Like normal boys, they were having fun on their bikes # jumping ramps and goofing around. But on August 11, 1999, as 8-year-old Snellville resident Cody Davis sailed over one jump, he wrecked when his handbrake hit him in the abdomen.
Jane Davis received the phone call at work. #Cody had an accident. There doesn#t seem to be anything wrong # no cuts or bruises # but I don#t think he#s all right. Do you want to meet us at the doctor#s office?#
En route to the doctor, Jane#s phone rang. #They couldn#t get a blood pressure reading, so they called 911, and they#re going to airlift him to Children#s Healthcare of Atlanta.# Jane changed her course and headed for Children#s.
Cody arrived minutes after Jane reached the hospital. Doctors diagnosed him with internal bleeding and did a CAT Scan to determine the cause. They discovered his liver had been cut in half.
Rushed into surgery, he was there for almost an hour. When he came out, the doctor told the family the next 24 hours were very critical, and that Cody would probably be in intensive care for two weeks and in the hospital for a month or longer. Two days later he was out of intensive care, and a week after coming in, he went home.
#We were very thankful for Children#s. The nurses took such good care of him. They were excellent about checking up on him, making sure we knew where to go, getting him involved in any activities and being attentive to his individual needs. Drew, Cody#s dad, was really impressed with their state-of-the-art equipment and the hospital#s use of technology,# said Jane.
Today, Cody has two karate black belts, plays the guitar in his church#s band and goes about life like any other 13-year old. The only testimony to his ordeal is a small scar on his stomach and his eagerness to tell others about what Children#s did for him.
Countless other success stories like Cody#s exist, thanks to Children#s excellent pediatric services and the benevolent donors that make the facility possible. Every year, Children#s receives funds from many sources, including the BellSouth Classic golf tournament, one of the largest fundraisers for the hospital. Last year#s tournament raised a total of $757,313 in charitable monies and donated $500,000 of that to the event#s primary charity # Children#s.
Held annually at the Sugarloaf County Club in Duluth and this year from March 29 through April 4, the Bellsouth Classic golf tournament draws an estimated 130,000 spectators to Gwinnett each year and in 2003 awarded a $4 million prize purse.
Since the tournament first partnered with a title sponsor in 1981, proceeds exceeding $11 million have helped Children#s purchase an upgraded CAT Scanner (which helped diagnose Cody#s torn liver), child protection equipment and operating room equipment, along with many other additions to the hospital.
The tournament designates funds each year for a specific purpose at Children#s. This year#s tournament proceeds will go toward expanding some of Children#s facilities, which may include increasing the number of beds, consolidating patient care areas, building larger, state-of-the-art operating rooms and much more.
"As a non-profit organization, Children”s relies heavily on the generosity of the community, both corporate and individuals, to care for Atlanta”s growing pediatric population," said Scott Hodoval, vice president of development for Children#s. "Proceeds from the annual BellSouth Classic fund important programs, life-saving equipment and facility expansion plans which are vital to our ability to provide the best possible care for the children we see."
But for those involved, it isn#t just about donating money. Visiting golfers make it a point to get out in the community and see what a difference the tournament#s donations make to Children#s. Each year, they make an annual trip to Children#s for Golf in the