(KMSP) - A Hutchinson, Minn. family is using the popular game, Pokemon Go, to encourage people to drive safely after the game played a key role in their son’s recovery from a car crash.
In August, six-year-old Jack Klueckman was hit by a car while he was walking to a playground near his home. Emergency crews airlifted him from Hutchinson to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.
“It was terrifying,” said Julie Klueckman, Jack’s mother. “I can say I've probably never been through anything that scary in my entire life.”
The crash pierced his lung, bruised his heart and nearly cut his liver in half. Several days later, Jack pulled through.
Susan Schlueter was one of the many nurses by his side. Together, they bonded over a shared love of Pokemon.
“He's a very serious gamer for a six-year-old,” said Schlueter.
During physical therapy, she encouraged him to walk the hospital's hallways to catch new Pokemon.
“I actually kept some cards in my pocket to bribe him to take his medicine because he didn't really like it very much,” she said.
“Every day we knew he was going to be ok and we knew we were going to get our Jack back,” said Julie.
Inspired, they decided to use Pokemon Go to create a charity benefit to raise awareness for safe driving and save lives. Saturday at Rice Park in St. Paul, groups of Pokemon Go lovers gathered to play the game as well as donate blood.
“Jack received two transfusions while he was in the hospital and we know with every donation you can save up to three lives,” said Julie. “So, we just really want to take this opportunity to do as much good as possible and use the Pokemon Go platform to do it.”