The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

Buckle up for Lauryn: Pat Goldhan speaks at Big Sandy High School

 

March 4, 2020



Last Tuesday at the Big Sandy High School, Pat Goldhahn gave a heartfelt speech to the students and staff. Pat is the husband of Wendi Goldhahn and the father of Lauryn and Allix Goldhahn. They live in Fairfield, Montana. Lauryn tragically passed away in a brutal car wreck three years ago and Pat now goes to different schools to tell his daughters story and his hope for other children.

Lauryn was fifteen years old when she passed away; a week before her sophomore year began. She was a volleyball, basketball, and track athlete and loved each sport she played. Lauryn was coming home from a volleyball team dinner with a friend she’d never driven with before the day she passed away. Pat explained how Lauryn was a constant seat belt wearer and understood the importance of it. However, Lauryn didn’t buckle up on her drive from the volleyball dinner and the consequences were tragic. The driver was going 65 in a 25-speed limit area and unexpectedly began to drive on a dirt road. The speed and unexpectancy of the dirt road caused the driver to lose control. Lauryn was thrown out of the car and suffered a brutal accident where she was seriously injured. Lauryn was taken to the Great Falls hospital, where she was transferred to a critical care hospital in Seattle. Lauryn fought but sadly, she passed away in the Seattle hospital, leaving her family devastated

Lauryn’s parents allowed Lauryn to be an organ donor and she saved many lives. Her heart went to a woman in her fifties who is a mother of two. Her right kidney went to a woman in her thirties. Her left kidney went to a woman in her forties. Her liver went to a man in his fifties who has two children. Lauryn also donated skin, bone, and soft tissue. Lauryn received the Montana Gift of Life Award for all her organ donations. Lauryn’s parents are in contact with a few of the people who received her organs and it helps them cope in ways they can’t explain.

Pat talks a lot about the statistics of crashes on Montana roads to bring awareness to the normality of highway car wrecks. One statistic is how there were 186 highway fatalities in 2019 and 76 of those were contributed to not wearing a seatbelt. In 2016 there were 190 highway fatalities and 99 of those contributed to not wearing a seatbelt. Sadly, Lauryn was in that statistic and was part of the 99 not wearing a seatbelt.

Today Pat and Wendi have done tons to contribute to the Blue-Ribbon foundation created out of Lauryn’s memory. They sell products including T-shirts, bracelets, and blue ribbons in remembrance of Lauryn and to bring money to the foundation. Pat goes to different schools and bring awareness to teenagers about the importance of wearing a seatbelt. I give my sincere condolences for the entire Goldhahn family and am in awe of the foundation they have built. The easiest way to contribute to the foundation is to always wear your seatbelt and drive safely every time.

 
 

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