Last week DH witnessed an accident and was a first responder. Here’s his story…
I usually get to work rather early, just so I can settle in. My supervisor asked me if I wanted to punch in early to get some of our voicemails out of the way, which also meant I would be leaving work about 15 minutes early. The work day came and went, and I was on my way home. I take a service road that leads to a highway on ramp. Right before my traffic signal turned green a motorcyclist made a right hand turn. It was obvious that they did not have full control of the motorcycle and began to swerve. In a panic it appeared the driver gave the motorcycle gas instead of braking. This sent the driver over the curb and I saw the motorcycle drive off into a ravine.
I made my way to the side of the road and put on my hazards. Two other women stopped, one of them called an ambulance. The other went towards the motorcycle. I got out of my car and heard a faint cry and moan. I went towards a bush where I found a young girl.To my surprise I found her impaled by a bush. One of the very large branches of the bush had been trimmed and she must have slid into the bush and the branch entered through her back and was protruding out of her chest below her right breast. She was obviously in a lot of pain, but she was alive. Every time she took a breath I could hear blood going into her lungs.
I held her hand and asked her several questions. Her name was Maddie, she was 21 years old, had just got off work and was heading home. In between the questions she kept saying she was going to die. I reassured her that she would be ok. Every time I saw her eyes start to roll back I would squeeze her hand and say “Maddie, you have to stay awake, just keep looking at me”.
It seemed like forever but in reality was less than 10 minutes and the paramedics arrived. They took her away and I provided my statement to the officers. I happened to hear what hospital they were taking her to and was left wondering whether Maddie was going to live.
After talking to Heidi about the situation she took to the internet to see if we could uncover more information about Maddie. In a few minutes she had figured out Maddie’s real name, her family members, and even their home address and phone number. Heidi urged me to call the hospital to see if I could get an update. I called. While I was able to confirm she was there they couldn’t give me any information, not even if she was alive.
I called the hospital today on my break and was told she had been moved to a room in the ICU. She was alive! I decided to go to the hospital after work and picked up flowers along the way. I entered the hospital not knowing what type of reception I would receive.
I went to the room and a women gave me a very strange stare, she almost looked like she didn’t want me bothering them. In a quiet voice I explained who I was and that I had stayed with Maddie until the paramedics arrived at the site. The woman was her mom and she welled up with tears and gave me a huge hug. I met the entire family and once again to my surprise Maddie was awake and doing well.
From the moment Maddie woke up, I was all she was talking about. She wanted them to find out who I was because she was sure that if I hadn’t kept her awake she would have died. Maddie has had two surgeries so far and has at least one or two to go. The branch just missed a main artery, it broke two ribs and punctured one of her lungs but other than that, she had no other injuries.
I plan on making many trips back to the hospital and although I don’t know Maddie that well, she already feels like a family member. I’m a true believer in things happening for a reason and yesterday was a great lesson in how precious life is.
Since the date of the accident on Tuesday DH has stopped to see Maddie and her family several times at the hospital. On Saturday I joined him. She had been moved out of ICU on Friday after having the strength to walk on her one. When we arrived on Saturday she had just finished what is hoped to be the last procedure to remove all remaining debris. On Tuesday they will begin bone grafting and rib reconstruction. While she has quite a journey ahead it’s hard not to be amazed by the combination of the healing qualities of our bodies and medical advances of our world that have her right on track to full recovery.
Since we know nothing about the other every visit allows Maddie’s family to get to know us a bit better and us to get to know them. We’ve learned that they are animal lovers and love adventure just as much as us. In fact they love to go off-roading in their Jeep in search of old historical and natural sites. Once the dust settles we’ve all agreed that there are some adventures in our future! Yesterday we just so happened to discuss how two years ago we took a chance and moved to Arizona. That’s when Maddie’s mom said something on the lines of, “I’m glad you moved to Arizona. Because if you hadn’t you wouldn’t have been there for Maddie.”
As cliche’ as it sounds I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. On a normal Tuesday DH and I would’ve carpooled. However, this week I had a hair appointment so we drove separately. In addition, as his story stated, he was able to leave work early and even took a different route than usual. Basically, if it had been any other day of the week DH wouldn’t have been there at that moment.
As we go through our lives it’s hard to think of everything being connected. We’re so short-sighted that we only see what has happened just previous to the present moment, and can only assume what will happen next. We often forget is that every decision we’ve made or direction we’ve taken has gotten us to our present moment. I’m not going to sit here and say that the sole reason behind us moving to Arizona was so DH was present for Maddie’s accident, but everything happens for a reason.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)