It doesn’t get much more Idaho than Brinley Oldham.
Brinley, 9, is a scrappy, kind, energetic kid with big brown eyes, a sunny smile – and a heckuva survival story.
She was out branding with her family on their ranch near Hammett in April, 2019, when one of the cattle trampled her.
She was transported by air ambulance with life-threatening injuries: collapsed lungs, a lacerated spleen and broken ribs.
In some key respects, Brinley was lucky; St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital had opened its trauma unit only two weeks prior.
After a year of therapy and specialist visits, she has made a full recovery, and in February she was named Idaho’s 2020 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champion.
“She’s the spunkiest, most kind-hearted gal you’ll ever meet,” her father, Spencer Oldham, said. “When I was out being a cowboy, she always kept me in check, even as a little baby girl.”
Jessica Oldham, Brinley’s stepmom, said that if the St. Luke’s Trauma Unit hadn’t existed when the accident happened, the likelihood of having Brinley here today would be slim to none.
“Watching the doctors, nurses and all of the staff at St. Luke’s Children’s communicate and work together to make sure Brinley would live through this was indescribable – it was absolutely beautiful, and we felt so safe and heard while we were there,” Jessica Oldham said.
Brinley was “crowned” champion at the recent Boise State Dance Marathon, joining other “Miracle Kids,” past “Champions” and Boise State students taking part in the popular annual fund-raising event. Brinley is excited and ready to represent Idaho and the kids being treated at St. Luke’s Children’s.
Being a Children’s Miracle Network Champion means that Brinley will be an ambassador for St. Luke’s Children’s this year and will visit with participating partners, including Costco, Walmart, Ace and Panda Express. Here she comes!
Elizabeth Mabbutt is the coordinator of special events at St. Luke’s Health Foundation.