Families, hospital staff honour Braxton Naugle’s legacy

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October 25 was an emotional day for the Naugle family as they gathered at the Clinical Simulation Lab at the Aberdeen Hospital. Their wish for a meaningful legacy for their son Braxton had reached fruition. Joining them was a multidisciplinary team from the hospital and another special donor.

Braxton Naugle was seven years old when he suffered from a critical sepsis infection and lost his life in 2014. Although common, few people know about sepsis. Symptoms of the severe septic shock can be misleading. Braxton had a unique challenge in that he was Gram-negative. This means that he was resistant to antibiotics.

In the Clinical Simulation Lab all eyes were on a new simulator child, named in honour of Braxton. NSHA Clinical Educator Chanda MacDonald explained the vital role of simulation training. “Braxton” will help healthcare professionals gain invaluable hands-on experience for treating children.

“Simulation-based education is an evolving field,” says MacDonald. “It allows trainees to practise skills, expand knowledge and build self-confidence in a safe and controlled environment with no risk to patients.”

Simulated ‘real life’ scenarios play an important role in improving performance in resuscitation, such as sepsis events, in hospitals. These simulation exercises and mock codes can be extremely valuable in evaluating team dynamics and performance as well as increasing confidence and knowledge of the healthcare professionals as they train as part of a team.

MacDonald expressed her gratitude on behalf of clinical education at the Aberdeen Hospital for the gift that Braxton’s family and Molly’s Rainbows donated. “Many opportunities for learning experiences for all disciplines will be available by their kindness for many years to come.”

Joining the Naugles were staff from the Emergency Department, and Women and Children’s Unit. Through the initiative, the two departments will collaborate on regular simulation training. For this event, an emergency scenario was created to demonstrate the role Braxton would play in training.

Since the loss of their son, John and Jodi have been on a mission to create awareness about sepsis and to raise money. Their goal is to help prevent another family from experiencing a similar tragedy. They also wanted to recognize the efforts of emergency staff through an equipment donation. The Aberdeen Health Foundation, proposed the child simulator, which will be beneficial for practising interventions on children relating to sepsis and a range of other scenarios.

As the project developed it was brought to the attention of Jodi MacIvor of Molly’s Rainbows. She had also lost a child to tragedy and welcomed the opportunity to donate to the project. The simulator child and circumstances around the initiative were a perfect fit for her organization. Molly’s Rainbows Society celebrates the life of Molly MacIvor by raising money that benefits children and families in need. Molly passed away in 2004 at the age of 20 months, as the result of a motor vehicle accident.

Aberdeen Health Foundation’s executive director Michelle Ferris expressed appreciation to the Naugle family and Molly’s Rainbows. “This was an exceptional and emotional project for everyone involved.”

To find out more about sepsis visit: https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/sepsis.html

To learn more about Aberdeen Hospital’s Simulated Technology Lab visit: http://aberdeenhealthfoundation.ca/simlab/

The Naugle family, from the left:, Chelsie, Jodi, John, Sean, Jessica, Jodi MacIvor of Molly’s Rainbows, and Carlene Hughes, Braxton’s grandmother. Missing from the photo are Braxton’s siblings Dustin, Braydon, and Bronzon. (Submitted photo)