Tuesday, November 17, 2009

November 17, 2003: part two

My mom arrived at the hospital around 4 PM, nearly four hours after my accident. My mom later remarked that she's probably the only mother in history to arrive at the emergency room with four chaplains! (Her friend Paul, in addition to the three chaplains she was working with that day for her school practicum that drove her to St. Anthony's Hospital so that she wouldn't have to drive herself.)

There was a police officer waiting for my mom so he could fill her in on the accident and everything that had happened. Then my mom saw the emergency room doctor and he told her about my injuries. My younger sisters, Laura and Chandra, were already at the hospital because the school secretary had driven them there. Mom, Laura and Chandra all went back to to see me in the room where I was being held. My mom noticed that I was hooked up to all sorts of tubes and different machines and that my neck was extremely swollen, but my face was totally unmarred. (It's amazing that all of my injuries were internal; I didn't have any superficial injuries, like cuts or scrapes.)

Later in the waiting room, my mom noticed that a large and ever-growing crowd of my friends from school and work, in addition to some of our friends from church, began to gather to keep vigil. Only family members were allowed to see me, but our friends came anyway. Every time the doctor would come out into the waiting room to update my mom on my status, a hush would fall over my group of friends as they strained their ears to hear what the doctor was saying. After a few times of this, my mom would motion for my friends to come closer so that they could hear what the doctor was saying so she wouldn't have to try and repeat it. "No sign of movement" was one of the only things my mom remembered the doctor saying.

My bishop and one of his counselors arrived that evening and they were allowed to see me to administer a priesthood blessing. My mom doesn't remember any of the words that were said in the blessing, but she did notice a small tear in my eye after the blessing was over. Although I didn't appear conscious, I'd obviously heard the blessing.

As the evening dragged on, most of my friends left for the evening. Around 11 PM my mom decided to go home to "not sleep" as she told the nurse. Although it was hard for her to leave me, she knew that she would need her strength. She came into my room one last time to see me. Although I appeared unconscious, I would wake up with a wild look in my eyes when people would loudly call my name. My mom didn't know if I could hear her or not, but she tried explaining the situation to me. "You were in a car accident. It was not your fault. You're in the hospital and the doctors are doing all they can for you." Mom also let me know her feelings. "You can't move and the doctors say that it's probably permanent. If you want to go to heaven with Dad, that's okay, but if you want to stay here I'll be here for you every step of the way and do all I can for you." After this my mom and my sisters said a prayer before leaving the hospital for the night. My mom asked Heavenly Father that my dad would be allowed to watch over me through the night. (I don't remember this, but the next day when my mom saw me she asked me if my dad had been there and I blinked my eyes to indicate "yes.")

November 17 was nearly over. So much had happened. I'd woken up that morning thinking it would be an ordinary day, but it ended up so differently. My life had drastically changed in a split second and it would never be the same. My old life was over and a new one was just beginning.


Lorraine said...

Your mom is amazing. What she said to you was so brave, so wise, and so loving. Blessings.

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