A winning attitude and warm heart may have earned young Kaitlynn the title of Miss Congeniality at a local Snow Queen contest in December of 2011, but after suffering life-threatening injuries from a roll-over car accident, her recovery has proven to be one competition after another. Thankfully, her team of care givers at Avera Children’s Hospital gave her a chance to win… and lead a normal life. Her challenge began in 2011 when a serious automobile accident landed her in the emergency room at their local hospital. Numerous broken bones and a punctured lung appeared to be her main obstacles. And even though a surgery to repair a broken leg seemed successful, Kaitlynn didn’t get on the road to recovery. Instead, she got on the road to Sioux Falls where a medical team at Avera Children’s Hospital awaited her arrival.
During an exploratory surgery, Kaitlynn suffered two major strokes. The surgery also uncovered many additional life-threatening injuries. Her loving family sadly watched their daughter’s condition deteriorate. But they took her recovery one night at a time. Soon, Kaitlynn began to show signs of progress. The care givers at Avera Children’s continued to monitor her condition and worked to improve her swallowing and speaking skills. But she was improving.
After months in the hospital, Kaitlynn still faces a long path to recovery. But she works hard during her rehabilitation and physical therapy; which have helped her heal and chase a dream of competing in a local beauty pageant. With her satin evening gown hanging in her hospital room as motivation, she gained enough strength to convince her care givers to discharge her for the night. She came back with the title of Miss Congeniality and received warm praises from her many supporters. Today, Kaitlynn continues to work on her speech skills and has a renewed hope for her future.
Thanks to the support of our loyal partners, the generous community and successful events like The Big Grape Reserve, children and families at Avera Children's can continue to receive the best quality care.
*Portrait courtesy of Evans Portrait Gallery