I wrote “From Cornflakes to Eternity” for several reasons. The idea has been brewing in my muddled mind for several years now. I first mentioned to my family I might try my hand at writing. I said to my family – I think I’ll write a book. That elicited some half-hearted nods from my children and my husband and they promptly went back to whatever it was they were doing.
At the time I was considering starting a book, I was working in Pediatric Surgery, and part of our duties entailed taking care of victims of trauma, both accidental and non-accidental. This part of the job is mentally exhausting because being involved with pediatric trauma victims and their families is emotionally taxing. Anyone that works with children will say they never, ever forget the trauma victims. The faces of these children will play like a slide-show in your mind, popping up when you least expect it. I needed to put those faces somewhere safe, and that is how the characters in “From Cornflakes to Eternity” were born. Allie, Jose, Ian and Vicky are really a conglomeration of children I have had the privilege and honor of working with over the years.
Another reason for writing “From Cornflakes to Eternity” was my need to raise awareness regarding some of the more frightening and increasingly prevalent traumas Pediatric Emergency Rooms are treating across the United States. I chose esophageal trauma from the ingestion of disc batteries, dog-attacks, child abuse and children being backed over in their own driveway accidentally by a family member, or friend of the family. All of these traumas are heart-breaking and can have devastating outcomes for the children and their caregivers. Below are some statistics of each of these traumas.
- According the National Capital Poison Center website, in 2013 there were approximately 3400 button battery ingestion, with the majority of the ingestions occurring in children under the age of 6 years. It is said that significant damage can be occur to the esophagus within hours of ingestion.
- The CDC states there were 4.5 million dog attacks last year, and half of these were children. Of the fatalities that resulted from dog attacks, the majority of deaths were children.
- The Kids and Cars website states there are 50 children per week that are backed over in their own driveways by people they know. Out of these 50 back-overs accidents, two of them will result in a fatality. (every week).
- The Child-Help.org website states that over 3 million children a year are abused, and approximately 4 to 5 children per day die from the trauma inflicted through abuse. Of these fatalities, at least 80% of them included at least one parent as a perpetrator.
These are some really bleak statistics. As parents and caregivers, we have to do everything we can to protect our children, attend to their needs and protect them. Hence, my reason for including these specific types of traumas in “From Cornflakes to Eternity” in hopes of increasing awareness.
For more statistics, the following are informative websites: http://www.poison.org/battery/
Please contact me if you have additional websites that might be helpful, comments or personal stories. Remember it is all about raising awareness.