May 24, 2012 - By Emily Etheredge, Staff WriterWhen Ridley Barron and his family of four loaded their car to return home to Broxton, Ga., from vacationing in Hilton Head, S.C., no one dreamed their lives would never be the same again.
Barron's wife was driving as three men in a Ford Explorer ran a stop sign, killing Barron's wife immediately and injuring the rest of the family. Barron's 17-month-old son, Josh, was taken to a larger hospital for treatment, but the boys was killed by a medication error at the hospital immediately after the accident occurred.
Barron speaks at the Robert A. Peck Arts Center Theater Thursday, May 24, at 5:30 p.m. He plans to speak about the accident and life after tragedy.
"It was easily one of the worst days of my life and allowed me to experience first-hand what it is like to deal with tragedy," Barron said.
Barron, a former pastor, has now taken his story around to different churches, hospitals, and meetings with professional health organizations to inform them about the importance of forgiveness.
"I was able to decide after the accident with my family that I was not going to be bitter," Barron said. "Bitterness is a poison that will continue to grow within someone if they choose to allow it. I knew I had two other children who would need a dad who wasn't angry and bitter about the events that had gone on."
Barron said he also wants to provide insight to medical professionals that there is always something to work on.
"I don't want to attack the medical field but rather be an ally and advocate by letting them know there is always room for improvement," Barron said.
Barron thinks people focus too much on the revenge side of things and the belief they will get even with someone.
"The reality that I think a lot of people will never figure out is you can never get even," Barron said.
Barron released a book titled "Twist of Faith" in January that took seven years to write.
As a result of the tragedy Barron experienced, he is not afraid to ask questions from a medical professional.
"I think the one thing to remember about people in health care is they are human," Barron said. "This means they are going to make mistakes. I know prior to losing two of my family members I trusted the medical profession blindly and now I try to ask as many questions as possible so that I am more aware."
"I think forcing myself to go back and revisit those emotions was hard," Barron said. "However, I do think there is a story to be told because there is still work to be done."
Barron has now remarried and lives with his wife and four children in Thompsons Station, TN.
"This will be my first time to visit the state of Wyoming and I am very appreciative to Riverton Memorial Hospital for asking me to come," Barron said.
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