November 1, 2009
Important Message from Head of School

Dear Poly families,


On Saturday afternoon during a Varsity football game at the Chadwick School, sophomore Jackson Allan received a traumatic head injury which caused him to lose consciousness.


Dr. Drew Pinsky, a Poly parent, was on the scene immediately and sustained Jackson until the EMTs arrived.  In addition, Dr. Roger Lewis, a Chadwick parent, assisted in providing care and helped to facilitate getting Jackson admitted for surgery quickly.


Jackson, accompanied by his father Les, was taken to the Harbor UCLA Medical Center, where he was met by his mother Rhonda.  Jackson underwent successful surgery to relieve pressure on the brain from internal bleeding.  Jackson’s family members, as well as Poly players, coaches, parents, friends, and administrators, were at the hospital.


We are especially grateful for the heroic efforts of Dr. Pinsky and prompt care and attention of Dr. Lewis, a faculty member and emergency room doctor at Harbor Medical.  Together with the emergency medical personnel, they made all the difference in Jackson’s progress.


Jackson will have a lengthy recovery, during which I know that he and his family will have the support of our community.   To assist the family, we ask that you communicate your questions to either Upper School Director Jamie Neilson or to me and that you work with the parent organization to provide care for the family. 


There is a Facebook page “Get Well Jackson Allan” on which Les Allan posted this message:


“Jackson had a good night and his mom and I are with him constantly. He is at UCLA Harbor and in the best possible hands. He had surgery which went as well as it could have. He remains stable but critical and the next few days are key. He is under very heavy sedation but still manages an occasional response to the loving and kind words that we are relaying to him. He is hearing your prayers. Thank you so much to everyone. We will update you as Jackson improves.” 


For the time being, only the family will be at the hospital. Once Jackson is more comfortable, the family will communicate with the school about possible visits from his teammates and friends.   Until then, we ask that families refrain from contacting the Allans directly so they can devote their time and attention to their son.


On Sunday evening at 6 p.m., the football team will meet with their coaches, Dr. Pinsky, and Dr. Bakaly.  The first portion of the meeting will be open to the parents of team members.  On Monday morning, the Upper School faculty will meet in Boswell Library, and then students will begin their day in Garland Theater at 8 a.m.  Recognizing the emotional effect on some students and faculty, we will have counselors available throughout the day.


A time like this is most obviously a trial for Jackson and his family.  It also is a test for the entire Poly community, as we wrap our collective arms around this young man to let him know how much he means to us as we wish him well and pray for his full recovery.  


Debbie Reed
Head of School