But on November 17, the Gaillets’ world crashed to a stop. Sixteen-year-old Robert was critically injured in a one-car accident on his way home from church. Robert was airlifted to the University of Mississippi ing,” Bethany Gaillet says. “I can’t say enough about Medical Center (UMMC) with life-threatening injuries, Mia and Mackenzie. Their hearts are just unreal. I actuincluding a traumatic brain injury that left him in a coma. ally heard about the pancake breakfast from Robert’s Robert remained at UMMC for 14 long weeks; his family nurses, who had seen a flyer and told me they were celebrated Robert’s 17th birthday in his hospital room. going to go. I took Caroline to the breakfast, and it Today, more than four months after the accident, Rob- meant so much to us to see the kind of character and ert remains in a coma-like state. hearts these students have. Within hours of the accident, the St. Andrew’s com- “You would not believe what people are doing for us,” munity mobilized to help the Gaillet family, providing Bethany continues as tears fill her eyes. “We are overdonations of money and food, help with transportation, whelmed with gratitude. I think Dan has been even more and a hotel room and eventually a fully-furnished house touched by this show of love and concern than I have closer to the hospital than the Gaillet’s own residence. because he has truly never experienced anything like this As the days and weeks passed and it became clear before. Dan’s family moved a lot, and growing up, he that Robert and his family would face many long, dif- didn’t have a strong sense of community. I grew up in ficult months ahead, efforts to assist the family have Jackson and attended St. Andrew’s, and while what has only increased. The majority of the fund-raising efforts been done for us is so tremendous and so overwhelmhave been led entirely by St. Andrew’s ing that I never would have expected it, “WE ARE OVERWHELMED students who know Robert Gaillet as I think it is so in keeping with the spirit WITH GRATITUDE. WHAT a cherished friend. Spearheaded by of our community.” HAS BEEN DONE FOR US seniors Mia Martinson and Macken Traumatic brain injury is a mystezie Ellis, St. Andrew’s students orga- IS SO TREMENDOUS AND rious condition, even for doctors who SO OVERWHELMING, THAT nized a pancake breakfast and a pay-tospecialize in its treatment. Robert’s eyes I NEVER WOULD HAVE dress-down day and designed and sold are open and he sometimes appears to t-shirts, with all proceeds going toward EXPECTED IT, [BUT] IT IS SO respond to familiar voices or favorite Robert’s medical care. Their efforts on IN KEEPING WITH THE SPIRIT songs, but he remains unable to comRobert’s behalf have raised more than municate. Doctors can’t give the GailOF OUR COMMUNITY.” $11,000. That total does not include the lets a definite prognosis; their only Bethany Shofner many donations made directly to the recommendation is to continue with Gaillet ’83 Gaillet family. rehabilitation efforts and “wait and see.” “St. Andrew’s students were very enthusiastic and While the Gaillet family has received an outpouring excited to have an opportunity to do something that of support, they, in turn, have touched the St. Andrew’s would help Robert,” Martinson says. “There were an community. In their conversations and in posts on Caring amazing number of students and faculty who gra- Bridge, a website they use to update friends about Robciously offered their time to work at the pancake break- ert’s condition, Bethany and Dan Gaillet have expressed fast. Mackenzie and I are both close friends with Robert not only their gratitude, but also their unwavering faith and I’ve been best friends with Elisabeth since we started in the face of tragedy. It’s a testimony they never wanted running cross country together five years ago. The Gail- to have, but the Gaillets have accepted it with faith, grace, lets are very important in both of our lives and anything and dignity that have inspired an entire community. we can do to help them is important to us.” In a recent Caring Bridge post, Bethany Gaillet wrote, The Gaillets have been moved by the outpouring of “[I] am constantly drawn to Isaiah 40:31, ‘Those who support from the St. Andrew’s community, and in par- wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall ticular, the support from Robert’s peers. mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not “What these students have done for Robert is amaz- be weary, they shall walk and not faint.’”
DONATIONS FOR ROBERT GAILLET ARE ACCEPTED AT ALL BANKPLUS LOCATIONS IN MISSISSIPPI. Robert’s account is set up under the Mississippi Uniform Transfers to Minors Act. To contribute, you will need the name on the account, as well as the last four digits of the account number. Checks should be made payable to: Robert W Gaillet, Daniel Gaillet custodian • Account name: Daniel Gaillet serving as custodian for Robert W Gaillet under the MUTMA • Account Number: ******7589 20
Published on May 22, 2014
Published on May 22, 2014
Archways is the flagship publication from St. Andrew's Episcopal School, an independent, coeducational, preparatory day school serving stude...