The incident began on a normal Friday afternoon in the month of July, spending time at my friend Gabrielle’s hunting camp in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. I looked forward to going four wheeling down the hunting trails, swimming at the creek in the woods, making s’mores by the fire, camping out under the stars, and so much more. The sounds of crickets chirping, leaves crinkling, children giggling, and four-wheeler engines roaring all surrounded the camp. I felt like nothing bad could come out of this beautiful day, but I was wrong. What started as a peaceful day soon turned into a hectic nightmare. Mr. Johnny, one of the camp owners, and his son were taking a ride on their four-wheelers when they noticed a young boy laying still, ejected from a flipped over heavy duty golf cart on one of the hunting trails. His son’s voice pierced through the perfect day, “Call 911! There’s a boy down the back trail who flipped his Polaris! He can’t move and needs help! Someone call 911!” The parents rushed to gather up their children to make sure their children were not injured. A moment of relief came from me when I realized Gabrielle’s brothers had not been in the accident. Then followed the heart wrenching moment a man on the other side of the campgrounds sprinted to the trail yelling, “My boy!” that brought us all back to reality: someone’s son was badly injured and needed immediate help. One of the parents called 911 as Gabrielle’s mom gathered any supplies she thought could benefit the injured boy. I wanted to do anything I could to help, being certified in first aid and CPR, but the parents only saw me as a young kid and shouted, “Children stay back!” All I could think to tell the adults was everything I had learned in lifeguard training that previous April while the parents forced me to sit back and not do anything: “Don’t move him or else it could paralyze him, keep his neck steady and do not let him move!” My cheeks turned red with anger and my hands became clammy the more they turned my advice away. I felt furious that the parents only saw me as a little child, and not as someone educated and trained to rescue people in those types of situations. I felt enraged when I saw they had the boy sitting upright and riding on the back of a four-wheeler up the rugged trail. They did all of the things I told them specifically not to do, and their ignoring of my advice simply because of my age could have lead to the young boy being paralyzed for the rest of his life. The ambulance had soon arrived to the camp followed by the county’s sheriff. While the medics were inspecting the boy’s condition, one of them shook their head and stated, “moving him was the worst thing you could have done.” At that point in time, the words “I told you so” continuously circled my mind. That moment made me truly realize why I wanted to be a doctor, to make sure that if I was ever in a situation like this again, I would be able to take charge and do everything right to protect that person’s life. When the medics strapped him to a backboard to be loaded into the ambulance, I could only pray that the thirteen-year-old boy was not paralyzed for the rest of his life all because the parents thought they would take matters into their own hands and not listen to “a child” like me. Although I was most likely more certified than any of those adults at the camp, because of my age, I was portrayed as useless in a tragic situation.
One Adventurous Summer Day
April 25, 2018