Shawn Perdon, 18, is a hit-and-run accident victim of a drunk driver. His accident occurred on February 25, 2003. Left for dead at the roadside in the snow, Shawn was found by a truck driver who notified authorities and then Shawn was life-flighted to a nearby hospital.
The trauma specialists did not believe Shawn would survive, so he was given his last rites. But Shawn survived the critical initial hours of his severe brain and facial trauma. He then as put in a drug-induced coma to minimize brain swelling for a month. This in-patient care was followed by a month-long stay at a rehabilitation center where Shawn was taught to speak and walk again. The left side of his face crushed, Shawn lost sight in his left eye, is weak on his right side, and has some short-term memory loss. The driver who hit Shawn was caught and sentenced to 30 days in jail. . . .
After an 18-month recovery, Shawn resumed high school as a senior this Fall in his hometown of Stroudsburg, PA. His mother, Carole, has been continually devoted to his care and recovery. Despite having employment and medical insurance, Carole was forced to declare bankruptcy and seek help from Face the Challenge when the insurance provider refused to cover additional surgery, classifying Shawn's needs as "cosmetic".
Shawn's and Carole's plight caught my attention when Carole sent me an e-mail via our website, www.facethechallenge.org, to plead for help. It came on July 16, 2004, one day before Shawn's 18th birthday, and two days before our son's (Scott's) 18th birthday. Denied any further insurance coverage for Shawn's huge needs, Carole had tried for a year to get help from anyone who'd advocate for her. She even sought contact with Oprah Winfrey and Maury Povich, but was met with silence in all of her efforts.
Well, we united as motherly instincts were powerfully evoked for a common purpose: to help Shawn, a son. As I began to explore the possibility of helping Shawn, I, the "President of Face the Challenge", but most especially--wife and mother of three--asked if my husband, Randy, would be willing to help. He readily agreed. The doors of opportunity opened easily with my "lightest touches". Many Denver-area people recognized the injustices and needs and stepped up to help the Perdons. I arranged for them to arrive and handed the baton to Randy, his surgical staff, and others who offered to help when the Perdons arrived. Wow! It happened. . . .
Shawn's shirt in the picture states, "You laugh because I'm different. I laugh because you're all the same." Humor helps Shawn cope. I took this picture at Grandview High School the day before Shawn's 8 1/2-hour reconstructive facial surgery. It was performed gratis by Randy, with anesthesia administered by Face the Challenge anesthesiologist, Bruce Lowry, MD, of Parker, CO.
Now that Shawn's surgery is past--different and/or the same--we can all just plain laugh and collectively sigh parental sighs of relief. May God continue to bless the works of all of your hands that you've extended to Him in prayer and to others in need like the Perdons.