Dad thanks children’s hospital for saving his daughter’s life by becoming the protective services officer

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Dad thanks children’s hospital for saving his daughter’s life by becoming the protective services officer
Dad thanks children’s hospital for saving his daughter’s life by becoming the protective services officer. Courtesy of Riley Children’s Hospital.

After watching his infant daughter, Juniper, fight for her life at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, one dad found a unique way to give back to the doctors and nurses who saved his little girl’s life – by becoming the hospital’s protective services officer.

Gibson and his wife, Jennifer, welcomed twin daughters Jemma and Juniper back in June 2020. Even before the girls’ birth, they knew Juniper had a congenital heart defect called aortic stenosis that would cause complications down the road.

“How many times can you say thank you?” Gibson said after his daughter recovered from a life-saving surgery for the heart defect in August.

Dad Becomes Protective Services Officer

Gibson, an Army veteran, was so grateful to Dr. Mark Turrentine and the Riley Heart Center team for saving his baby’s life that he decided to join Riley as a protective services officer.

Dad thanks children’s hospital for saving his daughter’s life by becoming the protective services officer.
Dad thanks children’s hospital for saving his daughter’s life by becoming the protective services officer. Courtesy of Riley Children’s Hospital.

“I almost get teary-eyed talking about it,” Gibson said about the hours, days, and weeks he and his wife spent hoping and praying for their daughter’s recovery. “It felt like that was really the only way I could pay Riley back for everything. I absolutely love this place.”

Today, Juniper is 8 months old and thriving in her home with her twin sister and her older brothers, ages 6 and 3.

“I call Riley ‘the Magic Kingdom,'” Gibson said. “For us, it’s like Disney World for surgeries. They do miracles and nothing that happens there is anything short of amazing.”

For the past three months, Gibson has worked at Riley as a hospital police officer, protecting families and patients and being a shoulder to cry on when parents are struggling.

“I felt like I had to repay a debt and say thank you,” he added. “If I was a millionaire, I’d fork over a bunch of money to them, but helping people is the way I have to say thanks.”


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