9-year-old Katelyn Shurgard of Lubbock suffered a brain bleed Friday when she was riding her scooter, fell, and hit a boulder at Tyler State Park. Her family was on a camping trip at that time and rushed her to a hospital in Tyler where Katelyn was then airlifted to Dallas Children’s Hospital.
While Shugard was moved out of the ICU Tuesday, she still faces a possible brain surgery and her family friends have set up an account to help with her rising medical costs as her family waits for Katelyn’s recovery in Dallas.
If you would like to help out, go to this link.
Shugard’s skull has been fractured in two places and doctors at Dallas Children’s have been monitoring both her heart rate and her brain bleed.
“One of her eyes is swollen completely shut where the fracture is,” explained Stacey Cannon. Cannon and her family were with Shugard and her family during that camping trip, it is an annual trip both families look forward to.
Katelyn’s injury was far from how the families expected to end their relaxing trip.
Cannon explained during their whole week in the state park all of the kids on the trip spent lots of time riding their non-motorized scooters.
“The whole time if we weren’t swimming or eating, [the kids] were riding their scooters,” she explained.
Cannon recalled what happened to Katelyn Friday: she had gone off on a scooter ride not very far from the campsite. Katelyn’s mom recounted the story as well, and recalled that her daughter had only been gone for a few minutes.
“From what we can tell, she must have hit a rock, and fell off her scooter and hit her head on a boulder,” Cannon said. “She actually got up and stumbled into the campsite where she fell again, she had been knocked unconscious. We picked her up and brought her to the campsite, called 911.”
Katelyn’s mom tells us that her daughter wasn’t wearing a helmet that day, but she wishes she made her daughter put one on before she rode off. She went to a hospital in Tyler with Katelyn thinking her daughter had a concussion, but doctors there told her it was more serious.
“They ran a bunch of tests on her, found out she had a skull fracture and a bleed in her head, and had to Star lift her out to Dallas Childrens,” explained Cannon.
While Katelyn was flown to Dallas, her family and Cannon’s family drove there together, and waited anxiously for updates on Katelyn’s health.
“It’s still a possibility that she might have to have surgery in her brain,” Cannon explained.
Katelyn’s mom added that the amount of bleeding coming from Katelyn’s brain has increased since they arrived at the hospital.
Doctors have informed Katelyn that if they need to do brain surgery, they may have to shave her head. Cannon said Katelyn was overwhelmed with the idea of losing her hair, so the Cannon family told her they’d all shave their heads with her.
“She started crying and she said, ‘You’d do that for me?’ and we said yeah, we’ll just be a big bunch of bald people and she started giggling.”
Cannon said it was the first laugh she’d heard coming from Katelyn since the accident.
For Cannon’s family, the pain Katelyn’s gone through has been a lesson in how even the most care-free of summer activities can pose big dangers. It also makes her wonder if a helmet could have lessened the damage Katelyn sustained.
“My kid won’t be riding without one, that’s for sure,” she said.
Going forward, Cannon is focused on supporting Katelyn’s family while they put their lives on hold for Katelyn’s treatment.