Skateboarding and the PICU

Jorden Tuthill is lucky to be alive.


Skateboarding without his helmet late one night last June, the then 15-year-old fell and hit his head. Although he seemed okay when he got up from the street, Jorden’s friends insisted on driving him to the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital Trauma Center.


By the time they arrived Jorden was drifting in and out of consciousness. A CT scan and x-rays revealed that he had suffered a life-threatening brain injury. He was rushed into surgery to stop the bleeding and remove a piece of his skull to allow his brain to swell without further injury.




The surgery went well and Jorden was admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Cottage Children’s Hospital. A few hours later, a second CT scan found more bleeding … requiring additional surgery.




The following day Jorden was slowly brought out of a medically-induced coma and taken off the respirator. To his parents’ and caregivers’ relief, he woke up alert and responsive. Nearly a year later, his recovery from this near-fatal injury is progressing well.


“We are so fortunate to have Cottage Hospital here in our community,” says Jorden’s mother, Susan Tuthill. “Until you are faced with an emergency like this, you just don’t realize what it means to have this level of medical expertise in our community.”


Jorden’s story might have had a different outcome if it weren’t for the medical team at Cottage Children’s Hospital and generous people such as you. Without community support, such specialized pediatric medical services might not be available to all Central Coast children.


As part of the larger not-for-profit Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Cottage Children’s Hospital serves young people from throughout the Central Coast. I am writing to you today on behalf of all of the children we serve to ask for your support.


Cottage Children’s Hospital is a regional referral center for the medical needs of infants, toddlers, children and teens in the tri-county area (Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties), the greater Los Angeles area, and the inland region of California, and has earned a reputation for excellence, drawing some of the nation's top pediatric specialists.


The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit where Jorden’s life was saved and the inpatient pediatric hematology/oncology center are the only programs of their kind between Los Angeles and the Bay Area.  Along with the dedicated inpatient pediatric unit and Level III neonatal intensive care unit, these programs and the team of trained pediatric specialists who staff them are made possible, in part, by your donations.


In these challenging economic times, community support for these programs is more important than ever. Government and insurance company reimbursements often fall short of covering the cost of such specialized medical services, and increasing numbers of families are facing financial hardships.


Your tax-deductible gift is also very important right now because we are in the process of rebuilding Cottage Children’s Hospital. When construction is completed in 2015, all of our children’s services will be housed on the top floor of the new Cottage Hospital, and will be supported with the state-of-the-art equipment and technology needed to provide outstanding pediatric care.




Cottage Children's Hospital
Children's Miracle Network

P.O. Box 689
Santa Barbara, CA 93102-0689


Thank you for caring!