Facility: Nebraska Medical Center
Fifteen-year-old Justin was staying in a cabin on the Little Sioux Scout Ranch in Iowa with four other boys from his Boy Scout troop. During the night, a tornado tore through the camp and ripped straight through their cabin. The four other young men were killed while Justin sustained a fractured pelvis, lung contusion, spinal injury, fractured jaw and closed head injury. He spent two days in a hospital in Iowa before being transferred to a facility closer to his home, the Nebraska Medical Center.
This brave young man endured much during his two-week hospital stay. While he was there, he underwent numerous scans, surgeries and tests. Throughout everything, Justin was just grateful to be alive. After those two weeks, he was transferred to rehabilitation and still attends physical therapy for his fractured pelvis.
The Nebraska Medical Center is a participating facility in Kids Wish Network’s Hero of the Month Program. The honorees of this program are children between the ages of 3 and 18 who do not have a life threatening illness, but have faced and overcome some tragic circumstances with tremendous courage. Hospitals and other child care facilities throughout the country nominate one child to become their Hero of the Month.
During his hospitalization, he was surprised to learn that he was nominated to be Hero of the Month for his hospital! As Hero, Justin was presented with a certificate, gold medal, t-shirt and $500 gift card for a local shopping center as a surprise. “He was very shocked and very excited,” said his mother. He didn’t know what to do. When he sat down and thought about what had happened, he realized that he could now do something for the ranger of the Scout Ranch who lost his entire home during the tornado; Justin has decided to use some of his gift card and buy toys for the ranger’s two young children to make the pain a little easier to bear.
Justin made it through many hardships and endured with the strength and fortitude of someone twice his age. His generosity and kindness also make him an outstanding young man. This is what makes Justin our “Hero of the Month.”