It happens all the time with young kids…they fall, they scratch up their knees and they get back up. It’s certainly nothing new and it’s a part of growing up. Oftentimes, the scars that we gain in childhood remain with us well into adulthood and we always have a story to tell.
One little girl by the name of Abbi Holland certainly has a story to tell. While playing on the playground at school, the three-year-old tripped and scraped her knee. Fairly common for a child that age right? Well, it turned out to be a very uncommon situation, but certainly something we all can learn from. After she fell, the staff at the school gave Holland a wet paper towel to clean out the cut, thinking that would be enough. But, a few hours later, the little girl had a temperature of 109 degrees. As to be expected, her parents rushed her right to the hospital.
The scratch on her knee got infected because it wasn’t cleaned properly. Evidently, it is extremely important for scrapes to be cleaned with proper substances, other than water. Her doctors gave her antibiotics in hopes of killing the infection, but they just caused major reactions in Holland’s body. So much so that she ended up with heart damage and had to stay in the hospital for four months as she fought the infection. Her parents were obviously frightened when the doctors informed them that they would have to perform open heart surgery in order to treat the aortic valve leak.
“To be told that they are going to have to stop your little girl’s heart and there’s no guarantee they will be able to start it again is terrifying. Then to hear that if they did manage to there was a chance she could be brain damaged— well you wouldn’t wish that on your worst enemy,” said Holland’s father, David.
While the surgery ended up being successful, Abbi, who is now seven-years-old, will have to take medication for the rest of her life and she will inevitably need more surgery.
Unfortunately, the Holland family had to learn a lesson about proper first aid, which is something that is often not thought too deeply about, but they are sharing their experience in hopes of helping other parents in preventing this from happening to them.
“We are not trying to bad mouth or blacklist anyone, we just want to promote basic first aid and get the message out about how important it is. You just don’t think this could happen as a result of a fall in a playground. It’s an eye opener, that something so small and simple could be life changing. Such a simple thing caused this and we wouldn’t want to see anyone go through what Abbi has been through.”
When in doubt, always clean out a cut or a scrape. It certainly doesn’t hurt to take the extra step and be sure to always have proper first-aid supplies on hand in the event your child falls. On average, a toddler falls about seven times a day. That’s a LOT!
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