About

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Parents Left Behind began because of the tragic death of a child. Cameron Bobbitt was just shy of her sixth birthday when she was struck by a motorist as she entered a school crosswalk. Her mother, Dr. Susan Averitt, led the initial efforts to resuscitate her daughter. “It was apparent to me that she died instantly, but we tried to save her. I went from being a happy mom to losing my oldest daughter in the blink of an eye,” she remembers.

Dr. Averitt’s journey through grief strengthened her desire to “make sure something positive comes out of Cameron’s death.” After years of attempting to come to terms with that grief, she decided to honor Cameron’s memory by sharing her story with other grieving parents. On April 5, 2014, she gave the keynote address that launched Parents Left Behind.

Dr. Averitt’s simple retelling of her family’s response to the loss of their daughter and sister opened the floodgates for the parents and loved ones who came to the seminar. Bereaved parents told their own stories and found solace in finding others who understood their lonely walk through alien territory.

On Saturday April 8, 2017 Dr. Averitt and her team of caring professionals will host the third annual Parents Left Behind seminar.  The event will be held at the Central United Methodist Church- 2535 West New Hope Road in Rogers, Arkansas from 8:00 AM–1:00 PM. There is no cost to attend and all family members are welcome. You can register on the “Register for an Event” tab on this website.

 

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2017 PARENTS LEFT BEHIND STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBERS

 Dr. Susan Averitt is a physician for Northwest Medical Center who practices at Best Start Pediatric Clinic on the Willow Creek Campus. She is the mother of four beautiful daughters. Her husband, Derrick, is a stay at home dad, who volunteers his time at school and as a coach.

CJ Malone is the Director of Pastoral Care for Northwest Health System. He is certified as a Clinical Pastoral Education Supervisor with the College of Pastoral Care and Supervision. He supervises all educational programs and student clinical time as well as contract chaplains for Northwest Health System.

John Redwine is a retired family physician, hospital administrator, and state senator who moved to NW Arkansas with his wife Barbara from Sioux City, IA in 2004, having been transferred to the VA Medical Center in Fayetteville. In December 2011 the Redwine’s lost their oldest son, John II, in a climbing accident near Beirut, Lebanon where he lived with his wife and ten week old son. They have two other sons and three grandsons.

Steve Sheely is the pastor of Rolling Hills Baptist Church in Fayetteville.  Rolling Hills has hosted a candlelight service for grieving parents on the second Sunday evening in December since 2007.  Since 2009 Steve has facilitated a monthly Grieving Parents Support Group (GPS) on the second Monday of each month.

 Biff (Louis) and Ann Averitt are the parents of Dr. Susan Averitt.  They are the bereaved grandparents of Cameron Averitt Bobbitt.  They have two other children and seven other grandchildren.  “Biff” was a pastor in the United Methodist Church, Arkansas Conference for 40 years.  He served churches throughout the state.  In 2008 he retired as pastor of Central United Methodist Church in Rogers.  During those 40 years Ann taught in many of the cities and towns where “Biff” was pastor. She also retired in 2008, most recently having served as teacher of Reading Recovery/Early Literacy at Bonnie Grimes Elementary School in Rogers.

Corinna Dranow, LPC is a counselor in private practice and the mother of two children.

Annette Vaughn is a fundraising Facilitator, who has hosted events to benefit such groups as Saving Grace, Mirror images, Arkansas Children’s Hospital’s “Santa Closet”, and many others.  She is a loving mother of three beautiful daughters and one son, Danny, who passed away November 18, 1982.  She is also Nini to her four precious grandchildren.

Donna Fallin is a photographer who lives in Bella Vista with her husband Barry.  In January 2011 the Fallin’s lost their daughter Melissa to Cystic Fibrosis.

6 thoughts on “About”

    1. So sorry for your loss Joan — it hasn’t been long since the accident–this has to be a very hard time. Looking forward to seeing you at the seminar on Saturday. Love and peace.

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  1. I have a 26year old angel in heaven. Her name is Alyssa Michelle Bilodeau and she died 18 months after a double lung transplant due to Cystic Fibrosis. I am having a hard time with grief and PTSD. Please contact me with ways to deal with this loss.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sheryl — I am so sorry for your loss — a loss like no other. Cystic Fibrosis is a terrible disease. My daughter Melissa died at 36 — she had just been put on the list for a double lung transplant. She left behind a 12 year old son. Yes, I know about the PTSD from dealing with the constant life and death situations of CF and transplantations (really any chronic illness) . . . and my heart goes out to you, beautiful mother. I will keep you, your family and Alyssa in my prayers. Are you in NW Arkansas? Will you be coming to the Parents Left behind event next Saturday? Therapy helps and I find talking with others who have lost a child is somehow comforting. You are welcome to contact me personally on Facebook. (Donna Fallin) Love and peace.

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"No one told me that losing a child would bring such lasting grief and sorrow. I didn't know that I would feel so alone or so changed." Parents Left Behind helps bring bereaved parents together with others who share this same journey — working together to survive the storm and move forward with their lives.