Lawrenceburg Now

Friday, May 27, 2011

Tearful Reunion For Air Evac Lifeteam Crew Member And Young Patient

A reunion between a young patient and her air medical provider resulted in both smiles and tears Wednesday, June 18 at Oak Grove Elementary in Lewisburg, Tenn.

Six-year-old Jacy Hinds of Lewisburg, along with her kindergarten class at Oak Grove and her family, was visited by the Air Evac Lifeteam crew that flew Jacy by air ambulance helicopter last summer following a fall that resulted in a traumatic brain injury.

Jerome Lovelady, Base Clinical Lead for the Air Evac Lifeteam crew based in Lewisburg, was the paramedic on Jacy’s medical flight and was present at the reunion at Oak Grove Elementary. He admitted he “cried like a baby” when he saw Jacy for the first time since her flight on July 10, 2010.

Not lost on Lovelady is the fact that in a span of 10 months, Jacy Hinds has gone from fighting for her life to a graduate in the Oak Grove Kindergarten Class of 2011.

“Because she was so young, we were definitely on edge during her flight, but everything went really well,” said Lovelady, who along with pilot Paul Smith and flight nurse Lisa Hollenbeck transported Jacy to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville. “It was just so great to see her, and to see her doing well.”

Jacy’s parents, Jason and Brandy, recalled the accident that has forever changed their lives. “Brandy found Jacy laying on the garage floor crying.  She said she had fallen off the computer chair and had hit her head on the concrete”. 

“Our first thought was a concussion. But, when she just laid there and said she wanted to go to sleep, we immediately rushed her to Marshall Medical Center in Lewisburg.”

An initial CAT scan revealed inter-cranial bleeding, and Air Evac Lifeteam was called to transport Jacy to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.

After an uneventful flight, Jacy soon underwent surgeries to remove the left and right bone flaps of her skull to reduce pressure from the swelling in her brain. “She is definitely a fighter, and she pulled though,” said Brandy, who admitted the family was overwhelmed by Jacy’s medical crisis.

The journey for Jacy and the Hinds family, however, was just beginning.

On July 27, Jacy was transferred for rehabilitation to the Children’s Health Care of Atlanta – Scottish Rite facility for physical, occupational and speech therapy.

There, Jacy received the care she needed to rebuild her muscle and speech memory, organizational skills, concentration levels, and motor functions. “There were a lot of ups and downs,” admitted Brandy. “But, Jacy is a very determined little girl, and once she makes her mind up to do something, there’s nothing that stops her.”

After five long months, three of which the Hinds family lived apart to accommodate Jacy’s move to Atlanta, Jacy was finally able to return home to Lewisburg on December 17, just in time for Christmas.

Today, Jacy is described as a “typical, lively six-year-old” by her parents, and despite some lingering complications on her right said, she continues to improve on a daily basis.

“What has really helped her is being with the other kids at school,” said Brandy. “The teachers have even noticed remarkable improvements since she started in January.”

Jacy was just as excited as her classmates to see the Air Evac Lifeteam helicopter Wednesday, and the crew was equally excited to see her. “Seeing Jacy run around just makes it all worth it,” said Lovelady. “It’s very rewarding to see the direct result from a flight. If you can just affect one person, it makes it all worth it.”

The Hinds’ are all members of Air Evac Lifeteam now, Brandy said. “We weren’t members at the time of Jacy’s accident, and we often talked about getting memberships but just never did,” she said. “But now we’re all members, along with my parents, my sister and my nephew.”

Air Evac Lifeteam was one of the first air ambulance services in the country to offer a membership program. Members pay an annual fee and, if they are flown by Air Evac, they do not have to pay for the flight.

Memberships are valid throughout Air Evac Lifeteam service areas, so members are covered while traveling through Air Evac Lifeteam service areas. Annual memberships are $50 for an individual, $55 for a couple and $60 for a household or three or more.

For more information about the Air Evac Lifeteam membership program, contact David Copeland at 931-637-5304. For more information about Air Evac Lifeteam services or employment opportunities, call 1-800-793-0010 or visit

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