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Drew Barefield

Champion Pledges $1 Million Campaign for The Studer Family Children's Hospital at Sacred Heart

Champion (n): someone who fights or speaks publicly in support of a person, belief, cause, etc.

Some people are put on this earth for a bigger purpose. Drew Barefield is one of those people. In June 2014, while fishing and snorkeling with his father in Choctawhatchee Bay, 12-year old Drew of Crestview was struck by a boat traveling at high speeds. His father, Trey, carried him to shore and worked frantically to stop the large amount of blood flowing from the wounds that covered Drew’s body.

Drew was transported by Sacred Heart’s air ambulance to The Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart, your local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, and was immediately admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. His injuries were severe and numerous. He suffered multiple soft-tissue injuries, blunt trauma to both kidneys, a lacerated liver and diaphragm, infections caused by three different marine bacteria, pelvic and femur fractures and a huge gash on his leg with dying tissue that refused to heal. In 75 days, Drew endured 13 surgeries. Doctors, nurses and his family feared the worst.

As part of Ascension Health – the largest nonprofit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system – Sacred Heart obtained a piece of specialized equipment through a sister hospital which continuously infused solution into the wound. Without this alliance, this piece of life-saving equipment would not have been available. Within hours, Drew’s team began to see a difference, and hope sparked for his recovery.

Despite the severity of his injuries, Drew never questioned whether he’d walk or even run again. Drawing on his faith, he was determined to do both and push past any obstacles in his way. Doctors and nurses were impressed by Drew’s unwavering “can-do” attitude. “Our relationships with the staff were like nothing we’d ever seen before,” says Trey. “Everyone involved in his recovery treated him like he was their son in the bed. He wasn’t just another patient.”

Where most stories would have ended after rehabilitation, Drew’s is just beginning. The Sacred Heart Foundation is thrilled to announce Drew Barefield as the 2016-2017 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champion for the State of Florida. His remarkable medical story will be told on a national platform to raise awareness for local Children’s Hospitals. As Champion, Drew will serve as an ambassador for the 62 kids treated every minute within the 170 member Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Now 14 years old, Drew’s philanthropic heart and sincere gratitude will leave a legacy for the children and families in our communities for years to come. “It’s about paying it forward and raising money to be there for someone else’s child. People have poured into us and we are grateful,” says Trey. In addition to being the Florida Champion, Drew and his family has pledged to raise $1 million for The Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart.

It’s only together, that we make miracles happen! Join us in making miracles by donating today in honor of our Champion, Drew Barefield!