Friday, May 29, 2015

We Had Plans

WARNING:  This post contains graphic images and details.



April10th1



We had plans.
One more day of school till summer break...
a long holiday weekend...
and hubby not only had the holiday off but also the weekend...
first time in years it worked out that way.
So we made plans.

Hunter loves the pool.
She gets so excited when they're going into the pool at school and after 4 years of not using our above ground...
not since I fell with her and busted my knees and found it difficult to get her in and out...
earlier this spring we went shopping for a new in-ground pool.
But then it hit me a few weeks ago that Hunter will be out of school in just 4 years and we have so much work to do to be ready for that...
fencing in the property...
building a greenhouse and raised berry beds...
creating paths that her wheelchair can be pushed upon between the boxes...
I decided to hold off on the new pool until we have her "job" up and going and instead ordered up everything we needed to revive our old above ground...
new liner, pump, in pool steps and talked to my uncle about building a new multi-level pool deck with ramps so that we can actually get her in the pool.
We had plans.


April10th


It was Thursday night and with our oldest son Robert off at friend's celebrating the end of spring football...
end of the school year...
and just being 12 year old boys...
we ordered pizza for dinner and then hubby and I planned to hit outdoors and get a start on the yard so we could drop the new liner on Saturday.
Rain was expected to start moving in late Sunday so we were hoping to get everything but the deck done before it got here.
We had plans.

Then I heard him on the phone.
"Yes...this is Patrick."
"Yes...Robert is my son"
And I knew.
Before he took off back down the stairs and started out the door...
I knew.
And I said a prayer.

I prayed he was at the police station.
I prayed he had gotten picked up for some juvenile prank...
didn't matter what it was...
we would deal with it...
please let him have gotten arrested.

Please let him be alive.

It was a head injury.
Patrick was speaking to the paramedic.
They were taking him to Vanderbilt.
Then Patrick was talking to him.
I yelled to the phone "Baby we're on our way...I love you"
Even though I had spoken to him not 2 hours earlier when he called to say he had arrived at his friend's and the last words I had said to him were "I love you" before hanging up the phone...
I had to make sure that if this was the last time he was ever going to hear my voice...
those 3 words were the only words I wanted him to hear.

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We had had plans.
But we found ourselves heading to Vanderbilt where we prayed our son would still be alive when we got there.

We knew no details.
He wasn't with us and we didn't know anything other than he had a head injury.
So it was reasonable to think it was a bike accident.
And that's what I kept thinking...
it was a bike accident.
He and his friend had had one a few months ago...
they had collided and literally bent a bike in half...
and broke one of his friends ankles and he wore a cast for months.
It had to be a bike accident.
And he wasn't wearing a helmet...
he KNOWS to wear a helmet...
WHY wasn't he wearing a helmet?!!!
This is what I just kept repeating as I drove as fast as I safely could towards Nashville...
Patrick just kept saying he didn't know what had happened.

His phone rang.
It was the paramedic.
Because of where we live we're only minutes from Nashville but the accident happened in town...about 20 minutes in the opposite direction so they were just leaving out.
He was stable.
He was talking.
He was alive.

I've never been so terrified in my entire life.

We finally arrived at the ER but had to wait for him to arrive and when he finally got to the hospital and they came to take us to see him they first took us aside and into a small room to give us a more detailed description before letting us in to see him.
He and 2 friends were in a storm drain/culvert.
He slipped and fell or he raised his head as they were running...
no one knew...
but he had scalped himself from ear to ear.

Yes.
You read correctly...
I said scalped.

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By the time they let us in they had his head entirely bandaged so we couldn't see the injury but seeing as how he was he literally covered in blood we didn't need to see to know it was bad.
You know that scene in "Carrie" when she's on stage and they dump the bucket?
She was cleaner than he was!
His face...
in his ears...
his arms and hands...
even his legs.
When I walked up to the bed I just remember looking at him and saying something stupid like "I think there's something on your face"...
when I'm nervous or upset the obvious is all I can manage...
and he grinned.
He was alive.
He told me he didn't even cry.
But we heard he made the paramedic earn his paycheck when he went to put in an IV.
I can testify about his fear of needles and the fact that he can scream like a girl...
and very loud.

