Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Remembering a Miracle

This article is from a 2007 Tulsa World publication. The young man referred to in the article is the son of a dear friend of mine. We are so grateful for the gifts our loving Heavenly Father gives us ... especially Michael!

Angels take the field
by KIM ARCHER World Staff Writer
Published: 4/22/2007 3:30 AM

Boy, 11 struck in the chest at ball game, then catches a few lucky breaks

Eleven-year-old Michael Slatcher is the epitome of true grit.
Throw in some luck and prayer, and doctors say that is why he is alive.
On a balmy evening Thursday at Indian Springs Sports Complex in Broken Arrow, Michael was playing catcher for his Hurricanes youth baseball team when he was accidentally struck in the chest with a bat.
It happened after a dropped third strike. After the blow to his chest protector, Michael scrambled, grabbed the ball, threw it to first base and then collapsed.
He immediately went into cardiac arrest.
Luckily, an off-duty paramedic and a physician happened to be at the park and began performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
"If no one had been there to do CPR on this child, I have no doubt he would have died or had an oxygen-deprivation injury to his brain," said Gail Neff-Gordon, who is a LIfeFlight paramedic.
Gordon's husband, Robert, was at the game watching his own 10-year-old son play ball at an adjoining field and was one of the first responders for Michael.
"It was just one of those rare occurrences. The bat hit him at the precise moment," he said.
Gordon and Dr. Athena Mason, whose son is a teammate of Michael's, were able to perform CPR until a Broken Arrow emergency services squad arrived, just 3 1/2 minutes after the call went out.
Maj. Phil Reid, who heads the EMS unit at the Broken Arrow Fire Department, said Michael's heart stopped and he was shocked back to life on the field.
"I'm so proud of my squad," Reid said. "They're the angels in blue."
Dr. Matthew Kimberling, a pediatric cardiologist (Claira's heart-doc too btw!) treating Michael at St. Francis Hospital, said such occurrences of "commotio cordis" are very rare.
"They may be underreported because most people die as a result of this," he said.
It happens when the chest is struck in precisely the right spot during a 15-millisecond window of opportunity, Kimberling said.
As a result, Michael's heart went into a potentially deadly arrhythmia called ventricular fibrillation, V-fib for short.
"I've practiced pediatric cardiology for 10 years, and this is only the second time I've heard of someone surviving it," Kimberling said. "He was very, very fortunate."
Amazingly, Michael isn't exected to have any long-term effects from the accident (except maybe orneriness!), the doctor said.
"He had a guardian angel watching after him," he said.
Without immediate CPR, the outcome might have been very different, imberling said. He believes that ball parks should have automatic defibrillators available for just such incidents.
"That made all the difference. The Broken Arrow Fire Department should be commended for their quick response," he said.
Michael is the oldest of six children, the youngest of whom is 1. At the time of the accident, his parents were on a vacation cruise.
"What a time for this to happen," said his grandmother Beverly Slatcher. "The first thing Michael asked was 'Who won the game?'."
The game was never completed.
As paramedics worked on Michael at the ball park, Mason said, parents and onlookers were holding hands praying for the child.
"I think that's what saved this little boy," she said.
According to the Institute for Preventative Sports Medicine, softball and baseball lead to more injuries requiring emergency room visits in the U.S. than any other sport.
And baseball leads all team sports in deaths of children between ages 5 and 14, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Michael was moved out of pediatric intensive care Saturday to a regular pediatric unit at St. Francis Hospital.
His grandmother said doctors predict he will go home any day.
"Hes tough. He's our miracke," Slatcher said. "There were nine people there to see to his needs. We feel very, very blessed."

Sunday, March 27, 2011

2011 Heartwalk

T-shirt design ... original idea by Maddy, design by Uncle Sam & Chelsea :o)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sweet Emma Routh

Last year we were honored to join in a celebration of a beautiful, short life ... Emma Routh. She was born on April 15, 2008 with a Congenital Heart Defect. She was only with her family for a few short months, but her legacy continues. Her parents threw Emma a birthday party at Bounce U, and held a blood drive in her memory. It was very moving.
We will again be able to join this family in remembering Emma by participating in her 2nd birthday celebration and blood drive. Thank you to Brian and Sonia (Emma's parents) for striving to give back in lieu of your loss. You are an inspiration to all families!

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Backwards snow angel ... Claira loves the snow!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Dancing Feet

Claira began taking dance lessons with her sister Evie last Fall. Her teacher says she has fun and does a great job ... but as you can see from the video, she forgets when Mom's around. Thank goodness "Parent's Night" is only twice a year!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Christmas Gift Exchange

The past few years we have had the kids draw names so that we're not buying a gift for all 6 to give to all 6! This year Chelsea shopped for Claira ... and found this GINORMOUS stuffed dog! It's more like a pillow because it's bigger than Claira. As you can see she absolutely loved it.

Monday, December 7, 2009

It's Pink!

Claira got her cast today ... and it's PINK! She is so much happier now. The doctor said it will be scary how much she tries to use her leg, but we still need to keep her from walking or putting weight on it. Before the cast, getting in and out of the car was a nightmare! Now she's no problem. Maddy came home from school and she held her leg up high and said "look at my leg!"

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Thank you David and Gina Brim for helping to express our gratitude for an amazing show of compassion and generosity.