I know before we even got to the hospital, they had two teams ready. It is a caring group of people.

Andy Hemker, Patient

Hand in Hand

Andy Hemker remembers being rushed by helicopter from the town of Bronson to Bronson Methodist Hospital’s Level 1 Trauma Center in May of 2015. For a few fleeting moments, he saw his 4-year-old son Wyatt being wheeled into the hospital on a stretcher beside him. The father and son had just suffered severe burns after a gas tank exploded on the small earthmover they were using at their new home. Andy remembers exactly what was going through his mind. “My biggest fear was Wyatt not surviving.”

It wasn’t until a week later when Andy woke up again in the trauma care unit that he learned his son was still alive. Wyatt was in pediatric intensive care at Bronson Children’s Hospital. In the first few weeks, Bronson surgeons performed numerous skin grafts on both the father and son. Since then, both Wyatt and Andy have undergone extensive rehabilitation.

Andy describes the level of care they received as awesome. “I know before we even got to the hospital, they had two teams ready. It is a caring group of people.”

The Bronson Health Foundation’s newly created Trauma and Emergency Fund is designed to ensure the highest level of care for patients like Andy and Wyatt. The Children’s Hospital Fund assures pediatric and child life specialists are available for children, close to home.

The Hemker family still visits Bronson every week for Wyatt’s rehab, as he and the Bronson team work to continue the healing. “The overall care has been great,” says Andy. “It’s more than just a hospital.”

Hemker Father Son Inside Page

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