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Children's Wisconsin Milwaukee

A message of gratitude from Peggy Troy

I was preparing to send a Thanksgiving week message of gratitude today to our organization and instead, I wrote to thank them for their remarkable response to what occurred at the parade in Waukesha. When I learned of the tragic act of violence, my heart broke for the kids and families impacted, and my appreciation for our team grew even deeper. 

Our community is grieving as we learn more about this situation that ended lives and hurt many others, including children. In total, 18 patients were brought to Children’s Wisconsin, with several of these patients requiring surgery and intensive care. 

As I have talked with those involved in our initial response, they have all mentioned how prepared, calm and efficient our teams were. In particular, our Emergency Department and Trauma Center, Operating Room, Intensive Care Unit, other patient care units and Social Work have demonstrated amazing teamwork. In addition, so many individuals and areas throughout Children’s Wisconsin stepped forward to help in this moment of urgent need. We have wrapped around these kids and families with excellent care and critical emotional support.

We also owe a debt of gratitude to the first responders, including law enforcement and emergency medical services, who took charge on the scene and ensured the kids in need got to us swiftly, and to other area hospitals who stabilized patients before transferring them to Children’s Wisconsin. This includes Aurora Medical Center-Summit, Froedtert Menomonee Falls Hospital and ProHealth Waukesha Memorial Hospital. We value these partners and their critical contributions to meeting the needs of the injured kids. 

Sadly, we know the impact of a traumatic event can spread far beyond those directly involved. Our kids may have seen the event take place or know someone who was there, or they may see this in the news or social media, and that exposure can be scary and upsetting. Families should be open and honest with their kids, and these conversations can be difficult, but they are important. We have tips on how to approach that on our blog

If this event triggered a more serious response in your child, Children’s Wisconsin has established a Mental and Behavioral Health Helpline — (414) 266-6500 — staffed by members of our mental and behavioral health team.

While my spirit is heavy today, I find comfort in the many messages of appreciation and offers of assistance. Each one is valued by our caregivers. Children’s Wisconsin is able to support the kids and families of Wisconsin because of the commitment the community has made to us. Let’s continue to focus on how to come together as a community and to hold the families affected and our loved ones close.

With deep appreciation for the caring and compassion of the Children’s Wisconsin team and the ongoing support of our community,

Peggy Troy

President and CEO

Children’s Wisconsin