Hello. Thank you for visiting Simon's site. If you know Simon, you know he has a large personality, an even bigger heart, and loves God, life, family, and friends with abundant enthusiasm.
On January 27th, Simon was away at his first BoyScout overnight camp in Wisconsin with his best friend Simeon Thompson and Simeon's big brother Micah. The kids were sledding after the sun went down and Simon put on his headlamp over his hat to see better in the dark. The sledding hill was just built brand new at the scout camp and freshly fallen snow from last Monday's blizzard covered the hill waiting for excited sledders.
The exact details of what happened next are unknown. No one saw Simon's crash at the bottom of the hill. According to the account of 7-year old Simeon, he heard Simon calling for help. Simeon followed his best friends voice and found Simon at the base of a tree. Simeon called for big brother, Micah, who quickly raced up the sledding hill for the adults.
The adults brought Simon up the hill on a sled to assess injuries. The headlamp was missing from the headband, later discovered at the base of the tree. His injuries were assessed by three parents, along with the campout, who happened to be first responders. His forehead was extremely swollen while blood presented from his ears, nose, and mouth. He was vomiting and in and out of consciousness. The paramedics who were called made a quick call to have him transported to the trauma center at Gillette Children's Hospital in St. Paul, MN. Two minutes before arriving at the hospital, Simon's heart stopped. The paramedics were able to resuscitate him as they were pulling up at the emergency department.
Simon was rushed into the operating room where the very damaged the front cranial bones were removed to allow for his brain to swell from the trauma. The main artery in the forehead was burst and Simon was losing blood at an alarming rate, requiring 8 units of transfusion. The vessel was repaired and the skin was stitched back over the brain, unprotected now, by bone. His nose was also broken, as well as one of his thoracic vertebrae (T4), and smaller vessels branching off his aorta which started bleeding into his mediastinal cavity. His heart stopped beating again in the operating room due to the extensive blood loss, but he was again able to be resuscitated and stabilized. He was then sent to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) at Gillettes.
For now, the goal of the PICU is to control every part of Simon's body that would normally be controlled by his brain, so that his brain can rest, as it will continue to swell following the initial trauma, for possibly up to 72 hours on average. The exact life-sustaining body function presentations that can be triggered by this swelling are unknown as this is an individual body with an individual trauma, so the doctors are using educated guesses, to try and get ahead of what could happen while his brain continues to swell. This is why he is still in a very life-threatening critical condition. He is asleep due to medication and on a lot of pain medication. His heart rate, breathing, temperature, intracranial pressure, blood pressure, digestive tract, and neurological sedation are all being controlled by the doctors, giving his brain much needed rest. His lungs, heart, and other vital organs seem to be functioning well at this time.
The lingering question for everyone is what effects this will have on neurological function and recovery. We do not know. It is devastating. We continue to wait. We continue to hope. We continue to pray. Thank you for reading Simon's story and for all your prayers. He is still with us. Your prayers are working. Our hearts are full of love and prayers from you. Thank you and God bless you and your families.