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When the unexpected happened, CJ’s family turned to the Children’s Tower
April 15, 2024
CHoR patient CJ Sears and his mom at a restaurant

    When the unexpected happened, CJ’s family turned to the Children’s Tower

    Medical emergencies often happen when you least expect them. In 15-year-old CJ Sears’ case, it was in his 10th grade PE class when a fall caused a severe dislocation where his clavicle and sternum meet. His mom sent the following note to share how grateful her family was for the Children’s Tower and CHoR team that were here when they needed us.

    A note of thanks for outstanding emergency, surgical and inpatient care in the Children’s Tower

    CHoR patient CJ at a swim meet

    I just wanted to drop a quick note of gratitude for the amazing care that we experienced on February 21 and 22. My son CJ was brought in from our small town hospital after a fall during school PE class. From intake to discharge my husband and I could not have asked for better care. The staff could not have been more kind, understanding and attentive to the needs of CJ. I could not believe the amount of attention that our kid received. It was the personalized service that we received that made a very difficult situation manageable. 

    Now, here comes the difficult part. The 24 hours that we spent at the Children’s Tower were a total blur and as a result I do not know the names of all those that helped us during CJ's stay. The emergency room, the overnight staff on the floor and pre/post op staff, I could not have been more thankful. My son was extremely nervous and the amount of effort they put into checking on his emotional wellbeing was much appreciated. To say that people went above and beyond is understating all that they did. We never felt rushed, or like a medical record number or anything of the sort. As the surgeons, doctors and nurses all came in to explain the various aspects of his treatment they all took their time to ensure that we all were comfortable with the steps to his treatment. Our particular case included a slower than normal wake up from surgery. CJ was showing all his teenage tiredness. But, that nurse stayed with us. My husband even had to go for a walk at one point, but she stayed right by his side.

    I would also like to thank the administrating staff at VCU Health and CHoR. I think sometimes people miss the value in the fact that it is a teaching hospital. To see seasoned doctors and surgeons taking the time to mold the next generation of healthcare providers is so important. I was highly impressed with the students and resident staff that I came across. It gives me comfort to know that future doctors are being taught and mentored by such a fine group of physicians. 

    I know that his surgeon of record was Dr. Kuester. She was amazing and took her time to ensure that all specialties were included that, although not needed, may have been used depending on the nature of the surgery. We even received an update from the pediatric surgeon during the procedure to let us know that things were going well and that he would not have to step in. Please make sure that this thank you gets to all of the doctors, nurses and staff that were a part of CJ's case. Although I do not know all of their names, I do not want to leave anyone out. 

    As the administrator of a Moose lodge here in the area, I hear stories each year about the wonderful work that is done, but this experience really has brought it home. I even sat at the table with two representatives in January at our mid-year convention. I never would have thought I would have gotten to see that phenomenal work firsthand. Please know that you all have our family’s sincerest thanks and appreciation for all that you have done for us and continue to do for children. Although, I hope to not have to visit this side of the hospital again, it will be my family's first choice for treatment.

    You might not know when, but you’ll always know where. Explore the Children’s Tower here.

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