Expert Care Saves Boy’s Spleen Following Sledding Accident


Snow days are for sleeping in, snow ball fights and sledding. But for 12-year-old Andrew Matton, a recent snow day ended with a ruptured spleen and a trip to the Pediatric Emergency Department. His mother Michele explains:

It was a snow day, so Andrew went sledding with a friend. He’d already been sledding for over an hour and he was on one of the last runs of the day. He was on his stomach, and even though he didn’t hit anything like a tree or a person, he hit the ditch area at the bottom of the hill in such a way that he injured himself.

When his friend’s mom brought him back to my house I could tell right away he was in serious pain, and he was very pale. I had my two other daughters home as well, and I had groceries on the counter, but I just left everything out. We all got in the car and went straight to the ER.

It all happened pretty quickly. The doctor was right on the spleen diagnosis first thing. When they took Andrew in to have a CT scan, the staff there just said, “We’ll take care of the girls.” So, I went with Andrew. The girls are nine and eleven, and the child life specialist  brought them a rainbow loom, which was just perfect. It’s all the rage for my girls. It gave them something enjoyable to do while we went in for a 30-minute CT scan.

After the CT scan, the doctor told me that Andrew would need to be flown to Johns Hopkins in case he needed surgery. It was surreal to think that he was going to be flown in the med-evac helicopter, but I felt like he was in great hands. The whole time everyone made me feel like it was going to be OK.

He didn’t end up needing surgery and he was able to keep his spleen, which was amazing. They said the seriousness of his injury was about as bad as a spleen injury could get.

Old fashioned sledding seems so innocent but just simply going down the hill was enough, and that’s kind of scary. When we were running out the door, I just wanted to get him to the hospital and get it figured out. I knew you guys would take good care of him.

You may be interested in 6 Tips for Sledding Safety.

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