Children's Stories - Luke's Story

Luke Gribick 
In 2000, Cliff and Carol Gribick had the scare of their lives. Their son Luke, who was 12 at the time, was stepping out of the shower when Carol heard a loud thump coming from the bathroom. When she went to check on him he told her, “Mom, I’m afraid I’m dying.”
Moments later, his heart stopped. Carol, a self-described “old ER nurse” immediately began administering CPR on her youngest child while waiting for the paramedics to arrive. Even with this early intervention the several minutes Luke’s brain was deprived of oxygen caused severe damage.
Enter Greenville Health System Children’s Hospital. Luke was transported to the Pediatric Emergency Room at Greenville Memorial Hospital, where his mother says the high quality care he received set the stage for his long road to recovery.
“Children are not little adults and they shouldn’t be treated like little adults,” Carol explains. “At the Children’s Hospital, their expertise is children. When you have somebody that understands kids and what’s going on it makes the outcome a lot better.”
Luke was admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and spent the next three months as an inpatient in Children’s Hospital. Having lived in a major metropolitan area for many years, Carol admits to having some reservations about what kind of healthcare would be available in Greenville. Her experience with Greenville Hospital System pleasantly surprised her.
“We couldn’t have asked for anything better,” she says.
He was eventually transferred to Medical University of South Carolina to have a pacemaker and defibrillator implanted. After that it was time for Luke to start doing the work, and his parents chose Roger C. Peace Rehabilitation Hospital over another facility in Atlanta they were considering. The fact that the program was close to home was a big plus in terms of being less of a hardship on the rest of the family, but once Cliff and Carol met with the caring and dedicated staff at Roger C. Peace they were sold.
“It’s hard to trust strangers with the most precious package you have – your child,” Carol says. “We felt completely comfortable in turning the care of our child over to them.”
Today, Luke continues to make progress and serves as an inspiration and encouragement to folks nationwide. The 2009 high school graduate has helped raise over $23,000 for Children's Hospital, participated in the Children's Hospital Radiothon, volunteers for his local branch of the YMCA (where he has been nominated for Volunteer of the Year), and worked with his family to launch a website called site, built to encourage others, includes Luke's story from Children's Hospital Radiothon.

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