They did a CAT scan...
no hemorrhaging...
no broken bones...
thank God...
so they prepared for surgery.
It was almost midnight before the surgeon came out to talk to us and let us know that he required 23 external and a handful of internal stitches where he tore deeper but everything looked really well.
They were pumping him full of antibiotics and had cleaned his wound really well before stitching...
so while infection was still the biggest concern at this point they felt they had been proactive and it would be a small risk.
It was a while longer before they led us back to see him in recovery and that's when I broke.
His head was no longer covered.
I wondered how he had survived this.

Hunter had fallen asleep in the waiting room laying on one of the couches...
Ryder was still going strong with Haley chasing after him but they needed to get home and get some sleep so when they admitted Robert to the children's cancer ward since they knew he was "clean" and he needed critical care which they could provide, Patrick said he would stay with him since he was going to need help with just the basics and he would be more comfortable with his dad for those things versus mom...
he is 12...
so I brought the others home for a little sleep though I didn't do more than just doze for a bit.

When we got to the hospital the next morning he was awake and waiting...
I had promised Chick-Fil-A if the doctor's said "OK"...
and they did...
so I couldn't get there fast enough for him.
I prepared the kids before going into his room...
he didn't look like he did the morning before as I dropped him at school...
and it was a little scary but he was gonna be OK.

091

We actually came home later that afternoon.
For this type of wound he was doing really well and since it was now going to just be a matter of healing and he would be more comfortable at home...
there was no need to stay.
His nurse told me on the way out that in her 37 years of being a nurse she had never seen an injury like this...
and that it was a miracle that he survived.
I agree.
And I haven't stopped thanking God since.

088


The friend that he was supposed to stay the night with and was with him in the storm drain was here minutes after we got home...
his parents told us that he was so worried that they couldn't get him to go to sleep or calm down until he knew Robert was alive.
The paramedic had already told us that the boys had not been honest when questioned what happened...
Robert kept saying he just fell.
He didn't realize that he had more than a cut and a fall didn't begin to explain what had happened and when they finally got more details from them the first thing he said was "Don't tell my mom...she'll kill me".
I always tell him to be safe and that it only takes a split second for something to happen...to not take chances and he had been warned about that storm drain the last time he had been over at the 3rd boys house.
We don't have a huge homeless population in our small town...
sadly, probably more than I realize...
but apparently they hang out around this storm drain and that's why Patrick had told him to stay away from it because anything could happen.
He never imagined this scenario though.
His friend's parents told us how the police had actually thought that it was attempted murder because the boys had not been honest about what exactly had happened...
and when they finally got the truth they couldn't believe he had this injury from a concrete culvert...
they thought someone had intentionally tried to scalp him and were about to open an investigation.

He was alive.
He was home.
And since we celebrate life every year with cake I decided there had never a better reason to celebrate life than him coming home and went to buy a cake.
The lady at the bakery looked at me like I was beyond crazy when I told her what I wanted written on it...
but once I briefly explained she smiled and seemed to understood.
He loved it.

099



The next day I mentioned to him that his new "do"...
what we are now calling "The Skullet"...
stitches in front...
hair in back...
would actually fit in really well on the show "Vikings" so in typical 12 yr old fashion...
he now wants to keep it.
Plus...
it will also allow what he believes is going to be the coolest scar in town to be seen...
and what good is having an awesome scar if no one can see it?

We went to have his drain removed Tuesday...
Patrick said it kind'a made him look like a cyborg with that tubing coming out of his head and normally that would be a reason for Robert to want to keep it...
but it was the thing that he said hurt the worst so he was happy to have it gone.
As the nurse was leading us back she told us that everyone had heard about him...
I guess when you think of everything an ER and surgeon see every day I still don't think it's often they see a scalping...
much less one walking and talking.

