Dylan’s Amazing Recovery

Dylan in the arms of his mother.
Dylan in the arms of his mother, Meredith.
Dylan playing with a toy truck.
Dylan enjoys time outside.
Dylan on a swing.
Dylan plays on a swing in his backyard after his amazing recovery.
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Meredith and Tom were enjoying a quiet Sunday morning at their Petaluma home when suddenly they heard the cry of their 3 year-old son. Meredith explains, “I wondered what was wrong and went looking for him. I found him outside the garage, trying to get up and unable to get to his feet.”

Dylan had fallen 14 feet through the screen of an open window, crashing into the plastic recycling bins, and then slamming into the cement. As his dad tells us:

“It was a Sunday morning like any other … and then it was the end of the world. When I ran out and saw Dylan on the pavement, I thought I had lost my son.”

His mother reached him first and touched his head. Dylan was conscious, but his skull was soft—“like a cat’s belly,” she describes. They called 911.

Dylan’s condition was so dire that he was airlifted to Children’s Oakland—the Bay Area’s only Level 1 pediatric trauma center. Little Dylan’s skull had shattered into four pieces and he had suffered a stroke.

Care Close to Home

For children like Dylan, having advanced pediatric emergency care so close to home is literally the difference between life and death. And we are here solely because people like you care enough to support us.

Children’s provides nearly $80 million of uncovered healthcare costs each year.

We rely heavily on contributions from friends like you to help us be here for children like Dylan, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

You may think of Children’s Oakland as the place children go when they face life-threatening diseases like cancer … or where children receive long-term therapies for conditions like diabetes or asthma. And you’d be right.

But we are also the busiest pediatric trauma center in Northern California.

Intensive Care from Experts

When Dylan arrived at Children’s, we had the pediatric expertise needed to save his life—including specialists in emergency medicine, trauma surgery, anesthesiology, neurosurgery, orthopedics, diagnostic imaging and critical care.

We also have the busiest Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), where Dylan stayed for 2 weeks, with a medical team spanning 30 pediatric specialties available to give him the best chance of survival.

Dylan was in a coma for seven days after the accident. One morning, his parents were coming back to the PICU from the hospital cafeteria and some of the nurses approached them.  As Dylan’s mother recalls:

“When we saw them [the nurses] coming toward us, we immediately thought the worst. One of them said, "There’s someone who wants to see you." We went back into Dylan’s room and there he was—with his eyes open. I can’t describe the feeling.”

An Amazing Recovery

The stroke had made Dylan’s left side weak, and his parents were concerned that he would not walk again. But Children’s also has the only pediatric inpatient rehabilitation program in Northern California. So with the help of our physical therapists, Dylan, now 5, is active and energetic with a bright future ahead of him.

When seconds counted, we were here for Dylan—as we are for all children who will be rushed to our trauma center. In today’s economy, we especially need your help to continue to be here for the children in our community.

“His recovery is nothing less than amazing,” say his parents.

Hospitals throughout our state are cutting back drastically on pediatric care. In fact, California has already lost more than 800 pediatric hospital beds, even while our population of children grows.

More than ever, the emergency services we provide are a lifesaver for Northern California’s children, and you make it happen through your support. Your generosity will save children’s lives.

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