Restoring a Young Life and a Community’s Hope

Restoring a Young Life and a Community’s Hope

“I stepped into the hospital and, just in that matter of time, I saw three parents [all members of Guthrie clinical staff] of students that I know. They all were very supportive. and I knew they were looking out for Jack…I knew he was in good hands.” – Peter Henning, Former Principal, Harlan Rowe Middle School

There’s no easy way to tell a bunch of seventh graders that one of their classmates nearly died, says Peter Henning, former principal of Harlan Rowe Middle School and current principal of SRU Elementary School. But that’s just what Henning had to do after seventh-grader Jack Barrett, sustained a life-threatening injury during a school wrestling match.

“You could hear a pin drop when I said, ‘Your classmate Jack Barrett is in the hospital. His spleen ruptured, and he nearly died. But he’s OK,’” says Henning. “They just cheered, a spontaneous round of applause. It was beautiful.” He was then flooded with questions about what they could do for him, how they could help him.

Jack’s fellow students – and his whole community – would ultimately help him recover and get back to being a kid. But the credit for saving his life on the day of his injury goes to the Emergency Department physicians, nurses, and staff at Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital, who sprang into action as soon as Jack came through the door.

Miracles Happen Here, But They Need Your Help

“When we first walked in, the triage guy, Eric, said to me, is that his normal color?” recalls Deanna Barrett, Jack’s mom. “I said, ‘I guess not,’ and he told us to come right in, put Jack in the room, took his heart rate, and got on the phone to say, ‘I have somebody here whose heart rate is 250.’ Then, all of the sudden, Jack passed out.”

A flurry of activity followed, and Deanna stepped out of the small room so she wouldn’t be in the medical team’s way. A physician told her that they were taking Jack for a CAT scan and that the injury was likely to his spleen.

“Then they showed me the X-rays. They showed me the internal bleeding, and that his spleen was severed in two. And they told me he was going right into the operating room,” says Deanna.

That’s where the Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital Emergency Department team saved Jack’s life – just like they save thousands of others in the community each year. The Emergency Department, which saw nearly 37,000 patients in 2017, is in critical need of expansion. Donations to Guthrie’s Forward Together campaign will fund these expansions and enhancements – to better serve patients like Jack and their families.

“There are limitations at the current time,” says Marc Harris, DO, FACEP, Chairman, Emergency Medicine. “We’ve outgrown our Emergency Department. It was designed for 28,000 patients each year. So, it’s very difficult to have a team approach because we’ve had to expand into little cubbyholes and redo some areas just to create a few more places where we can see patients.”

Consider the Lifesaving Capacity of a Contribution

Nearly 80 students and their families visited Jack during his hospital stay, showing that what happens to one person in our community, happens to us all.

“We moved here to give our son the best surroundings,” says Ed Barrett, Jack’s dad. “And [after he was injured], there were people there I didn’t even know, saying, ‘Hey, we’re sorry to hear what happened to Jack. Is he OK?’ They made me feel like we really made the right choice moving here. There wasn’t 10 minutes during the day that somebody wasn’t checking on Jack. It made me feel safe.”

Our Emergency Department heals individuals and whole communities. Please consider donating to expand its lifesaving capabilities and critical resources.

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