Friday, June 1, 2012

A Mother's Love...

It happened. Every mother’s nightmare.  In late February 2012, Glendina (Dina) Flores, a single mom living in Summerfield, Florida experienced every parent’s  worst fear. 

Dina’s only child, Bradley Reed, was in a horrific car accident.  Suffering from shock, and not knowing how injured he was after the accident, he was brought home by friends, where he “bled out” from his numerous internal injuries.

He was “life-flighted” (airlifted by helicopter) to Shands Memorial Hospital at the University of Florida in Gainseville.

Brad’s prognosis was grim.  He was pronounced dead 17 minutes before the helicopter arrived at Shands – but the air-medics refused to give up on him.  That was just the beginning.  He bled out several more times, during multiple surgeries on his lungs, spleen, intestines, and pancreas.  Day after day it seemed another organ was found to be injured or still bleeding, and another surgery was needed. After surgeries they couldn’t even suture him closed because of the swelling from so many internal organs being damaged.  For days Bradley was kept in a medically induced coma.

(I am so sorry but sometimes you need to see the graphic pictures)

I’m sure you can imagine the pain his mother was also in. Her boy, her “gumdrop” as she had always called him, was hurt badly.  Critically.  Most were telling her probably fatally. They were telling her it was likely her son, her gumdrop, wouldn’t make it.

Prior to each surgery, day after day, his surgeons summoned the barely functioning Dina to explain what they would be “trying” to do.  Each time they would tell her there wasn’t much hope, but they would do what they could.  They explained they didn’t want to give her false hope.  Dina, sobbing, would argue with these surgeons.  She would tell them they were going to do the best job they’ve ever done.  She told them how much she needed her gumdrop.  She showed them pictures of him.  She showed them phone texts where Gumdop and she exchanged “I love you” and “I love you more”. 

And the surgeons responded.  Surgeons who are used to cold clinical worlds responded.  From giving this mother daily grim diagnosis – they took to looking in on them. They took to calling Bradley “Gumdrop” as well.  Or "Super-Gumdrop."  They themselves were amazed at not only Bradley’s recovery, but their part in it. One miraculous surgery after another they succeeded in bringing Bradley Reed back from not just the brink of death, but from death itself. 

Each day Bradley improved is a testament to his will, to his surgeon’s skills, but mostly to his mother’s love.   His mother who would not, could not, let these surgeons give up.

Bradley has since been released from the hospital.  His prognosis is promising.  He will require more surgeries, but he will survive.  Thank God. Thank surgeons.  Thank the life-flight medics who didn’t give up.  
 Dina tells Bradley, "Don't worry - chicks dig scars"

Unfortunately there are now massive expenses.  Bradley had no health insurance.  In addition to the astronomic hospital bills, Dina is unable to work as she needs to care for Bradley until he fully recovers.  Dina’s parents have been trying to help, but as restaurant owners (Jalapeno Heaven, Branford, CT) in an economic downturn, they are reaching their limit as well. 

If you could help with a donation, please do.  If you can help by supporting them at their restaurant, please come.  Anything.  A dollar or two.  It all adds up.

It’s part of A Mother’s Love for  her Gumdrop.
(Gumdrop & Dina)

Link to: A Mother's Love - Fundraiser
You can also contact Gail Flores at Jalapeno Heaven
40 North Main Street, Branford, CT 06405
 Call 203.481.6697 or contact 

Super Gumdrop and his chief surgeon


  1. What a handsome young man! I have this same fear... always. I can't imagine how I would cope if either of my boys were hurt... and especially, hurt like this. I, like Dina, would never, never give up!! I think I should make a concerted effort to visit Jalapeno Heaven the next time I head thru the area...

  2. Thank you Cindy! Let me know when...and I'll meet you there!


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