October 25th was an emotional milestone for the Naugle family as they gathered at the Clinical Simulation Lab at the Aberdeen Hospital. Their wish for a meaningful legacy for their son Braxton had reached fruition. Joining them was a multidisciplinary team from the hospital and another special donor.
Braxton Naugle was seven years old when he suffered from a critical sepsis infection and lost his life in 2014. Although common, few people know about sepsis. Symptoms of the severe septic shock can be misleading. Although they may appear similar to the flu, symptoms can claim a life within hours. Braxton had a unique challenge in that he was Gram-negative. This means that he was resistant to antibiotics. Most people are Gram-positive and antibiotics can be administered successfully to control an infection.
In the Clinical Simulation Lab all eyes were on a new simulator child, named in honour of Braxton. NSHA Clinical Educator, Chanda MacDonald welcomed the group and explained the vital role of simulation training. “Braxton” will help health professionals gain invaluable hands-on experience for treating children.“Simulation-based education is an evolving field,” says Chanda, “it allows trainees to practice skills, expand knowledge, and build self-confidence in a safe and controlled environment with no risk to patients.” Simulated ‘real life’ scenarios play an important role in improving performance in resuscitation, such as sepsis events, in hospitals. These simulation exercises and mock codes can be extremely valuable in evaluating team dynamics and performance as well as increasing confidence and knowledge of the healthcare professionals as they train as part of a team.
Chanda expressed her gratitude on behalf of clinical education at the Aberdeen Hospital for the gift that Braxton’s family and Molly’s Rainbows generously donated. “Many opportunities for learning experiences for all disciplines will be available by their kindness for many years to come.”
Joining the Naugles, were staff from the Emergency Department, and Women and Children’s Unit. Through the initiative, the two departments will collaborate on regular simulation training. For this event, an emergency scenario was created to demonstrate the role Braxton would play in training.
Since the loss of their son, John and Jodi have been on a mission to create awareness about sepsis and to raise money. Their goal is to help prevent another family from experiencing a similar tragedy. They also wanted to recognize the efforts of emergency staff through an equipment donation. The Aberdeen Health Foundation, with advice from the departments involved, proposed the child simulator, which will be beneficial for practicing interventions on children relating to sepsis and a range of other scenarios.
As the project developed it was brought to the attention of Jodi MacIvor, a driving force behind Molly’s Rainbows. Jodi had also lost a child to tragedy and welcomed the opportunity to donate to the project. The simulator child and circumstances around the initiative were a perfect fit for her organization. Molly’s Rainbows Society celebrates the life of Molly MacIvor by raising money that benefits children and families in need. Molly passed away in 2004 at the age of 20 months, as the result of a motor vehicle accident.
Speaking on behalf of the Aberdeen Health Foundation, Executive Director Michelle Ferris expressed her appreciation to the Naugle family and Molly’s Rainbows. “This was an exceptional and emotional project for everyone involved. I’m so grateful that we are able to honour Braxton in a way that will have an important, long-term impact on staff education and the treatment of children.”
To find out more about sepsis visit: https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/sepsis.html
To learn more about Aberdeen Hospital’s Simulated Technology Lab visit: http://aberdeenhealthfoundation.ca/simlab/
Pictured above L-R: The Naugle Family, Chelsie, Jodi, John, Sean, Jessica, Jodi MacIvor of Molly’s Rainbows, and Carlene Hughes, Braxton’s grandmother. Missing from the photo are Braxton’s siblings Dustin, Braydon, and Bronzon.