Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
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Monroe Carell Jr.
Children's Hospital
at Vanderbilt
2200 Children's Way
Nashville, TN 37232


(615) 936-1000

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Meet Jordyn
 

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Eight weeks ago, Jordyn Fletcher was clinging to life.

Jordyn, 4, had been playing outside at a friend's house near where she lived in Chapmansboro, Tenn.

Her dad, Joey Fletcher, told her and her 3-year-old brother, Jackson, that he would be back in 30 minutes to get them for dinner.

Within 15 minutes, what was supposed to be fun pre-dinner playtime turned out to be a parent's worst nightmare. Jordyn was injured in a lawnmower accident. Much of her right hand and leg were mutilated by the mower's spinning blades. It's a tale that the Fletchers hope others will learn from.

"I got runned over by a lawnmower," Jordyn's tiny voice announces as she lifts her right hand, covered with a rainbow-colored sock, to show her injured limb. A teenage neighbor had been mowing the lawn, near where Jordyn and her 4-year-old friend were playing. The lawnmower caught on a tree root and steered toward Jordyn.

"The thing about lawnmowers, they are equipment and they require a lot of focus," Joey Fletcher said. "If I am cutting the lawn, I don't even have the kids outside. It's just not something children should be around."

Unable to walk, Jordyn's small 35-pound frame settles into a pink umbrella stroller, more commonly used for younger toddlers. Though potty trained for a while, she also has had to return to pull-up diapers.

Weeks before her injury, she had just started playing softball. "She hit the ball every time," her father proudly announced.

In the early days after the accident, it was uncertain she would survive.

Minutes after the Fletcher's neighbor rushed to give her dad the horrific news, Joey Fletcher was by his daughter's side. They waited for the ambulance that would rush her to a nearby baseball field. From there, a LifeFlight crew transported Jordyn to the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.

"She was turning blue and she was cold. She was going into shock," said Joey Fletcher.

In flight, Jordyn received two units of blood, and upon arriving at Children's Hospital had emergency surgery that lasted seven hours. The goals were to save her life, fight infection, and finally, repair her injuries.

"It hurt really bad when I was bleeding," Jordyn said.

"I only got one toe on this foot," says Jordyn, who is well informed about her injuries. One thing Jordyn certainly hasn't lost is her personality. Wide-eyed and a large smile, she'll tell you in detail about how last summer she was learning to swim, and she got to ride on a whale - though not a real one she's quick to point out. "It was a floatie."

After six weeks in the hospital and 15 surgeries, Jordyn was discharged from the hospital to go home with her family. Her right leg is wrapped in bandages from knee down as doctors try to make it a usable leg so she can walk. She still has many surgeries to go.

But on her visits back for follow-up appointments, Jordyn makes a point to stop by to see her nurses and the children she made friends with.

"Vanderbilt was amazing," said Joey Fletcher. "She wanted to come see the nurses, so we came early for her appointment. So many times, the nurses would finish their shift and come in and ask if they could play with her." 


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