We're blessed.
He's alive.
He's healing.
We truly are blessed.
I mean he hit his head hard enough to rip his scalp from his head and yet he walked away...
how is it that he lived?
How did he not hemorrhage?
Break his neck?
How?
I can only express my heart and that's that God had his guardian angel on overtime that night...
so I will thank God every day that I still have my son.

And now I'm sharing this story so that maybe you will hug the ones you love a little tighter...
and you never miss a moment to tell them you love them.
Life turns on a dime and plans change so don't wait.
We had plans.
Our plans changed.
The pool isn't ready.
The yard hasn't been mowed.
The laundry has now piled up.
But we'll deal with all that later.
Right now my only plans are to enjoy every moment I have with my kids and to tell them how much I love them every chance I get.


17 comments :

  1. Oh my gosh Renee! What a story - really quite unbelievable that he survived that and is ok - so glad and thankful to come to the end of your story with a happy ending - God is good....... Julia xx

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  2. Renee you know I am so very thankful that Robert is alive and will recover. Thank you for sharing the story. Absolutely terrifying for you, I cannot even imagine. Hug your children, life is short. Huge huge hugs my friend!! <3

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  3. Even though I know the story , I still can’t believe it! Thank God! I am sure you never ever thought you would be writing this post and with wonderful results! Hugs to you all!

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  4. Forgot to say how adorable the baby pictures of Robert are. Love his blue eyes

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  5. Oh my goodness Renee! I thank God that your son's accident turned out the way that it did and that he is well on his way to a full recovery. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. And I hope that the rest of your summer is uneventful in the best possible way.

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  6. OMG! I have not been to visit your blog in a while, Renee...I certainly was NOT prepared for this heart-wrenching post. You and your husband must have be scared to death before finding out your son was alive and going to be okay. Thank God, Robert's healing and recovery will be quick and without further problems. My thoughts, prayers and HUGS to you all!

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  7. Now that I am picking up my chin off the floor (jaw fell open) while reading your detailed story, I am also very thankful Robert is going to be okay. You probably still can't sleep as you relive that evening. Praying for all of you as you cope with Robert's recovery and for him to heal properly! Xoxoxo

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  8. God is good...truly wonderful! What a true miracle....thank you so much for being brave to share your story! Love you lots.

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  9. Renee my heart broke as I began reading your heartfelt post! So scary and difficult! Especially when you get a call like that and do not know if your baby is okay!!! So happy to hear Robert is healing! It is such a miracle! God bless you and your whole family! Sending super big hugs!!!!!!!

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  10. I visited your blog for the 12 Kits of Occasion and always scroll down when I like a person's work. I saw this post and I had to comment. God bless your son!! Thank goodness he was okay. You and your family are in my prayers.

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  11. Praise the Lord. Looks like Robert had an angel by his side. Blessings to you and your family.

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  12. Seeing the pictures of Robert really illustrates what a miracle it's been. Thanks for sharing your family's amazing story and the earlier pictures of him. I'm so happy that he is doing so well. Hugs to all of you. Hope the summer is safe and lots of fun!

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  13. OMG! Tears rolling down my face here Renee! I dont know how you wrote all this down and kept yourself together. Thank GOD Robert is ok and doing well. And that cake! Dont know what to say.. what an experience. Going to be a long time before you can look back and laugh.

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  14. Wow, Renee. What an amazing story. How can you be so lucky and unlucky at the same time. Hug all your babies close every night, and I will do the same. So glad that he is healing well now.

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  15. What an amazing woman you are, thank you for sharing this painful experience. Life is so precious and has to be cherished and we do lose sight of that every now and then. Your whole family are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  16. Renee, I read this so fast, my heart beating, just to get through to the end. I had to make sure Robert was alive, and OK! Thank God! You are an incredible mommy, and I know the crown you will wear in heaven will be enormous! Meanwhile, down on earth, you carry quite a load! Blessings, dear lady, to you and yours!

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  17. The pictures really are unbelievable...and yet he is still has that "Mom!" look on his face, so nonchalant with that incredibly stitched up injury! So amazing, thank God everything is okay!!!!

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