Every volunteer has personal reasons for sharing his or her hands and hearts with RMHCNA. For volunteer Robbie Kreger-Smith, his reasons are tied directly to RMHCNA’s mission and the gift of his life. Like many RMHCNA House Heroes, he owes his life to Edmonton’s excellence in pediatric care.
On Mother’s Day 1997, at 14 years old, Robbie lost his balance dismounting from a friend’s trampoline. He landed hard with his elbow impacting his side, knocking the wind out of him. Robbie and his parents believed he had minor bruising on his ribs. That night he passed out in the hallway on his way to the bathroom. A trip to the doctor the next day was inconclusive, but doctors thought that Robbie had internal bruising.
When Robbie passed out a second time that afternoon, his parents realized that there was a larger injury present. Tests at Robbie’s hometown hospital in Edson, Alberta, showed an internal bleed and Robbie was transferred to the Stollery Children’s Hospital. He was admitted, unable to walk or stand. About a day later, Robbie’s urine was red and doctors feared that blood in Robbie’s urine meant that his bladder had ruptured.
Robbie’s nurse asked his mom whether he had had anything red to drink. In fact, the radioactive dye that Robbie had been given for his CT had been red, explaining the colour of his urine. Robbie was diagnosed with a ruptured spleen. Through surgery and many blood transfusions, part of Robbie’s spleen was saved.
Today Robbie is healthy and living a full life that includes a huge amount of engagement and impact as an RMHCNA supporter. He serves on the Red Shoe Society helping to lead and execute fundraisers for the House. In his corporate life as an Operations Supervisor for LCW Holdings, he spreads awareness of RMHCNA’s mission as a Brand Ambassador. He also participates in many House events and fundraisers, including the upcoming Run for RMHCNA in Cold Lake.
Sadly Robbie’s family did not know about RMHCNA at the time of his accident. He watched his parents take turns at his bedside in the hospital so that his two younger brothers were cared for at home. He saw the family separation, stress and financial strain that his parents journeyed through during his three week hospital stay. And he vividly remembers the isolation of his hospital room.
He knows how different his family’s journey could have been if they had known about RMHCNA. Robbie’s heart is fueled by a desire to make sure that other families like his know about the House.
Robbie challenges you to volunteer at RMHCNA where you get to see and feel the impact of your time, and to donate blood.