A Classic Miracle Child
We're gaga for golf this time of year, as we're gearing up for the 2012 Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic! It airs live from the Walt Disney World Resort's Palm and Magnolia Courses November 8-11 on the Golf Channel. In addition to featuring over 30 PGA pros that have won an event over the past two years, the Classic will feature celebrities, athletes and one special child. Check out this video of 2011 highlights:
It's a coincidence that the Classic is the last stop on the PGA Tour, as it often represents a new chapter for our Classic Miracle Kids. Each year, we highlight a child treated at one of our member hospitals that has a particularly close relationship to golf. And this year is certainly no exception.
November 8 marks a special milestone for Chandler Fullman: it’s the two-year anniversary of his return home after a two-month stay at his Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. Here's his story:
On September 14, 2010, Chandler went to school as a healthy 14-year-old. His goal for the day: to earn a spot on the Hoover High School golf team. Plans were cut short when Chandler suddenly lost consciousness in weight training class.
He was rushed to Children’s of Alabama, where he was diagnosed with a massive brain bleed known as arteriovenous malformation and caused by a ruptured tangle of blood vessels. The traumatic episode left him in a coma.
For 17 days, Chandler’s family and caregivers were uncertain of his neurological status and to what degree he would recover. Finally, he responded to commands by his family for the first time and faced the challenges of relearning how to sit, walk, talk and express emotion. Months of intense physical therapy put Chandler on the road to recovery.
Chandler’s mother, Lisa, said, “Our Children’s Miracle Network Hospital saved Chandler’s life. During his stay at Children’s of Alabama, Chandler received excellent care. Chandler proved to be a determined fighter, and the entire hospital team gave him the tools and support he needed to far surpass expectations.”
Chandler’s passion for golf has played a central role in his recovery. Even before he had enough balance to stand on his own, he hit the driving range and started working on his swing—first with his father’s arms wrapped around him and soon standing alone. Determined to overcome the physical, mental and emotional setbacks caused by his condition, Chandler focused his energy on a smooth swing.
By the summer of 2011, Chandler was a regular fixture on the golf course, committing to play as many holes as he could. Now, despite the daily challenges resulting from his illness, playing golf is a major part of Chandler’s life. On the course he gains confidence, strength, peace and a reminder of the miracle that is his recovery.
On November 6, 2012, Chandler turns 17. Two days later, on opening day of the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic, he marks the anniversary of his miracle. Chandler's first swing will not just symbolize his triumph, it will reflect the determined spirit of all kids treated by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
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