Ever heard of the seat belt syndrome? Injuries to the spine, head, and abdomen arise in this specific syndrome when the seat belt is not worn and conveniently placed at your back. There have been so many injuries to children and a few adults in the past that the medical community has named this group of common injuries as the ‘Seat Belt Syndrome’.
This incredibly brave mom Shelly Martin, mother of 6-year-old beautiful Samantha Swartwout who is also suffering from this horrible syndrome has a message for the world. On September 17th, Samantha was riding in the backseat of her father’s car. Samantha wasn’t in her booster car seat and the shoulder belt was behind her back. Unfortunately, the car veered off the road and hit a tree which resulted in Samantha being severely injured. The collision resulted in the seat belt digging up into her abdomen, splitting it open and exposing her intestines along with a serious head trauma. Samantha remained in the ICU for two weeks following one more week in the pediatric floor before she could finally come home. Shelly recalling the scene describes the terrible state of her daughter as, “Her intestines were out on scene on the left side.”
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Even after three weeks in the hospital, Samantha needs another surgery to help her heal. According to Dr. Charles Bagwell (Samantha’s doctor) and the chair of pediatric surgery at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, the seat belt acted as a knife when the child was thrown forward with such enormous force when the car lost control. Had she been wearing a seat belt properly, Samantha would not have needed a surgery at all.
Shelly Martin after this terrifying accident sends out a message to parents all around the world, “It takes two seconds to put a booster seat in the car and to strap your child in.” She believes this will save somebody from what her daughter is going through. The concerned mother wants to raise as much awareness as she can regarding the issue to help save lives and bring some good out of this horrifying accident.