients with a life-changing story… 

It was a sunny spring afternoon – perfect for mowing.  Jesse met a few of his buddies after school and together they walked to their neighborhood lawn mowing appointment. The enterprising boys enjoyed a good reputation.  They were courteous, careful, thorough, and very successful.  So, when Jesse’s mom, Susan, received the frantic call – “There was an accident!  Meet us at the Emergency Room!” – she was unprepared for just how seriously her son had been injured. 

While mowing on a steep incline, Jesse’s large mower had flipped and rolled onto him, a razor-sharp blade impaling his chest.  The other boys had carefully pulled the lawnmower off of him and immediately called for help.  Arriving at the Cabell Huntington Hospital ER, Susan’s pulse quickened as she raced to find her son. Amazingly he was alert and talking, she recalls.  But neither of them realized just how bad Jesse’s injuries were.

With lung lacerations, a fractured right shoulder, lung surgeries, multiple chest tubes and additional surgeries, Jesse spent 13 days in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU).  He needed an additional two weeks in Hoops Family Children’s Hospital general pediatric unit.

You would think that a month-long hospital stay would, itself, be nothing short of agony for a high school student.  But Jesse conquered his trial with exceptional courage, resolved to face each day of his slow, agonizing recovery with grit and good humor. 

“The staff of the Hoops Family Children’s Hospital and Dr. Dan Beals, Jesse’s pediatric surgeon, were exactly what I needed,” Susan reflected. “Dr. Beals was patient, to the point and kind. He was what Jesse needed in a doctor, too, taking care to make sure the surgical and recovery teams were coordinated!”

 

It has been nearly a year since Jesse’s accident.  Thankfully, he is well on his way to a full recovery.  Susan continues to stay in touch with the Hoops team of doctors. “I still worry and sometimes I call to ask a question or just be reassured. The fact that we have a local children’s hospital is an incredible gift.” 

Jesse’s story is just one example of the lifesaving care patients and their families receive at Hoops Family Children’s Hospital.  But it is only because of friends like you that the Hospital can serve families in the Tri State region. Thanks to your financial gifts, thousands of children of all ages – infants to teens – are treated and cared for at Hoops Family Children’s Hospital every year. Whether minor injuries or illnesses or overwhelming and frightening diagnoses, our dedicated medical professionals bring comfort – and HOPE – to children AND their parents, other family members and friends.  

Please consider giving a “Gift of Hope” to Hoops Family Children’s Hospital to help provide for patients like Jesse!  You may give online by clicking here and completing the secure donation form.  Or, to discuss creative ways to make large or legacy gifts, please contact Bradley Burck, Vice President of Corporate, Foundation and Donor Philanthropy, at bradley.burck@mhnetwork.org