Teenager fighting for his life after Hurricane Florence

By: Katelin Gandee - Staff writer

LAURINBURG — The death toll has risen above 30 from Hurricane Florence’s high winds and record-setting rain, and Scotland County has contributed to that number.

According to Emergency Management Director Roylin Hammond, there have been two deaths and two injuries from the storm, but no further information is being released.

However, one family has taken to Facebook to speak on the fight their son has been fighting and how the community has rallied around them.

Jadon Olsen, a 17-year-old Scotland Christian Academy senior, has been fighting for his life since Friday. Jadon and his father Billy, a pastor at St. Luke United Methodist Church, were clearing storm debris to enable safe passage for other cars on the road when a tree limb fell on them.

The two were transported to Scotland Memorial Hospital where Billy ended up getting 12 staples in his head from the injury while Jadon suffered a brain bleed. Because of the storm Jadon had to wait to be transported to another facility, but the family says they are indebted to the ER doctor.

“The initial ER doctor at Scotland Memorial Hospital is to lauded as a hero,” said Jadon’s mother Elaine Olsen. “He took great care of our son and kept him alive, tenaciously fighting for a chance to get Jadon where he needed to be. I don’t remember his name, but we are indebted to SMH for their care of our son.”

Jadon eventually was transported to Carolina’s Medical Center in Charlotte where he underwent a three-hour surgery to stop bleeding and relieve pressure on his brain. Currently, he is in critical condition but is stable at the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Levine Children’s Hospital.

On Sunday the Olsen Family released a statement via Facebook stating that his prognosis is unclear — but would have a better understanding of it within 48 to 72 hours.

“Jadon has been preparing for this fight from his earliest days,” the statement read.”His growing love and trust in God is now fully on display as he takes these next steps in his faith journey. From our perspective, Jadon has already been on the receiving end of a number of miracles. First, when the odds seemed completely stacked against him, he was able to make it through the driving rains and winds of Hurricane Florence all the way from Laurinburg to Charlotte. We owe an extraordinary debt of gratitude to the dedicated folks from Carolinas Medical Center who delivered him safe and sound to their physicians.

“The second miracle was Jadon pulling through after nearly three hours of surgery to stop the internal bleeding and relieve the pressure that had been building on his brain,” the statement read. “The third miracle that he and we all have received is the incredible, unspeakable outpouring of love, support and prayers from literally across the globe. We truly cannot put into words what that has meant to us in the most trying of times. God has sent Jadon some special angels to watch over him these last couple of days, and we pray that you will have those same angels watching over you as we all weather this storm.”

On Monday a 24-hour EEG scan had been completed and doctors determined there was no seizure activity in Jadon’s brain and he has begun demonstrating mobility in three of his limbs. He also opened his eyes and squeezed his mother’s hand. A fever after the surgery has stabilized and his vitals were continuing to remain stable throughout the day.

On Tuesday the breathing tube was scheduled to come out in the afternoon as well as the catheter. The family is asking for prayers as Jaden continues his fight.

The family has begun a hashtag and a Go Fund Me page to help pay for the medical bills under #joinjadonsfight.

To get an update on Jadon’s status his mother has been keeping the public up to date and can be found at http://www.facebook.com/elaine.k.olsen and to donate to the Go Fund Me can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/joinjadonsfight.


Katelin Gandee

Staff writer

Reach Katelin Gandee at 910-506-3171 or at [email protected]

Reach Katelin Gandee at 910-506-3171 or at [email protected]