Turbeville resident Hal Whitlock kissed his 5-yr-old son, Evan, and his wife, Bea Bea goodbye and began preparing his photography equipment to film a wedding. Whitlock's wife and son were on their way to Columbia for the day.
Fifteen minutes later, Whitlock got a phone call that turned his world upside down. His family had been hit by a suspected drunk driver. The injuries were extremely serious. When Whitlock arrived at the scene, Evan was in the ambulance and Whitlock learned that a helicopter would transport his child to Palmetto Health Children's Hospital. "You don't expect to wake up one morning and be thrust into this world. It was our worst nightmare," remembers Whitlock.
Evan had suffered two brain bleeds and a traumatic brain injury. He would remain in a coma for about six weeks. "One day, Evan smiled for the first time and we had hope," says Bea Bea Whitlock. Evan had to re-learn how to talk, walk and even eat and drink. The Whitlocks are grateful for the care he received at Children's Hospital. "When you see somebody taking care of your child to the extent that the doctors, nurses, therapists, Child Life specialists and staff did, it changes you. It's a humbling experience," he says. "Dr. Mark McDonald, Dr. Greta Harper and Dr. Robert Hubbird are truly called to their profession."
Evan has been released from weekly therapy. He is an honor roll student and cherishes his sister, Hallie. The Whitlocks feel that they have been given their son twice. "Evan is on loan from God. We cherish each day now," says Whitlock.