DESOTO – You won’t see 7-year-old Madison Hasty of DeSoto without a bike helmet any time soon.
Hasty suffered a serious head injury after a fall from her bicycle August 13, 2013. While racing her little brother, Jack, Madison lost control and flipped her bike, landing on her shoulder and right temple area of her head. She was unconscious for 15 minutes and suffered severe head trauma, which led to a three-day stay at Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines.
"I fell down and I had to take the ambulance and was in the hospital for a few days – I was a little scared," Madison said. "A few days later I was out of the hospital and was glad to be out."
Madison’s mother, Christine, was following behind when she saw Madison’s bike flip over.
"I picked her up and carried her home," said Christine. "Looking at it now, I probably should not have, not knowing if she had a neck injury. That was my first reaction – to pick her up and bring her home."
Madison doesn’t remember much about the accident but vaguely recalls the ambulance ride from DeSoto to Des Moines.
"When I woke up the guys in the ambulance were trying to wake me up so I wouldn’t fall asleep again. But when they turned away I fell asleep – it was scary," said Madison.
Things took a turn for the worse when Madison arrived at Blank Children’s Hospital as her breathing became shallow and her heart rate started to drop. "They brought in another team of doctors because they thought she could be slipping into a coma," said Christine.
A CAT scan showed no internal bleeding but determining the severity of Madison’s head trauma was difficult. "With head trauma you don’t really know how bad it is until the victim recovers," said Christine. "That’s how they determine the severity. It was a waiting game for us." Madison stayed three days at Blank Children’s Hospital. During that time, doctors were performing various mental tests to determine if Madison was stable enough to be released. When Madison was first admitted she was vomiting every 10 minutes and doctors were not getting the results they wanted.
Two weeks after the accident, Madison was slowly integrated back into school with a few hours each day, but had bad reactions.
"She couldn’t concentrate, her emotions were out of whack," said Christine. "She’d go from happy to punching me."
Christine took six weeks off from work in order to help Madison readjust to everyday life. "The school was very cooperative with us," Christine said. "They sent a lot of stuff home for us to do. Sometimes we just sat in the house with the curtains shut with the lights off and no stimulation. Light, television, talking and reading are all stimulations. We had to be very careful with how much we were stimulating her. If we over stimulated her, she could digress and have brain bleed."
Just over five weeks after the accident, Madison was back in school full time at Adel Elementary.
"It feels better to be back on the same page with everybody," said Madison.
The soon-to-be second grader is turning her experience into a way to help others. Madison received 50 bicycle helmets from Blank Children’s Hospital and raised an additional $498 to purchase 50 more helmets. Madison will be giving away the 100 helmets for free at the DeSoto Little Bridge Park May 31 at 10 a.m.
"We went around talking to businesses," Madison said. "I was the one talking the most. We raised $498 just because I talked so well. After I got the hang of it, I wasn’t that nervous." The free event for all ages is sponsored by Blank Children’s Hospital and the City of DeSoto. Other area businesses that contributed to the cause are AHeinz 57, Right Turn Feed, All States Ag, B&B Leasing, Cleary Buildings, Ray Tech Measuring Systems Inc., and Moto-Cycle Parts Inc.
Madison learned a very important lesson after the accident and has simple advice to other children.
"Ride bikes with a helmet," added Madison.
Madison is the daughter of Christine and DeSoto Mayor Nick Hasty.