When Raylee Pannell decided to go play in her cousin’s backyard last September, she didn’t walk, she ran. Like most happy and healthy eight-year-olds, getting hurt was the last thing on her mind.
When her momentum crashed her left arm through the glass of the door, she immediately yanked her injured arm back through the glass. The shattered pane cut between the bones of her arm, piercing both sides, severing all the arteries, tendons and muscles of her slim forearm. Blood gushed from her arm, and within moments Raylee’s massive blood loss caused her to lose consciousness.
Her older brother Ryan was horrified, and his terror can clearly be heard in the 911 call to San Saba emergency personnel.
When first responders arrived, the immediate decision was to get Raylee to Scott & White where plastic vascular surgeon Dr. Raman Mahabir’s first examination confirmed the grim injuries. “Her normally nice, pink hand was white. And, the normal curves of the resting fingers were completely absent. Her hand was totally outstretched, a sign that all the structures of her arm had been cut.”
As her parents prayed for God’s guidance for the surgical team, Dr. Mahabir fought to reconnect and rebuild arteries, tendons and muscles in Raylee’s devastated arm. Ten and a half hours later, he knew she had a chance.
Over the last six months, Raylee has courageously faced a rigorous regimen of daily physical therapy as she healed. The trauma of her injury gave her many sleepless nights, but her recovery was made easier by her new companion, a black and tan dachshund named Money.
Today, Raylee plays basketball and softball, she rides her bike with two hands and she can feel all her fingertips. With 90 percent of normal functioning returned to her right hand, Raylee is a very grateful young lady. She is thankful for her doctors, her family and her friends and she wants to thank “all the people I maybe even don’t know who supported me” through the Children’s Miracle Network.