Avery Award of Excellence in Pediatric Surgery

Dr. Edward Barksdale

Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital

Cleveland, Ohio

Nominated by Jessica Blevins

Dr. Edward BarksdaleDr. Edward Barksdale was nominated by Jessica Blevins, mother of Austin Blevins. “On August 21,2013 I was six months pregnant with my son who had been diagnosed with Gastroschisis at 21 weeks gestation. I was going to the hospital for the first time to meet the man that would be performing surgery on my son once he was born. I wasn’t sure what to expect and from all the doctors I had been seeing I was honestly unsure on who I’d be meeting. I walked into a room and was told Dr. Barksdale would be in shortly. I waited for a couple minutes and in came a clean cut man with a warm smile and soft voice. Something I have never seen on a top surgeon. He introduced himself and not only took the time to get to know me but he asked about my son. He asked what I was naming him and once I told him Austin from that point on when he would talk about my son he always said Austin and never said the baby. When Dr. Barksdale came and sat next to me, Austin moved in my stomach to the side the surgeon was sitting on. I wasn’t nervous at all and felt very happy and confident that my baby would be a safe in the hands of this doctor. Austin had ten surgeries done and when he went down for his fourth surgery Dr. Barksdale said that something was telling him not to do the surgery and to bring him back to his room and get a Echo on his heart. If it wasn’t for Dr. Barksdale and his wise decisions I wouldn’t have my son today because that day he saved Austin’s life. They discovered a birth defect on his heart and if that surgery was performed he wouldn’t have survived. Throughout the seven months Austin was admitted Dr. Barksdale and his team always came in and visited me and Austin and he had the best bed side manner and would always be there to talk if you needed to. Even when we go in for doctor visits if he sees us in the hall he stops and checks on us and always has a smile and says how proud he is of Austin and how far he’s come. Dr. Barksdale is the man who saved my sons life. He is a true blessing and angle and every time I see him I just want to hug him because I am so thankful for everything he has done for us and how supportive he was and still is. If anyone deserves this award it would be Dr. Edward Barksdale. The worlds best, most supportive, happy, heart warming, life saving pediatric surgeon.”