Ethan is Recognized as Kids Wish Network and Mercy Medical Center’s Hero of the Month

“He is so brave during every procedure and always has a great attitude.”

It was truly an exciting night for Ethan and his teammates as they began their first football game of the season. What Ethan didn’t know was how consequential the night would actually be for him. During one of the very first plays of the game, Ethan tumbled hard onto another teammate’s cleat. He had no idea that when the cleat broke his fall, it also punctured his lung.

Ethan was incredibly brave and continued to play through the rest of the game with great passion. “He breathes for football,” Ethan’s mom stated as she described Ethan’s love for sports. The only signs that showed that there was an issue was that he began to pace and seemed out of breath, something that all of the players were probably experiencing in such a physically active sport.

As Ethan and his family arrived home, his mom became increasingly concerned that Ethan still had not caught his breath after the game. Even though he wasn’t in pain, it was at this time that she knew she needed to take him to Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines to have him checked out.

After the X-ray was taken, it became apparent that he had a pneumothorax in which air comes into the chest rather than the lung, and the lung collapses. In order to avoid surgery, he needed to have two tubes inserted into his chest while he was awake, which is very painful. “The kid never complained once!” said his mom as she described how resilient Ethan was when he endured all of these procedures with such a positive attitude.

“He is so brave during every procedure and always has a great attitude,” described Ethan’s nurse as she filled out the nomination form about him for Kids Wish Network’s Hero of the Month program.

After two weeks of being in the hospital, his lung was fully active, and he was able to return home. Although he missed the first week of school and had to sit out all of football season, he has kept his passion for sports and has had a great season in basketball. He is also preparing for track season this spring.

When Ethan found out that he would receive the Hero of the Month award which includes a Walmart gift card, he decided that he would purchase movies and donate them back to Mercy Medical Center for other young patients to enjoy. He made sure to get his favorite movie for them as well; you guessed it, Remember the Titans.

It is with great pride that we honor Ethan’s bravery by recognizing him as Kids Wish Network’s along with Mercy Medical Center’s Hero of the Month. Congratulations, Ethan!

Hospitals and pediatric care facilities throughout the country participate in the Hero of the Month program by each month nominating children under their care who have faced and overcome difficult circumstances with courage and bravery. Those recognized by Kids Wish Network as a Hero of the Month are presented with a Hero package that includes a gift card and other special gifts. Participating facilities tout this program for its ability to positively impact the lives of children. For more information on becoming part of the Hero of the Month program, contact us.


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