It’s a worst-case scenario no parent wants to see. Their child, bandaged and bruised, laying on a hospital bed, waiting for the doctor’s results. Thankfully, for Tomball High School parent Sharla Gist, this was all part of an act.
Emerus Community Hospital recently partnered with the Shattered Lives of Tomball program, an anti-drinking and driving campaign aimed at teaching high school students the impact of driving under the influence. Put on entirely by volunteers and donations, the program, which is in its 10th year, joins forces with local law, fire and police agencies to simulate a real-life accident scene including an ambulance ride to the hospital.
“The premise behind the program is that every 15 minutes, someone dies in an alcohol-related accident,” said Charles Rizzo, a member of the board of directors for the Shattered Lives program, “We strive to make the scenes as real as possible to show kids that every decision you make has a consequence, and sometimes things are irreversible.”
For Gist, seeing her high school senior in the emergency room at Emerus was enough to bring her to tears.
“It’s absolutely an eye opener,” said Gist, “What I hope my child and every other child takes away from this program is that bad decisions like drinking and driving can lead to leaving this world.”
The two-day program wraps up with an all-school assembly, where the final video production is shown.
“My whole experience with Shattered Lives today has been real,” said Lawanza Nelms, RN at Emerus Community Hospital. “I had a chance to speak to one of the girls who participated and she shared how she felt about seeing her mom there in our ER. That really touched me and made me proud to be a part of this whole experience.”
Emerus Community Hospital is slated to once again partner with the program later this spring.
“What we always hope to accomplish,” said Rizzo, “Is that if we have one kid out of the entire school who at some point makes a decision to seek an alternative means of transportation and make a good decision, then everything we do here is worth it.”
For more information on the program, visit ShatteredLives-Tomball.org or view the video below: