Hear Madison's story,
as featured on KS95 For Kids.
On a chilly winter morning, Missy received an urgent call from her husband just minutes after he'd left to drive their daughter, Madison, to school. That call changed an ordinary day into the most terrifying of her life. "He said there had been an accident and that I needed to come right away," says Missy.
Injured One Mile From Home
Missy raced to the accident scene, where she found Madison surrounded by emergency personnel and covered in lacerations. She was rushed to the Level I Pediatric Trauma Center operated by Regions Hospital and Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare. A CT scan revealed that while Madison's injuries were severe-she had sustained a traumatic brain injury and significant skull fracture-they were, thankfully, not life-threatening.
In the following days, specialists in Gillette's Pediatric Intensive Care monitored Madison closely while the swelling in her brain continued to diminish. As Madison healed, Gillette staff ensured that Missy remained at her daughter's side. "In those moments, being right there with her was most important thing in the world."
The "Real Madison" Returns
Madison remained at Gillette as she struggled with headaches, challenges with balance and cognition, and partial facial paralysis caused by her injury. Her family found her spirited personality slowly returning. Missy recalls wheeling Madison around the hospital one evening when she asked to push the wheelchair herself. "Madison said, 'This is how Artie does it in Glee' and off she went!"
Throughout her recovery, Madison's family was struck by her sheer willpower. "As soon as she figured out she could walk, she was more determined than ever to move around," says Missy. "Soon, there was no stopping her!"
The Best Birthday Present Ever
After two weeks at Gillette, Madison returned home in time to celebrate a meaningful milestone-her 7th birthday. She'll continue to be monitored by Gillette's neurotrauma team for lingering issues and will receive weekly physical therapy.
Missy says she is grateful that their Gillette team never forgot that, underneath Madison's injuries and medical concerns, she was a frightened little girl. "They helped her understand how everything they were doing would make her better," says Missy. "They know how to talk to kids-and they know how to let them be kids. Everyone at Gillette has a heart of gold."