Life happens. For better or for worse.
Man does it ever. Just a year ago in July, I was in the same emergency room with my son Asher. This time is was with my husband, Daryl.
He was riding a 4 wheeler and my son was on a dirt bike. They were having fun on the trails then out of the blue, he went flying. Not in a good way and not in a fun way.
We can joke about it today, but a week ago while we were in the emergency room it was no joking matter.
Last Saturday afternoon, I got a phone call from my son saying his dad had just wrecked his 4 wheeler and had blacked out. Asher pulled the 4 wheeler off of him, woke him up and got him to a log where he tried to sit down but was in too much pain to. He didn’t know where he was or what had happened. He was breathing shallow and in extreme pain.
My poor kid, I know it had to have scared him to death. He handled it like a champ and I’m so proud of him. He was very calm when he called me, he’s just 15. I asked him later if he was freaked out, he said he was but then felt better after his dad came to.
After that call, I rushed to where they were and had to find them on the trail. It was about 30 minutes away from where I was even doing about 90 mph. First though, I called my dear friend Jody who’s a nurse to determine if we needed an ambulance. I had to make that decision when I saw him. Meanwhile on the drive, I was on the phone with Asher and could hear Daryl in the background and could tell he was confused and didn’t know what was going on. Daryl was wearing a helmet, thank goodness. Even still, he had a concussion.
I had no idea how I would even be able to find them. It was almost 5 o’clock and the money collection gate at Interlake ATV park was closed, I was in a van, I had on flip flops, no atv, not very good cell reception and I was nearly out of gas. So, I called friends of ours who live closer to the area than I was at and asked them to help me. They went right away.
As I got there, it seemed I was on a gravel road forever. I was flying. My gas light was on and I lost connection with Asher on Daryl’s phone. It’s a very remote area. I kept calling Asher back each time it dropped. Luckily, he gave me pretty good directions on where to find them. I was able to get that location to our friends Bryan and Robin. He’s like a human map. I swear that kid memorizes the trails like the back of his hand.
When I got there, I saw Bryan talking with some other riders asking if they had seen them. Then I saw my friend Robin and she said they had been yelling for them but no answer. They were too far in the woods. I had been able to get “trail 2” from Asher before I lost connection for the last time. I yelled it to Bryan. He started taking off down trail 2. I parked the van and was going to follow only to see Asher drive up on the same 4 wheeler Daryl wrecked. He had disobeyed me when I had told him to not leave Daryl alone but in this case it was a good call. We would’ve went the wrong way.
I got on the back of the 4 wheeler and yelled at Robin to get them back and come our way. When I got to Daryl, I was scared. I could see fear in his eyes and confusion. He didn’t remember anything. He thought he could drive back, I knew he couldn’t. Even though he could walk, he had extensive injuries. I really was scared he had punctured his lung by the sound of his breathing. I was trying to stay calm and talk with him and our friend Bryan drove up with the strangers he met on the trail when I first drove up.
They were so nice and helpful even though they didn’t know us at all. They had a buggy (side by side) and let me and Daryl get in and drove us to the van which would’ve been a very long walk for him with his injuries. Sadly, I cannot remember their name, just that they were from Kentucky. I was so thankful to them and our friends Bryan and Robin. I don’t know what I would’ve done without them.
We got to the van and Robin and Bryan said they’d gather the atv’s and drive the truck and trailer to their house and take Asher with them. I got Daryl in the van and we took off for the hospital. I did have to stop and get gas or else we wouldn’t have made it. Jeesh.
I stopped at the closest hospital which was Deaconess Gateway and pulled up to the emergency entrance. I struggled getting Daryl out and into a wheelchair. Meanwhile, the employees inside just watched me, not offering to help at all. I got him in finally and pushed him in. There were two young women at the desk. They masked us up and I signed him in. They asked what happened and I told them a rollover atv accident and that he had blacked out and they seemed unconcerned and like it was just another day. Took his info and told us they’d call us when it was our turn. I asked about how long and they said a couple of hours. !! I was floored.
They were so rude and if felt like I had interrupted their social time with the cop that was behind the counter with them. I rolled Daryl just a few feet away and to the closest chair. He was in pain and freezing, I was sweating. It was like 92 degrees outside. He was in shock. I went to the desk to ask for a blanket and they told me they couldn’t give him one unless he had gotten a room. I then said okay, I’ll just roll him outside to the heat and would they please just tell the nurse we’re out there when it’s his turn. You could even see where we’d be sitting, it was all glass. They said no and if we missed his name being called then we just would have to wait longer.
That was it. I was pissed. They had no compassion or empathy whatsoever. I sat back down with Daryl and asked him if he could handle another ride in the van and we’d go to my preferred hospital that was about 15 minutes further away. He said yes. What did we have to lose. I called them first to ask wait time. The new hospital, St. Vincent, couldn’t give me a time but said it wasn’t busy. We just were going to take our chances because this was ridiculous.
We got to St. Vincent and they were so nice, they were concerned with Daryl and took him right away and started getting his vitals. As soon as they heard me say it was a rollover atv accident they immediately rushed us into an emergency room and all of a sudden I’ll bet there were 8-10 medical people in there hooking him up to everything. We made the right decision leaving Gateway and going to St. Vincent. They took excellent care of him and me. By this time, I was a wreck.
From the top photo, you can see my husband’s clothes and shoes tossed on the emergency room floor. They cut his jeans and shirt off him. Half of his jeans were on one side of the room and the other half, tossed to another side. I don’t know what made me take that photo. I thought it was poignant and felt compelled to take it.
After all of the x-rays, tests and evaluations, he ended up with 5 broken ribs, a broken collar bone, a broken elbow, broken knuckle, 2 fractured vertebrae and a concussion. They also said he had a cardiac contusion which is where your heart is rubbed by his ribs if I understood it correctly.
He was admitted to the hospital on Saturday evening and they released him Monday evening. I’ve been his caregiver ever since. Well really the entire time in the hospital, too. The nurses and techs were incredible but they’re short staffed and I didn’t mind doing for him what I could.
It’s going to be a long recovery. He’s off work indefinitely but after this next week we hope to know more. We’ve got another chest x-ray Monday and then 3 doctors appointments the rest of the week. So keep us in your prayers or send good vibes, whatever good mojo you can send. We’ll take it.
It’s been a week and a day now. He’s doing quite well. He’s still in pain and it’s really difficult getting comfortable to sleep. He’s been sleeping in the recliner and the couch. Our bed is too high and he’s not been able to lay flat yet. But it seems he’s a little bit better each day.
If you’re wondering, I’m taking time still though to create art a little here and there. Believe me, I’d rather be sharing with you photos from another paint out with my artist friends. But, I do have a big exciting announcement that I’ll be sharing soon about this upcoming December. No, I’m not pregnant! haha
Thank you for all of your support, I’m so grateful to you. – Jaime
Learn more about me on the ‘About’ page under the additional links menu. I’m an artist – a painter mostly and an avid gardener. I paint a variety of subjects including birds, koi fish, my gardens, ponds and flowers as well as anything having to do with nature especially trees and tropical scenes. I also enjoy painting abstracts and have started created more and more of them. My most favorite thing to try to achieve in my painting is is mystery and telling mystical stories.
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