The last clear memory Bubba Layne has is of his knees hitting the ground during football conditioning drills in May 2010.
He only knows the rest – the ambulance ride, the emergency room, the next 10 days at Children’s – by what his mother, Etta Layne, has told him. She arrived at the football field five minutes after her son collapsed during conditioning drills in May.
“I work right around the corner; so, I got to the field right after it happened,” she said. “The ambulance was already there and techs were working on him. I could see his chest and that he couldn’t breathe. I asked the ambulance to take him to Children’s, because they had saved my daughter. She had a pulmonary embolism at age 13. I thought that Bubba had what his older sister had, and sure enough, I was right.”
A blood clot in his leg had traveled up his blood stream and plugged arteries in his lungs. Doctors said he was as close to death as you could get when he arrived at Children’s.
Bubba underwent emergency surgery to have the clot removed, but part of it broke off and moved to his heart. Because of a pre-existing hole in his heart, the clot then escaped to his brain and caused a stroke. Surgeons removed part of his skull to relieve pressure on his brain, but no one knew if he would ever be able to walk, speak or eat on his own again.
Little by little he showed signs of progress — first in his hands, then in his legs and, last, he regained the ability to speak. “When he said ‘momma’ for the first time, it was the best thing I had ever heard,” Etta said.
He amazed the staff at Children’s by walking on his own before he returned home. Two years later, he’s back to being a regular teenage boy.
“We thought we might lose him at Children’s,” Etta said. “And now he is in high school and about to get his driver’s license. Maybe not everyone would call that a ‘miracle,’ but this mother does.”
Etta said Mother’s Day has a new meaning to her now.
“I know how quickly being a mom can be taken away from you,” she said.
If you would like to make a mother like Etta feel special this Mother’s Day, please make a gift in her honor to Children’s through our gift catalog and send her a custom eCard notifying her of how the donation will make life better for children.