We all have days that we will remember for the rest of our lives. Most of them are good, but unfortunately some of them are really difficult. March 3, 2020 is one of those days for our family.
That was the day a tornado swept through our Cookeville neighborhood and completely destroyed our home. More than that, the tornado severely injured our almost-2-year-old, Harper. Her traumatic brain injury brought us from our local hospital in Cookeville to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, where we spent the hardest weeks we’ve ever had to face as a family.
Our family will remember March 3rd for the rest of our lives. But we will also remember March 4th, Harper’s second birthday. When we woke up that morning, the Children’s Hospital PICU staff had decorated Harper’s room with everything Frozen. On one of our hardest days, they had taken the time to make sure our girl was celebrated in a special way. There were a lot of questions about Harper’s recovery, but from that moment on we would never question whether or not Harper would get the best care possible to give her the best chance for a full recovery. We knew we were in good hands.
One doctor told us, “Harper will see a lot of physicians, but there is only one Great Physician.” God healed our little girl, and He used a staff of surgeons, doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, cleaning staff and so many more to get her there. Harper was at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital for six weeks. During that time, they loved and cared for our girl more than we could have ever imagined. They took care of all of us starting on the worst day of our lives.
It has been over a year and a half from that day, and Harper is thriving. She is 3 1/2 years old and loving life. She loves going to school, dressing up her dolls, running, singing, playing with her brother, and she still loves Frozen. We will never forget the love and care that Harper received at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. They fought hard to see Harper recover, and they are fighting hard every day for kids that should never have to darken the doors of a hospital. It has become our honor to think of the hospital staff as our family and part of our story. You can help children like our little Harper by making a donation to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. There are hundreds of children there now, and many more will continue to need their help in the years to come. These children and their families are experiencing some of the worst days of their lives, and we are all blessed to have a place like Children’s Hospital to show us there is hope for a brighter tomorrow.
Chad & Jill Mynatt
Hear more of Harper’s story. Go to etch.com/seasonofgiving to watch Part 1 of the family’s interview: Harper Mynatt's Amazing Story of Survival.