Each year, Chattanooga Ronald McDonald House Charities provides “a home away from home” for nearly 600 families from the Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama areas and beyond. Gregg and Shannon Cofield were among the families to take refuge at the Chattanooga Ronald McDonald House in 2012 after their six-year-old daughter, Greer, was seriously injured while caring for her horse in an unexpected accident at the family stable.
When Greer Cofield was struck unexpectedly in the face by her horse, parents, Gregg and Shannon dropped everything and immediately rushed from the scene of the accident in Cartersville, Ga., to be by their daughter’s side when she regained consciousness at the hospital. Due to the severity of her injuries, Greer was airlifted from the stable directly to Children’s Hospital at Erlanger in Chattanooga where she received intensive care for her injuries, which included numerous facial and cranial fractures, large lacerations to the face, frontal lobe damage and bleeding in the brain.
The Cofields arrived at the Chattanooga Ronald McDonald House shaken, exhausted and still covered in the dirt and blood of the traumatic accident. “Just to get out of the hospital for a little while-- everything was such an emotional roller coaster that you can only spend so much time in that little waiting room or in the room,” said Ms. Cofield.
Greer was released only 10 days after she sustained her injuries and was able to return home to an intensive regimen of speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy. However, after being evaluated by her doctors just one week later, Greer was discharged and only required to attend physical therapy. Just three months after the accident, Greer returned to school full-time and is back to riding horses once again.
The Cofields will be one of several families featured during a live telecast on WTVC, News Channel 9. The Telethon will air on Saturday, March 2, from 7-11 p.m. The annual Telethon highlights Ronald McDonald House Charities programs and supporters contributions in 2012 in addition to former families and a host of local volunteers.