Meredith's Story

Meredith Cross photo 2012 small

Life-threatening injuries are the #1 killer of children in America. It can happen anywhere, at any time, to any child. Almost 10,000 children die every year from traumatic injuries — more than pediatric cancer, birth defects and all other causes combined!

Many people think “accidents happen,” but there are ways to make an impact and save the lives of children. While many great organizations are helping prevent injuries, the Childress Institute is focused on funding research and medical education throughout the U.S. to improve the medical treatment these children receive, as well as raising public awareness about pediatric trauma.

The Cross family learned how important it is to have appropriately trained first responders and a Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center to provide care. Their 15-year-old daughter, Meredith, was riding her horse when she fell off, hitting the back of her head on a concrete pad. She sustained a life-threatening head injury that required air transportation, CT scans and care from pediatric neurosurgeons. Meredith’s care included multiple procedures and surgeries by highly skilled pediatric specialists that were available at the Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center at Wake Forest Baptist Health – Brenner Children’s Hospital.

The Childress Institute helped Wake Forest Baptist achieve that Level 1 status from the American College of Surgeons by pushing for improved pediatric trauma care and providing funding for research and education, including the only pediatric-specific, EMS-focused trauma course available in North Carolina. Because of the expert care she received, Meredith is back at school, playing in the marching band and almost fully recovered.

The Childress Institute’s mission is to save the lives of critically injured children throughout America. But we can’t do it alone. We need you. Our children need you. With your help we can change the outcome from devastation to hope for many children and their families, and help ensure a happy ending to their story — just like Meredith’s.