Each year on December 23rd, I share this story on Facebook and I would like to share with you today.
This is an excerpt from my book that I am still in the process of writing.
I have shared this before but continue to share with the intention of hoping that it may inspire someone who may feel like they cannot go on; feel like things may not change; feel like these hard times are just too much; and to honor my daughter and her willingness and strength to create such an amazing life for herself.
I have had many times in my life that brought me to my knees, put me in deep sadness, and created enormous stress but this moment in time 16 years ago today, is one that brought me incredible fear and complete powerlessness.
'On December 23, 2004, I made dinner for Gil (my second husband), Sam (my daughter) and me. Sam’s girlfriend was coming to pick her up and go out for the evening. She came in and had a bite to eat too. As they were walking out the door, I ran through my checklist with Sam, my 16 year old, and her friend who was the driver: seatbelts, drive safely, behave, come home on time.
I began to clean up the dishes and received a call from Sam. Her voice was strange and I heard ‘mom, I was in an accident’. At first, I thought it was a sick joke; I thought that’s not possible, you just left. The phone went silent. As I was about to hit redial, the phone rang again.
I answered and it was a man, ‘I am guessing this is your daughter’s phone, she has been in an accident and badly hurt’! I screamed where? He told me and I yelled to Gil to grab my keys. We jumped into my truck and off we went.
She was only 5 minutes away. I pulled up to the accident and jumped out of my truck. I ran to the car and saw something that no parent would ever want to witness.
My daughter was slumped over in the passenger seat, her beautiful long blonde hair filled with blood, her leg mangled into the front dash, she was not moving. I could not see her face. I was pushed out of the way by Gil and the paramedics.
I gained a second of perspective and saw the intersection; I saw the damage; I saw the other cars involved. I heard the paramedic saying something to me that she fractured her leg and I will hear her scream as they extracted her from the car. I heard that she was alive.
I was able to speak to my daughter’s friend for a brief moment. I was so grateful that she was not terribly hurt. She was rushed to our local hospital and released that night.
I heard from a passerby that my daughter’s friend's car t-boned a car that ran a stop sign. I heard that the driver of that vehicle was standing a few feet away. I began screaming and walking towards that person ready to pound on him. I felt my body being stopped. Gil grabbed me and pulled me away from almost punching that person in the face.
Yes, he had no license, no insurance and was high.
I then heard loud piercing screams coming from my daughter. My heart left my body again. I ran to be with her but was again stopped. My head was spinning, my body shaking, my soul crying.
Next thing I saw was her face. She was lying on the stretcher. She had passed out from the pain. Her face was torn up, blood everywhere. Her clothes full of blood and now torn open for trauma care.
My beautiful baby girl was so incredibly hurt. Everything went blank for me. For the first time in my life, I was completely out of control and helpless.
I felt something powerfully spiritual surround me and say 'TRUST AND LET GO!'
I followed that direction.
The paramedic told me to get into the ambulance and that we were driving to a place where the medivac was landing. I was now almost mute and followed their instruction. I hopped into the ambulance and was able to hold Sam’s hand. She was now in and out of consciousness. I tried wiping the blood and tears from her face. I kept reciting that everything was going to be ok. It was a two-minute drive to a local elementary school where the medivac was now waiting. They asked if I wanted to go. I was afraid to fly...I hated to fly and up until that time and would never step foot into a helicopter. I said absolutely I am going and honestly had zero fear.
I was too focused on getting my daughter the critical care that she needed.
The flight nurse was incredible. She took control of me and the situation. She placed the headset on me so we could communicate. She told me exactly what was happening with Sam and the commute to the hospital. An amazingly intelligent, professional, and compassionate person. She told me that Sam was critical. She fractured her femur and probably has damage to her head and face. She told me that the flight would be approximately 15 minutes. She asked if I had questions. I did not. I thanked her but really could not speak.
The flight took 12 minutes. I remember being escorted into the hospital and told to wait in a specific room. I was told that Sam was in good hands and that someone will be in to talk with me soon.
Within a few minutes a nurse and a clergyman came into the room. I was told again that Sam was critical and was asked about my religious background and if I wanted to pray with the clergy.
I was stunned and again felt an out of body type experience. I asked if and when I could be with my daughter.
Next thing I remember, I was in the emergency room and was talking with the docs. Yes, she had a fractured femur and lost a lot of blood; she had numerous contusions around her face and head; she appears to be internally bleeding elsewhere in her abdomen but they were not sure where yet. She will be scheduled for surgery and they asked me if I wanted her face sewn by a doc or call in a plastic surgeon. I requested a plastic surgeon....' the story continues.
The next 4-5 days were spent in the hospital. I was able to have Christmas dinner with the pilots of the medivac in the hospital cafeteria and express my gratitude and thanks for their care and professionalism.
Sam had a long recovery but thanks to the amazing critical care that she received from amazing professionals, the strong will of Sam and the incredible support of family friends...she is living an amazingly beautiful life.
I hope that no parent has to ever see, feel, nor experience that kind of trauma of watching their child suffer so.
And, I am beyond grateful for this beautiful picture of my daughter and her family and the incredibly blessed life that she is now living.
Sending you all peace and love for the coming new year.
When you may be feeling paralyzed with fear or sadness, please do not give up Hope and Trust and Let Go!
I am here for you if you need support.