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Updated Oct 1, 2010 - 3:04 pm

PCH doctors save Peoria teen after quad crash

PEORIA, Ariz. -- A West Valley teen credits doctors at Phoenix Children's Hospital with saving his life after a terrible accident.

Riding quads, watching others race is a hobby for the Schlinks' family.

Last March 13, they woke up looking forward to a day like most others. But, "it was not anywhere close to regular," says Meghan Schlink.

She couldn't believe that her 14-year-old son, Alex, almost died in a freak accident.

"He's a great quad rider, he has a lot of experience," she said. "He's very smart."

But, he crashed. After the accident, Alex looked perfectly fine on the outside -- no bruises, no scratches, no scars. But, X-rays showed one of his kidneys was almost split in two.

Alex remembers the crash: "I was out with my dad and all the other guys. Something just went wrong, kicked my back tires up and I thought, if I don't jump off, this quad's going to crush me."

As he hit the ground, Alex said his elbow and chest protector went into his side, causing unbearable pain. He couldn't walk, he had no feeling in his legs and he passed out as paramedics arrived.

He woke up at Phoenix Children's Hospital, where he was in intensive care for 12 days.

"He had five blood transfusions, but made an immaculate recovery, faster than expected," his mother said. "They told us he would be there easily for two months."

His dad, Gilbert, chimes in, "We tried to keep a cool head, but I'm sure both of us broke down a handful of times."

Meghan Schlink said the family got wonderful support from everyone at Phoenix Children's, making them a little sad to leave when Alex recovered.

"Never once did they ever make us feel like too many people were here," she said. "We just always knew that he was in great hands."

As for Alex, he said, "I really liked it. They treated me well, I knew what to do and I felt comfortable."

Alex is back to normal now, but vowing he wants no more freak accidents.

Phoenix Children's Hospital is the only children's trauma hospital in the Southwest. It is more than halfway through a $588 million expansion project that will leave it with more than 600 beds.

News/Radio 92.3 KTAR and 620 Sports KTAR will hold their second annual fund-raising radiothon for PCH from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday and from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

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