Richie Racoon Swimming
Shakina Clyburn and Justin Chambers

Clyburn and ChambersIn February 2003, Yvonne Hodge got the news every parent fears. "A neighbor told us there had been a terrible wreck. I started hollering and crying. I just knew it was them."

It took 45 minutes to extricate her son, Justin Chambers, from the wreckage. He was taken immediately to a hospital in Florence. Her daughter, Shakina Clyburn, was pulled out next. Shakina was airlifted to Palmetto Health Richland's Level I trauma center. Their grandmother was dead at the scene.

Both children went straight to surgery. Justin, who had been riding in the front seat with his seatbelt on, sustained a broken leg, arm and ribs as well as a lung contusion. He was on life support for two days. After initial treatment, he was transferred to Palmetto Health Children's Hospital.

Shakina was wearing a seatbelt, but suffered serious injuries. Her skull was fractured in five places. Her femur bone was shattered into 15 pieces. A massive blood clot caused her to lose her vision in her left eye. She was in a coma for four days.

Both children required multiple surgeries and intensive rehabilitation over the next several months. "The pediatric intensive care team was amazing and they worked together to perform miracles. Dr. Locke and Dr. Amarnath are like family to us now," says Hodge. "No one cares for children like Children's Hospital."

"Children's Hospital saves lives every day," says pediatric orthopaedic surgeon Mark Locke, M.D. "Shakina and Justin are two children who would have died from their injuries if it hadn't been for the existence of a hospital with Children's Hospital's resources, capabilities and medical team working together to provide the level of care they required."

Today, Justin plays three sports and Shakina graduated, with honors, from Buford High School in Lancaster. She has her driver's license and plans to attend Greenville Technical College to become an occupational therapist.