Yesterday started like any other day. Dallas left for work before anyone else got up. The rest of us woke up later around 7. We headed downstairs to eat some breakfast and watch some Saturday morning cartoons. I checked my emails and Facebook while the kids played. I got a phone call from Dallas. He asked me to meet him outside with some money so he could go get something to eat. He had a quick chance to go to the PX and get something to eat but the money was at home. I put my coat on grabbed $20, and patiently waited for Dallas to pull up so I could run the money out to him. Conrad joined me by the door and watched too. We had a little conversation that involved lots of “eh” “uh” & “oooo”. We finally saw Dallas pull up. I opened the screen door and made sure I shut it behind me. I ran out gave Dallas the $20 bill, kissed him, said I love you and he was off. As I walked back to the house and Dallas backed out of our driveway, I suddenly heard a scream from my baby boy Conrad. My first thought was to immediately turn around. When I turned around, I saw a sight no parent ever, ever, ever wants to see. Our truck had just rolled over our precious baby boy. He was there screaming and trying to sit all the way up, but his legs weren’t moving. It was my reaction to jump and scream at Dallas to stop… he had no clue what I was saying but stopped. I ran to my baby and instinctively picked him up to soothe him. I later thought back and know I shouldn’t have done that, but at the moment all you want to do is protect your baby and make things all better. As I picked him up, I felt nothing but limp legs. Dallas came running screaming..” is there blood coming out of his mouth, is there blood coming out of his mouth?” I checked, no blood. We both ran into the house grabbed the other kids and got all of them into the van. I carefully put Conrad into his car seat, jumped in, and left to the hospital. The ambulance wouldn’t be quick enough for me. The kids didn’t have shoes or coats or anything. I already had my coat on, but no shoes, no bra, literally just out of bed. Dallas rushed back to work to let them know what happened and I rushed to the hospital and got Conrad into the E.R. At this time I was still calm, worried, but calm. The nurses took my other 3 children and I laid my little baby on the E.R. bed. At first, it was just one or two, and then there were 5 or 6 there working to get him checked out. I was only calm for a few more minutes. When they started to put I.V’s in and he started screaming more, I lost it. Completely lost it and this entire time this whole thing has played out all I could think was my baby is going to die and it’s my fault. My baby might be paralyzed and it’s my fault. I tried comforting Conrad as much as I could, but he was in pain. He had visible contusions on his right side. The E.R. staff got radiology down there to take x-rays of his body. I’m still bawling and trying to console Conrad at the same time. As they look at the x-rays, they found that his spine was okay, but his right femur was broken straight through. I thought to myself ” OH NO THAT IS BAD! People die from those breaks all the time.” As they were taking x-rays they also arranged for life flight to take us from Beaufort to Charleston to MUSC, a children’s hospital. We had no clue if I would be able to fly with him or not. That scared me. I didn’t want my baby to arrive at the hospital without his mommy or daddy. Once the flight crew arrived they got him prepped for the flight and turned to me to see if I was able to make the flight. Rob- the flight paramedic, a very tall light-haired man looks and me and says,” Have you ever flown in a helicopter?” Me-“no” Rob-“Have you ever flown?” Me,”yes”, Rob”If you come on this flight, it will be packed, my ONLY worry is to take care of your son. You CANNOT lose it. I CANNOT and WILL NOT take care of you. You HAVE to keep yourself together, CAN YOU DO THAT?” ME- ” YES I CAN”. He turned back around to finish prepping Conrad and get him on the stretcher. A wonderful nurse came and told me to go to the bathroom, followed me, and let me just break down, to get it all out, for a hug. It felt good. It felt nice to let it all out and full-on bawl. I quickly pulled myself together, peed, then hydrated again and followed the flight crew to the ambulance. – Also while all this is going on in the E.R. My husband had arrived and was trying to comfort me. Dallas’s co-workers showed up. I want to thank them for coming, it meant so much to us. I can’t remember everyone that showed up, but I know there were many of them there that helped to comfort us in this stressful time.
– Back to the ambulance: We rode to the helicopter and stopped at the landing pad. A reminder, I have no shoes on. I jumped out of the ambulance into what I thought was grass… it was nothing but stickers, tough, mean stickers. My feet were twice layered in them and I couldn’t walk to the helicopter. I had needles basically stabbing my feet. I thought in my head,”S*&%, they won’t let me get on the flight because I already can’t take care of myself.” Rob, the medic… came and picked me up and carried me to the helicopter. I was so grateful for that, I could fly with my baby. We got in and headed for Charleston. I don’t know whether it was the longest or the shortest flight I have ever been on. Either way, we got there, they took him to the pediatric E.R. at MUSC and immediately started getting another I.V. in him, when I say they, I mean about 20 people all over the place. They immediately got the ultrasound in there to check his chest and stomach to make sure there wasn’t internal bleeding. I thank God that he didn’t have any internal injuries. They ordered more x-rays of his neck and his spine and basically the rest of his body to double-check and make sure that his leg was the only thing broken. By the grace of God again.. that was the only injury revealed. They finally got him some more pain meds and things started settling down. I had some alone time with my baby and all he wanted was for me to cuddle next to him and touch his face with my hand. The orthopedic surgeon came and talked to me about taking him into surgery for his leg later that day. Originally they were going to put rods on both sides of his femur and he would be walking again within the next couple of days. That was a relief because we all know how active my little 15-month-old Conrad is. About an hour later they were taking him up to pre-op for surgery and they informed me they had changed their minds and wanted to put a spica cast on him. He would be in this cast for at least 4 weeks if not more. He went in and came out quick, everything went well and he was in this massive cast. When he woke up from anesthesia he was hungry, he drank and drank and drank until he was content. The rest of the evening consisted of consoling him and letting him know that I wasn’t leaving him. We had the most wonderful staff in the pediatric wing of the hospital. Dallas and the other kids joined us for a few hours that evening. Conrad was happy to see his brothers and sister. Once visiting hours were over I had to figure out how to entertain my baby that couldn’t get up, I couldn’t hold him and I didn’t have any toys for him. I did what all mothers do.. I gave him my phone with music on 🙂 He loves music, he loves dancing, this pleased him. He refused to let go of this phone all night. He had to have it in his hand by his ear to sleep all night. It was precious. I was thankful and blessed that I got to experience something that my son loved still. The next morning(today) he was released and we headed home, wondering what trials and difficulties we would face this next month. As you all know I’m a blog stalker, well it just so happens one of the blogs I stalk just happened to have a wealth of information for us about spica casts. Her daughter was in one last summer for a really long time and she was kind enough to share some tips HERE. Thank you, Ashley! Our family was blessed yesterday with the continued life of our son Conrad. I think God knew that we wouldn’t be able to handle the loss of a child. My heart breaks for all these stories like ours that didn’t turn out well. I never thought that this would happen to us, you never think it will be you facing these fears, wondering if your child will be okay or not. We certainly didn’t. I am always watching “the untold stories of the er” on DFH and think to myself oh my gosh I don’t know what I would do if that happened to me and here we are..that DID happen to us. We were lucky, we still have our son. Some people don’t. Please, please don’t take things for granted.I saw a saying floating around Facebook today that I think fit really good with this story
“People say you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. Truth is, you knew what you had, you just never thought you’d lose it.”
I am thanking God we didn’t lose what we have. Never again will we think ” it won’t happen to us”. Never EVER again!
Parents, please take precautions with your children. I am not writing this to get sympathy, I didn’t write it for you to feel sorry for us. I wrote my story so that parents would maybe get a wakeup call when reading this, that things can happen so fast and you may not be as lucky as we were. God Bless and please stay safe.