“God had in place who needed to be there,” says father
Grayson Cleghorn, center, with her sister Shaeleigh, right. Neighbor Grace Henerey, left, provided medical assistance when Cleghorn stopped breathing.
What started as a regular day of bike riding on her street ended in an emergency helicopter ride to Children’s Healthcare at Scottish Rite for 12-year-old Grayson Cleghorn, who suffered serious head injuries after falling off her bicycle the Monday before Mother’s Day.
According to Cleghorn’s father Brian, his daughter was riding with her six-year-old brother and his friend when her mom Jennie saw her fall off the bike on Piney Ridge Road.
“When [my wife] looked up Grayson was laying down and she was bleeding and started a full on seizure.” Cleghorn said. “She wasn’t going fast on her bike, and doctors aren’t sure if the seizure caused the fall or if the fall caused the seizure. Grayson’s friend who was outside started doing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and took off her shirt and wrapped it around her head, then the ambulance came and the paramedics started to work on her.”
Cleghorn said paramedics eventually transported his daughter - who was later diagnosed with a bruised brain, a fractured skull and a severe concussion – to the top ball field at Jasper City Park where a ballgame was interrupted for the Life Flight helicopter to land and transport her to the Atlanta hospital where she stayed four days.
“It took her 17 minutes to get to Scottish Right in that helicopter,” the father said. “It took us 42 minutes to drive down and we had no idea what was going to happen. We didn’t know if she’d be okay or not. All we knew to do, from the minute we left Jasper to the moment we walked in the trauma room, was pray. When they stopped that game the news went all over Jasper like wildfire and our phone just tinged and tinged with people telling us they were praying.
“They’ll never know how much they mean,” he said. “You could feel the prayers working. You could feel it.”
Upon arrival at the hospital Cleghorn said the staff got to work getting his daughter in stable condition.
“You’ve never seen people work like that in your life,” he said. “She had morphine to help with the pain. I leaned down to talk to her and she said she was sleepy and she told me to sing, so I sang “You Are My Sunshine” and she fell asleep. She slept for three days.”
After being released from the hospital this past Thursday, Grayson is back at home and has just moved from ½ days at school to full days again. She thanks her friend Grace Henerey for quick thinking, performing mouth-to-mouth and bandaging her head.
“She is 16 so a little older, but her younger sister and I are best friends,” she said. “On that day I remember stopping at the stop sign and that’s it. The next thing I remember was riding in the helicopter. I was scared, but I’m fine now. My head just hurts some times when I’m reading.”
The father said his family has been overwhelmed with support and love from the community.
“You want to gripe living in a small town where everyone knows your business,” he said, “but when something like this happens there’s no better place to be. God had in place who needed to be there at each stage in this accident, from the Pickens EMS to the Life Flight people and the Scottish Rite staff, to family and friends and the JMS staff who has been great working with her schedule. Everybody was in perfect position by the hand of God and now my daughter is upright and all right.”