You hope that when your kids start driving they make good judgements; and when they don't you hope they are in good hands. The 23rd Annual Children's Miracle Network Celebration is this weekend. All this week we are bringing you some of the stories that have changed lives this year. Kids like Jenna Slim. Jenna was in good hands when an accident nearly cost her everything. NewsChannel 11's Christy Hartin has Jenna's story.
June 5th, 2005 - just eight days after graduating high school 17-year-old Jenna Slim felt like she was on top of the world and surfed on top of a car to prove it but a quick swerve of the car threw Jenna from the top of the world to the bottom floor of University Medical Center--the emergency room.
"My husband was on the phone and my cell phone rang and it was my oldest daughter and she was crying so hysterically that I couldn't understand what she was saying. All I could understand was, 'Jenna's not moving, she's had an accident," said Angie Romans, Jenna's Mother.
Minutes later, Angie arrived at UMC to find a reality she never expected. "The ambulance arrived and they unloaded her and they didn't stop for a second. I mean they went by me real quickly, and I was just taken back by how still she was and how limp she looked and she didn't look good. It was worst than what I had expected."
Still unconscious and non-responsive, doctors rushed Jenna into a trauma room. Angie says the doctor looked very worried as he explained that Jenna had severe bleeding and a clot on one side of her brain with some bleeding on another side of the brain.
Doctors then shaved off most of Jenna's hair so they could drill a bolt into her head to monitor the pressure surrounding the brain. An hour later, Angie saw her daughter in a bed surrounded by tubes, lights, monitors and a ventilator. "Just looking at her, she looked so innocent she looked like a little baby. It's a shock. When you're child is laying there, it's a just a shock."
The next hours became the most crucial of Jenna's life. Nurses and doctors monitored the blood clot forming on Jenna's brain. Overnight the blood clot grew and the only way to save Jenna's life, would be to operate. "Doctor Betts, her Neurosurgeon, came in the next morning and he was just very quick and said 'I'm taking her to surgery it's gotten a lot bigger he said I need to get in there and get her out.' He was going to take her in a drill a hole in the side of her head and evacuate the blood clot under her skull," Angie explained.
The surgery proved successful. Repeated scans showed improvement but Jenna remained in a coma so doctors medicated her even further to stabilize Jenna's condition. "Knowing that she was in a deeper coma and she was able to relax and her body was doing nothing but healing, and I knew that God was working in here. Just waiting was hard you just want to get to the end of that where she's waking up and you see where she wakes up to, because you still don't know once she wakes up at what level of consciousness she'll come back to."
It would be 8 days before Jenna opened her eyes and another two weeks before she was responsive. "I knew I was in the hospital. I knew what happened, I knew everything that had happened, but I don't remember the accident," said Jenna.
Jenna found comfort in waking up in a hospital close to home. "It's a little better just to know that they were still there and if I wanted someone to talk to they were just a phone call away and could come up there."
47 days after the accident and after weeks of intense physical therapy, Jenna was able to go home; a homecoming Angie says wouldn't have been possible if not for the Children's Miracle Network. "Sometimes you don't even have 30 minutes. It's a matter of life and death and the fact that we have the best equipment and the best technology that the surgeons can do whatever they need to do, it saves lives."
|2006 Children's Miracle Network Telethon|