You Inspire The Best in Us.

With the many advances in care and treatments, today’s patients have more and more reasons to expect the best outcomes. Here are the incredible stories of our patients and their journeys. Click on a thumbnail and scroll down to view each story.

  • Saving Alex Griffin
  • Above & Beyond for Every Child
  • The Language of Compassion
  • Growing to Meet the Needs of Growing Families
  • Fulfilling a Need for
    Traumatized Victims
  • Coming Full Circle
  • Breaking the Cycle
  • It’s Time for Your Mammogram
  • Sweet Blessings
  • A Lifesaving Collaboration
  • Robotic Surgery Offers Numerous Benefits
  • A Miracle from God
  • Lawton’s Story, God’s Pen
  • A Top-Notch Delivery
  • A Rainbow after the Storm
  • Working as One to Save a Child’s Life
  • Living Life to the Fullest
  • Kawasaki’s Kryptonite: Timely Care Defeats A Frightening Disease
  • Indiana Burroughs
    Ready for Adventure

Saving Alex Griffin

By Jessica Wall

On April 13, 2023, six days after a tonsillectomy at another hospital, seven-year-old Alex Griffin woke his mom Brittany in the early morning hours to tell her he was bleeding.

Turning on her phone’s flashlight, Brittany was alarmed by the amount of blood covering her son’s body. With her husband Jimmy working out of the country, she quickly arranged for family to watch Alex’s siblings so she could get him to the nearest Emergency Department (ED), which happened to be McLeod Health Cheraw.

Upon their arrival, the entire care team – including physicians, nurses and respiratory therapists – immediately stepped into action.

Dr. Brian Snyder explains that since Alex was bleeding from his tonsil surgery site, treatment was three-fold: sedate Alex to secure his airway, transfuse blood to replace what he lost and pack the bleeding area to prepare him for transport to McLeod Regional Medical Center (MRMC) in Florence.

“We also used medicine to control the bleeding, but the direct pressure of packing the area was our best option,” explains Dr. Snyder.

“Approximately 90 minutes after Alex’s arrival, we ventilated him to control his breathing.”

Brittany was beside herself. “This medical emergency was the most frightening experience of my life. My husband was frantically trying to get a flight home, and I felt completely helpless. Alex kept calling out, ‘Mama,’ and it broke my heart.

“The staff were phenomenal. They comforted me and kept me updated with every step of his care. I know without a doubt they saved Alex’s life.”

Time was of the essence, so McLeod Air Reach was contacted to transport Alex.

With a crew involving a pilot, paramedic and flight nurse, they loaded Alex onto the aircraft and transported him to MRMC.

“That was the longest drive of my life,” recalls Brittany. “Thankfully, our family friend, Ray Kelsey, a Nursing Supervisor at McLeod, drove my brother-in-law, a paramedic, to the hospital to meet the transport team and stay with Alex until I could get to Florence.”

As soon as the aircraft landed, a second team stepped in to continue Alex’s care.

Ear, Nose & Throat Specialist Dr. David Rosi met Alex in the operating room to cauterize the scabs in the back of his throat to alleviate further bleeding and allow the wound to heal.

Alex was then admitted to the McLeod Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), where he remained on the ventilator for the next 48 hours while under the supervision of Pediatric Intensivist Dr. Carl Chelen and Registered Nurse Ryanne Hall.

At the end of the second day, Dr. Chelen and Ryanne extubated Alex. She recalls the first thing Alex did was ask for his grandmother.

After giving Alex a bath, Ryanne put him in a wheelchair and took him to the Child Life Activity Center, which features interactive, therapeutic activities for children of all ages.

With all the events that happened earlier that evening, Alex tired very easily, so he only looked around. However, the next day, he and Ryanne spent nearly the entire day in the fun space.

“I liked it a lot,” says Alex. “I found cool stuff in there I had never seen before.”

On the third day of Alex’s hospitalization, Dr. Rosi dropped by to evaluate Alex and determined he was ready to be discharged and return home.

During Alex’s hospital stay, he asked his mom several times about “his baby,” referring to his youngest sister. He hoped she had not forgotten her big brother in the few days they were apart.

Once Alex was at home, however, the script changed and he began to ask instead when he could see Ms. Ryanne, as he affectionately called her.

“Ryanne was the most amazing nurse we have ever encountered,” says Brittany. “They had a special bond, and she treated Alex like he was her own family member. We could not have asked for a better nurse.

“This entire experience was wonderful, despite the traumatic events happening. From the medical teams at both Cheraw and Florence, the care we received was nothing less than impeccable.”

Today, Alex has made a full recovery and enjoys playing soccer and T-ball as well as being with his sisters and friends at school.

“McLeod saved my son’s life, and I will always be incredibly thankful to everyone who was involved in his care.”