Phoenix Children’s Hospital benefits from the 2015 Pumpkin Fest and Corn Maze

Locally owned Mortimer Farms presented a donation to the Phoenix Children’s Hospital on Sunday, October 25th at noon at the farm during their annual pumpkin festival.  Bands played and dancers danced while celebrating the festive occasion while the ceremony took place on stage inside the barn.   Representative Jessica Martin Director of Major Gifts & Foundation Giving of the PCH was present. Gary, Sharla Mortimer and family members were also there to present the check to Ms. Martin.

The Mortimer’s son, Hayden, had a life saving operation at Phoenix Children’s Hospital (PCH) when he was only 9 months old.   On Sunday, October 25, Sharla Mortimer’s dream of saying thank you to the hospital came true as she stood on stage with her husband, Gary and son, Hayden, now 15 years old.   PCH was further honored at the farm with this year’s corn maze featuring the PCH logo.


The annual pumpkin festival has been going on every weekend in October and final weekend is October 30th thru November 1st. The pumpkin chuckin’ contest will take place on Friday October 31st at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm and Halloween evening Tequila Highway will be performing at the barn dance from 9 pm to 6 pm.

Plan to visit Mortimer Family Farms for a fun time at the 2015 Pumpkin Fest & Corn Maze!  Located at the corner of Highway 69 & 169 in Dewey, Arizona.

Tickets can be purchased on line at;

The country store is open every day from 8 am to 6 pm 365 days a year.


Hayden’s Story;   It seemed like an ordinary afternoon.  Sharla Mortimer was visiting her sister.  She had made this trip with her two children many times before.  This time they were only planning to stay for a short while because they were to attend a church meeting that evening.  Ashlee, who was two at the time, was playing in the living room with her brother Hayden, who was nine-months-old.  But in an instant, Sharla’s world and the entire Mortimer Family’s world would change forever.  

It was around 5 p.m. when, without warning, Hayden suddenly began to cry.  It was not a simple, somewhat normal cry of distress, but instead a violent, screaming sound.  Sharla immediately rushed over to comfort him and he became violently ill.  After throwing up and having uncontrollable bowel movements for the next 10 minutes, Hayden became lethargic.  His eyes rolled to the back of his head and when Sharla could not get him to respond, the family headed to the closest emergency room.   The 15-minute drive seemed like an eternity. 

The diagnosis: intussuseption, an abdominal emergency affecting children under two that happens when one portion of the bowel slides into the next, much like the pieces of a telescope.  When this “telescoping” happens, the flow of fluids and food through the bowel can become blocked, the intestine can swell and bleed. Plans were then immediately put into place for Hayden to be transferred to Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

According to the Mortimer Family, when they arrived at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, they were immediately met by a pediatric doctor who quickly made them feel at ease.  Not only was he familiar with this condition, he assured them, he had performed the same surgery twice the week before.  Two hours later, Hayden was in surgery.  Again it seemed like an eternity as the family waited for results from the three-hour surgery.  Parents and family members were arriving at this hospital for support and relatives even drove over from New Mexico.  Nurses assisted the waiting family, providing information and support.  They even took Ashlee to play so family members could stay together, not knowing what to be prepared for or what to expect next.  Luckily they had found the right team with the knowledge and technology needed to help Hayden.  His surgery was a success and Sharla and Gary were soon reconnected with Hayden in the recovery room.  Two days later Hayden was released from Phoenix Children’s Hospital with a clean bill of health.