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Meet Johnathan - Phoebe Foundation CMN Feature


Meet Johnathan

It was a typical morning at the Sizemore house. Johnathan, 3 years old, was playing outside with his mother Kamala. Kamala walked to the edge of the driveway to take the trash out, and when she got to the backyard, she didn’t see Johnathan anywhere. Kamala saw their dog at the wood line at the back of their yard and figured Johnathan had wandered into the woods. Johnathan did this once before, so Kamala began calling his name and scanning the woods. No trace of him. Kamala began to run inside to check for him, and glanced past their pool and saw Johnathan’s sneakers floating on top of the water.

Kamala sprinted to the pool in a panic and scooped Johnathan out and immediately started performing CPR. With no neighbors close by and no cell phone on hand, Kamala knew she was her son’s only hope. Johnathan was not responsive as Kamala pumped a gallon of water and vomit from his lungs. After a few minutes of CPR, Kamala saw him take a small breath and picked him up to run him inside so she could call 911. She continued CPR as she frantically called 911 on speaker phone. Ten minutes later, the ambulance arrived and Johnathan and Kamala headed to the Phoebe Sumter Emergency Department.

When Johnathan arrived at Phoebe Sumter, time was of the essence. Johnathan scored 3 on the GLASGOW Coma Scale – the lowest and most severe score possible. Johnathan needed to be stabilized before he could be airlifted to Macon. Johnathan was quickly assessed and staff worked over the next few hours to secure his airways, stabilize him, and give him the medication he needed.

After Johnathan was stable enough to be transported, he was airlifted to Macon’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Johnathan was in a coma for three days, and it was the most terrifying and long days of Kamala’s life. Johnathan spent 2 weeks in Macon and was then transferred to Atlanta for intensive therapy to relearn the skills that he lost while he was in his coma. While Johnathan was in a coma, doctors worried about brain damage and whether Johnathan would be paralyzed. Kamala and her family and friends prayed relentlessly every day that Johnathan would be able to regain his abilities and be a normal three year old child again. Today, six months after the accident, Johnathan is progressing incredibly well and he is a happy child with minimal complications. Johnathan is continuing to fight and beat the odds considering how long he was without oxygen in the water. He is truly a walking miracle! Johnathan will continue follow up neurology appointments to make sure he is staying on track. 

In September 2016, Children’s Miracle Network at Phoebe helped provide Pediatric Emergency Room Equipment at Phoebe Sumter. This project provided life-like education, training, and simulators for all Emergency Department staff. This project also funded needed equipment such as a defibrillator, pediatric glide scope, Broselow tape system, and pediatric bair hugger blanket. This training and equipment was key to saving Johnathan’s life when he came in October 19, 2016 in critical condition after nearly drowning.

"I am forever grateful to the staff at Phoebe Sumter for their relentless action and dedication to Johnathan when he arrived at the emergency room. They were well trained and kept me calm so I could figure out how to be strong for Johnny." says Kamala. Kamala took Jonathan back to Phoebe Sumter three weeks after he got out of intensive therapy and he was able to meet the doctors and staff that took care of him that day. “I have never seen so many grown people cry at one time.” Kamala expressed (photo left). We are proud of the life-saving equipment that Children’s Miracle Network provides to help children like Jonathan!


For more information, call Phoebe Foundation at 229-312-4483 or toll-free at 877-312-4483. You can also email Phoebe Foundation at rbmiller@ppmh.org.