Kellen’s dad, Marine Sergeant Marshall Kennedy, lost both of his legs and suffered severe damage to his left arm after stepping on an IED during a mission in 2011. He remembers the day clearly.
“It was June 13, a Monday,” said Kennedy, whose squad was acting on intelligence from some locals and trying to find a cache of hidden mines in a compound. “I took a knee and was leaning up against a wall and my foot hit a pressure plate and I was blown up.”
When Kennedy regained focus, he found himself being treated by a Navy corpsman medic named Jason Martinez. “He was lucky to have Jason,” said Chelsea Kennedy, Marshall’s wife. “Now that we have a son, we can honor the man who helped bring my husband back home to me.”
And so the family chose Jason as the middle name for their son, a tribute to the medic that saved Kennedy’s life.
While Kennedy honored the medic who helped him in the field, Proctor and Gamble and Mercy have partnered to honor Kennedy for his service to our country. Kennedy joined the Marines at the age of 17 and was proud to be part of a family tradition of military service. He was serving his fourth deployment when he was injured. In recognition of his service and sacrifice, P&G is providing the Kennedy family with a year’s worth of free diapers.
“Pampers believes every baby is a little miracle,” said David Mullaly, brand manager, baby care P&G Walmart Global Customer Team. “We were very touched by the Kennedys’ story and felt this was the least we could do to give a little back to a family that has done so much to support all of us. We wish the Kennedy family the best and congratulate them on the birth of little Kellen.”
The Kennedy family has certainly won the hearts of the staff at Mercy as well.
“I feel blessed to care for newborns in general,” said Laura Burns, nurse at Mercy Hospital. “But taking care of a family who has sacrificed for all of our personal families, community and country is humbling.”
Mercy Northwest Arkansas includes a 200-bed Mercy Hospital in Rogers, an Ambulatory Surgery Center in Bentonville and 30 Mercy Clinic locations including Bella Vista, Bentonville, Centerton, Lowell and Rogers. Mercy Northwest Arkansas is part of Mercy, the sixth largest Catholic health care organization in the U.S., which includes 32 hospitals, 300 outpatient facilities, 39,000 co-workers and 1,900 integrated physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. For more information, visit www.mercy.net.