Friday, October 12, 2012

Our life saver lost his dad this week.

In the seconds, minutes, hours following Andrew’s accident on July 4th 2010, there were several  people that were instrumental in saving his life. EMT’s, nurses, doctors, pilots.

I will forever be indebted to those people.

There were 3 in particular.

#2 Was a nurse that we refer to as Berta.  We named her this because of
her disposition and physical likeness to Berta on Two and A Half Men..

Immediately after Andrew hit the ground, there was blood flowing from inside his ear.  I assumed he had damaged his ear drum.

It was Berta in the emergency room who finally realized that it was NOT blood that was draining, but spinal fluid..  Presenting the first indication that there was a severe traumatic brain injury.

She instantly ordered a CT of the head and neck.  Before the x-ray department could whisk him away for the scan, Berta was on the phone to the Life Line dispatch operator ordering a helicopter transport.

#3 Was nurse John, a long time ER nurse who has seen every type of injury possible.

Andrew was having some short term memory issues and his cognitive ability was less than engaged. 
He asked repeatedly where he was and what had happened.  And when things were explained he couldn’t understand.. 
For example he punched the CT machine several time because he thought it was an MRI, and that his pen ink tattoos were going to explode.  Even though it was explain to him that it was not going to be much more than a normal x-ray, and he didn’t need to worry about his tattoos.

He just didn’t understand what was being said.

So when he heard the word helicopter, he lost his mind.. Tried to pull his IV out, verbally attacked anyone in earshot and said he would walk to Carle Hospital and meet the helo there.

The pilots pulled me aside and said they were not able to take someone so combative in the air.

The doctors said he was not stable enough to travel by car or even ambulance..  And he could not be sedated until he was seen by the neurologist.

While several of us were brainstorming on ways to get him loaded a quiet nurse that had gone unnoticed until the point, strolled over and leaned down into my sons face.

He only said these words “lay here and die, or get in the chopper”.   
A calm washed over Andrews’s body and he said “what time is take off”.

These two people and so many others played such a huge part in his survival.

But the first, the #1 life saver/changer was an EMT that was one of the first responders on site.

A familiar face that I quickly recognized at one of Andrew’s ice hockey team mates.

Andrew laid in the road for several minutes while I called 911.. When he finally stood his equilibrium was compromised.  He walked in a circle like a puppy chasing his tail until he finally stumbled toward the house.. I followed him half trying to keep him from falling and half keeping an eye out for the ambulance.

By the time it arrived Drew was in the house lying down and convinced if he would just take a nap, he would be fine..  I couldn’t convince him that he needed to go the hospital.

A line of 6 or 7 EMT’s and firefighters filed through my front door.. In the midst of them I saw the face that I knew would make it okay..  Small in stature but mighty in spirit, Caleb Melton walked into my house and without a word walked straight to Andrew.  Drew relaxed at the familiar face of a hockey teammate. 

As he started to speak, I walked away.

Within minutes Andrew agreed to go to the emergency room but only if he was allowed to ride in the car, not the ambulance.

I don’t know what Caleb said to Drew that day.. What I know is, if Caleb hadn’t been here, I’m not sure Berta or John would have had their chances at saving Drew’s life.

This week Caleb lost is father Kirk, in a tragic accident.. My heart bleeds for him..   
I only hope that the EMT’s and first responders were half the person Caleb was for us.

The loss of a parent is nothing less than devastating.

Prayers for Caleb and his family.

1 comment:

Kris said...

You never stop amazing me with your witty writing and loving heart. Never chance baby!