Well, here we go, let's see if I can brave this post, it's going to be a long one... On April 7th, while driving home from work and after picking up my girls, we were in a major car accident. I think that my cousin Alana said it best on her blog at Milton Memories when she said it was one of those phone calls no one likes to get. I'm still not sure HOW it happened, and I will never know, but we had just been sitting at a red light. The light turned green, everyone went. We were the last car and thankfully no one was behind us. Apparently two cars at the front of the line had a fender bender and everyone slammed on their brakes. I must have looked away, because when I looked up the truck in front of me was right there and I knew I wouldn't have enough time to stop. I knew in that moment that we were going to hit him. I also had enough time to think that this was not going to be good and that we were not going to win this battle because the truch that I hit was a huge Ford F550 all steel back work truck. From there, everything happened in slow motion. We hit, I watched the air bags deploy, I could see every tiny spec of dust and powder flying through the air and all I could think was please let my children be okay...
After the immediate shock, I opened my car door to get out of the car. Madison kept asking me, "What did you do, Mommy?" I knew that she was talking but Taylor wasn't saying anything and I needed to see them, to see that they were okay, and to talk to them and reassure them. Immediately after stepping out of the car, I fell to the ground. I hadn't felt any pain and hadn't even thought that I might be hurt. I realized that I was having difficulty moving my legs. My left ankle was obviously broken and basically going the opposite direction of my leg. My right pant leg was cut open and blood was all over my pants, but I couldn't really see the extent of the wound. I slid on my hands to Madison's car door and opened it. She wanted me to get her out but I couldn't stand up. I told her I was going to get help. I continued to slide across the ground dragging my legs. SEVERAL cars were driving around the accident slowly... no one was stopping to help. I was yelling to cars to please help, to please call 911. I still can't believe how many cars drove by... must have been at least 20-30. The guy that I hit called 911.
They took Madison out of the car in her booster seat and she stood right up, walked over to me and sat on my lap. She only cried a bit and told me her arm hurt. I saw them take Taylor out, as well, also in her car seat. Her head and hair were covered in blood. They turned her away from me. I didn't like that... at all.
Thankfully, the ambulance and fire truck arrived. I don't know that I have ever felt such relief in my life. Knowing that there were people arriving who could help us, all of us. I would not allow them to look at my injuries until they had worked on both of my children. They wanted to cut the sleeve of Madison's shirt and that cute adorable thing looked at me frieghtened and said, "But I love this shirt, Mommy! It has a hood!" I promised to buy her 20 shirts with hoods and that it was what they needed to do, and the scissors went to work. They informed me that Madison had a broken arm and would be transported by ambulance to Tri-City Hospital. Next, they evaluated Taylor and I kept asking for her to be brought to me. Poor baby had already been fighting a fever that day, so she was already sick. She had several gashes in her head and head wounds tend to bleed quite a bit. They said she was tracking just fine and all vitals were good but they still recommended that she be airlifted to Rady Children's Hospital. I knew that I was very hurt, and would eventually end up at a hospital somewhere... but my mind was so worried about my two girls and that they were going to two different hospitals, probably without their Mommy.
And then another gift arrived... Kathy and Wayne Harlan... Kathy and my Mom have been best friends since 1st grade, so I grew up with them like an aunt and uncle. I teared up as I saw Wayne come around the ambulance and over to me. I asked them to please ride with Madison in the ambulance and to check on Taylor. Then I finally let them work on me, once I knew people were watching over my babies. Originally, there were two helicopters ordered, one for me and one for Taylor. I was being taken to Sharp. I asked the paramedics over and over if we could please go in the same helicopter. I just wanted to be with her. She still wasn't talking and I was still worried about her. They finally said, "Yes!"
As I was being loaded into the helicopter, my cell phone rang and it was Josh. I hadn't been able to reach him until then. I can't imagine what he was feeling, learning everything that was going on, I asked him to go be with Taylor, to meet her at the hospital. Once in the helicopter, I asked them to let me hold Taylor's hand. I couldn't really see her because she was beside me and we were both strapped down, but they put my hand on hers and I tucked it under her fingers and told her everything was going to be okay and Mommy was right here. She rubbed her fingers on my hand and I realized in that moment that she knew I was there and it brought complete joy to my heart. I also realized that she was helping me, just as much as I was helping her. When we landed at Children's, it was just like on television, the helicopter door flew open, a team of people took Taylor away and a nurse asked me a few questions about her. Within one minute, the door was shut again and we were lifting off the ground. I took a deep breathe and put all my trust and faith that those amazing doctors and nurses would take good care of my baby girl. That was very difficult.
Finally, I arrived at Sharp and there were several doctors working on me right away. I tried to just relax and let them do their jobs. I just kept telling them, "Please let me walk again!" I knew that Kathy was with Madison and I knew that Josh and my mom were on their way to Taylor and that it was now time to take care of me. After a while, a nurse who had taken off my wedding ring and taken my cell phone came and told me that my cousins Tim and Alana were in the waiting room. I couldn't see them or talk to them, but another gift of knowing that they were there, for me, made me feel safer and loved. Thank you, Tim and Alana (and Addy, too!) for coming, even if you couldn't see me! And for guarding my wedding rings! Josh arrived later and they let him in to be with me. Ah, he is amazing! So strong! I just kept telling him how sorry I was. He held my hand through everything.
In the end, Madison had a broken arm, which also ended up being a broken clavical, as well. Taylor received several stictches on her face, but they were both released from the hospital that night. I have a fractured vertebrae in my back, received several staples and stitches for the gash in my left knee, and I had surgery on my right ankle where I received 2 metal plates and 7 screws that you can see here:
Here is a pictures of the car:
Taylor at Children's Hospital:
Madison visiting me at the hospital, you can see that her arm is not in the sleeve of her shirt:
A HUGE thank you to everyone who has been helping us! I have a new love of life! I have a big family who are all very close, at times it can be difficult because everyone has their own opinions, but on days like April 7th, I could not have appreciated each person more! With the 3 of us all going to different hospitals, having a huge family meant that everyone split up to support us all. You are all amazing and please know how much I appreciate it! I will never be able to express my gratitude! We are on the mend now... I'm home now after 10 days in the hospital, and working on healing. This post has been very theraputic for me, sorry it was so long! Thank you for being a part of our lives! You are all important to me! I love you!