Facing Unthinkable Choices as the Family of Asher Sullivan Navigate Heartache and Tragedy

May 13, 2024 at 12:38 pm by WGNS News

Photo Captured by Family Friend of Sullivans. Top right: Asher Sullivan as his hand is held by his family.


RUTHERFORD COUNTY, TN - WGNS is continuing to follow the tragedy involving the son of the Rutherford County Schools Director, Dr. Jimmy Sullivan. Tragedy that has now turned into agonizing medical decisions that will at some point, have to be made.


This past week Sullivan's son Asher was swept into a storm drain shortly after heavy wind and rain left our area. As neighbors ventured outside to survey damage and pick up debris left by the storms, 10-year-old Asher waded through water as any 10-year-old boy would do. While in the water it was thought that he lost his shoe. One report indicated it was when he went to grab his shoe that the waters, flowing faster than they appeared, caused him to lose his balance and fall. The water, that was feverishly flowing into a storm drain, sucked the small framed child in and under the neighborhood street - - eventually pushing him through the opposite side.

One homeowner in the Barfield / Christiana area told WGNS this past Wednesday that Rutherford County Fire Rescue arrived on the scene and quickly moved into action. The local resident stated, “A fireman jumped into the small, murky drainage ditch reaching for the child and after he was pulled out, they administered CPR on him.” That bystander said shortly after paramedics arrived, Asher was whisked away to Ascension Saint Thomas and then transported to Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville where he remains today.

This past Sunday night at 6PM, Dr. Jimmy Sullivan shared publicly on Facebook, “Asher had a really really rough night. Neurological signs we were seeing as positives have stopped.” As the father continued to describe the raw reality of the battle his son was facing he said, “MRI shows part of the brain herniating into his brain stem, and severe damage to just about all areas of his brain.” Dr. Sullivan then described the tasks that he and his wife are facing as, “...impossible decisions to make in the next few days that no parents should have to face.”

The family has received devastating news as neurological signs that initially offered hope have since ceased, indicating the very real scenario of severe brain damage. Right now, the Sullivan family is asking for continued prayers as they navigate their way down roads without maps, roads that come with immense pain and sorrow. Sullivan wrote, “Unfortunately, the worst case scenarios seemed to have come true.”

On Monday (05/13/2024), many students, parents and teachers wore blue and green as a way to show support to the Sullivan family. Those two colors are said to be Asher's favorite.

A GoFundMe was set-up for the Sullivan family with a goal of raising $25,000. By noon on Monday, $24,425 had been raised with more than 200 people contributing to the Sullivan family. Details of the fundraising efforts can be found HERE.


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