Mission Report - April 2020

Gratitude for Our Heroes | By Brett Moorehouse

Trials often bring out the best in people. At Ranken Jordan, we’re all familiar with taking a deep breath, straightening our shoulders, and stepping forward to compassionately handle challenging situations when caring for our complex, fragile patients. Yet the past several weeks have put our skills, our strength, and our hearts to the test unlike any other time I can recall.


Every day, I’ve seen our team demonstrate astounding courage and commitment. You are the heroes no matter what your role at Ranken Jordan.


Through this COVID-19 crisis, we have persevered to keep our patients and our fellow team members safe. At the same time, we have continued to provide exceptional care and to reflect positivity for our patients day in and day out. I know this hasn’t been easy. I admire every one of you and I’m so proud to be part of this team. Thank you for your dedication and compassion that is changing lives every day.


David Groetecke is one of those lives you’ve changed. Before the 17-year-old athlete came to Ranken Jordan, he had been written off after a traumatic brain injury. Some medical professionals had predicted he would spend the rest of his life in a long-term care facility on a ventilator, unable to speak, walk or even be aware of his family.


But his mother, Heather, wouldn’t give up hope. When she learned about Ranken Jordan, she knew this was where David needed to be. She was immediately encouraged by our team’s positive strength and the passion our team had for caring for patients.


Within a week of arriving at Ranken Jordan, our team had weaned David off the ventilator. Through frequent physical, speech, occupational and music therapy, David began talking again and was able use a walker instead of a wheelchair. Throughout his remarkable progress, the team continued to motivate David to push harder. And now he is on track to walk out of Ranken Jordan, graduate high school, and enroll in college to become a history teacher.


This is an accomplishment we can all celebrate. Everyone at Ranken Jordan played a role in helping David recover whether on the front line or behind the scenes. David’s positive experience at Ranken Jordan went far beyond the bedside.


While David was here, our enthusiastic, thoughtful team went the extra mile to make sure he could be part of his brother’s wedding virtually through an iPad. The ceremony was streamed from the church on Facebook Live with David and Heather were “present” on FaceTime at Ranken Jordan. David even made a speech as best man—standing up.


This was an inspiring, powerful moment considering just weeks before David couldn’t speak and he had just graduated from a wheelchair to a walker two days before the wedding.


Our patients are able to experience these special life events because of you and the hope you continue to inspire no matter what the hurdles are.


During this health care crisis and time of uncertainty, your heartfelt dedication has remained steadfast and solid. And it matters. David’s mother recently shared her immense gratitude for our incredible team at Ranken Jordan through a Facebook post.


She wrote:

“I recommend any parent who has been told that your child has suffered a TBI and there is no hope, you need to get your child to Ranken Jordan!! Despite what other doctors said, my son is awake and with God’s help and all the positivity from doctors, nurses, CNAs, therapists, cooks, custodians, maintenance, social workers, child care, music therapy, etc., my son will walk out of this hospital!! Thank you, Ranken Jordan.”


These expressions of gratitude remind us why we’re here. Why we come in every day with smiles on our faces despite what is going on outside or the concerns we have about our own families and friends. We’re needed. And we’re making a difference every day.


So take a minute and breathe. And remember how much you mean to the children we care for and to your colleagues. You truly are heroes.


I sincerely thank you for bringing hope and inspiration to our patients, our families and each other. I’m grateful to stand by your side every day as we provide compassionate, skillful care through this challenging time for the children who need us most.


P.S. You can read David’s entire story on our website, which has recently been refreshed to include a growing number of patient success stories and essential program content. Visit https://rankenjordan.org/about-us/meet-our-kiddos/david/to read David’s inspiring story.