August 14th, 2015 tragedy struck at a wedding rehearsal dinner near Jamestown, New York. The groom and one of his groomsmen were riding on a four-wheeler while everyone else was enjoying the stories and laughter that often come when old friends reunite. As the four-wheeler started down a decline, the driver noticed a sharp curve at the bottom of the hill. He decided to veer off the trail and coast through some tall weeds thinking that the four-wheeler would glide safely to a full-stop.
Behind the weeds though, was a sheer 15-foot drop off into a dry creek bed. The four-wheeler barreled over the overhang and tragically, Harrison Waldron, the passenger, sustained a traumatic brain injury in the fall. Almost instantly, the wedding photographer, who was both a family friend and a veteran paramedic and fire fighter, along with many others from the wedding party were on the scene to assist. Within 45-minutes a rescue helicopter was rushing Harrison to Erie Pennsylvania, to the UPMC Hamot Trauma Center.
Within minutes of arriving, Harrison was brought into the operating room where surgeons spent the next three hours trying to save his life. The front portion of his skull was removed to relieve the pressure from the massive swelling of his brain. Harrison would later state that he remembers being awake and hearing conversations around his hospital bed in the Trauma Center in Erie only a day or two after the accident. Hayley along with everyone else, including his team of doctors, thought that he was in a coma and unaware of what was going on. The Trauma Team said that they weren’t sure if he would live or die.
Harrison lives with his wife and her family. Every day he has to be bathed, fed, and cared for by others. Every day, he receives several hours of physical therapy from Hayley and her Mom. Hayley and her family work together as a unit and have become veritable experts in Traumatic Brain Injuries and how to navigate the system of insurance and medical providers in order to provide the very best care and therapy possible to facilitate Harrison’s recovery.
The real story here is the story of unconditional love between Harrison and Hayley that is being played out every day with his recovery. After the accident, while alive, Harrison was left completely dependent on his new wife, Hayley, and others. He has only just now, three years after the accident, been able to produce a delicate smile on his face while Hayley talks or jokes with him.
Harrison has a long road to recovery ahead of him. He has been accepted into the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab, a prestigious rehabilitation institute in Chicago. They specialize in the most severe conditions in brain and spinal cord injury as well as amputation and cancer-related impairment. This hospital only accepts a handful of cases a year so his being accepted into the program, is a victory in itself. Receiving this treatment however, comes at a cost. On top of the hefty medical bills, Harrison and Hayley will have to relocate to Chicago for the duration of his treatment. Right now our goal is to raise $70,000 in order to cover all expenses involved in three weeks of treatment.
We don’t know what story God is telling with Harrison. We do have full faith however, that God uses us to do His will. Including the doctors, the donors, and most evidently, Hayley. We ask you to partner with us in Harrison’s road to recovery. Allow God to work through you by helping this incredible couple through the financial insecurity of this journey. Donate now to make an impact in Harrison’s future. Help Harrison today.
(This page is managed by Dakota Nowell. All funds are Managed by Linda Brock, from Tusculum Church of Christ. All donations for Harrison will be put into an account in Harrison's name at Tusculum Church of Christ.)