Hundreds and hundreds of people have brought smiles to 8-year-old Haley Detman’s face as she recovers from severe injuries she suffered in a Feb. 2 tractor accident.
Haley, a second-grader at Oak Flat Elementary School, fell off of the tractor at her father’s home in Southampton (Cumberland) Township, Shippensburg, and the tractor’s front tires ran over her head and chest, her mother, Melissa Negley, told The News-Chronicle earlier this month. She suffered a severe concussion, punctured and bruised lungs, broken ribs, a shoulder fracture, lacerated liver, left humerus fracture, bilateral scapula fractures and an occipital condyle fracture. Her jaw is also fractured in two places.
Haley was flown to Penn State Hershey Medical Center for treatment, and was recently discharged to continue recovery at home. Negley said they are currently waiting to see what surgeries Haley will need down the road.
“She’s doing OK. She’s in good spirits,” Negley said on Tuesday. “In her words, ‘Thank you for all my cards and packages,’ and ‘Hi’ to my friends.’”
The only request Haley made was for get-well cards to help lift her spirits. And members of the community, most of which are complete strangers, have answered that request.
Colorful handmade cards and packages containing items like stuffed animals have come in droves to Haley’s home, and there are still many more on the way.
When Travis Motley, sales manager at Bob Ruth Ford in Dillsburg, heard of Haley’s accident, he wanted to help bring joy to her and her family. In a YouTube video, Motley said he used to play football in Arkansas and would visit children in the hospital. Bob Ruth Ford has teamed up with Red 102.3 to host a card drive for Haley. Anyone can drop off get-well cards to the Bob Ruth Ford Showroom, 700 N. U.S. 15, Dillsburg, from now until Feb. 29, and they will personally be delivered to Haley. Some things Haley likes are cats and unicorns, and she is a farm girl at heart, Negley told Motley.
“We just want to show our love for her and her well wishes for her. Haley, if you’re watching this, you’re not going through this battle alone. You have tons of support. Stay strong, continue to fight,” Motley said in the video.
Her classmates at Oak Flat have all made her cards, and other children from across the state have done the same. Haley even received a card from a 73-year-old man who was run over by a coal truck when he was 7 years old. The card contained smiley face stickers and a clipping of a newspaper article from his accident.
“I’m 73 years old now, and my four children and seven grandkids all say I still act like a kid,” he wrote.
Since she was discharged from the hospital, Haley has also been visited by her favorite Disney characters -- Ariel and Moana. Negley said the Disney Characters Fun Day was organized by Kayla Keating.
The Middlesex Diner, 1803 Harrisburg Pike, Carlisle, is hosting a fundraiser for Haley and her family on Feb. 20. Twenty percent of all proceeds that day will be given to the family. Get-well cards for Haley can also be dropped off at the diner.
An Angels for Haley Facebook page provides updates and lists an online fundraiser to also contribute to the family’s ongoing medical costs. The page can be visited here: https://www.facebook.com/donate/614686119099053/.
“I’m forever grateful for all the support we have received and continue to receive,” Negley said. “Seeing Haley smile has made my heart smile. Having read through these cards with Haley, it paints a huge picture of how amazing this society is and I’m very grateful for everyone.”
#Cards4Haley may also be sent to: Haley Detman, 2560 Walnut Bottom Road, Carlisle, Pa. 17015.