In a pre-operation room at Children’s Mercy Hospital, teenager Lage Grigsby and his mom are fussing about socks.
The socks are hospital-issued. Gray, with bumpy rubber on the bottom so patients don’t slip on the floor.
Lage doesn’t want to wear them, or at least he’s acting like he doesn’t. Jessica Grigsby bends down to put them on. Lage resists. They laugh. And the game goes on for a few moments until the boy gives in.
Outside, in a bright hallway, a gurney waits to take him into surgery.
For the next few hours a surgical team will piece together the teen’s skull, which fractured in two places when an EF-5 tornado cut through Joplin on May 22. Since that night, Lage, 14, has carried two sections of skull in his abdomen, stashed there by a Joplin neurosurgeon to keep the bone alive. The doctor also removed a 4-inch sliver of the teen’s damaged brain.
Monday, July 11, 2011
KC Star: Young Joplin tornado survivors face a long recovery
The Kansas City Star features an examination of the physical problems young survivors of the May 22 Joplin Tornado face: