On this day my life changed. I can't even begin to explain all the ways Jan. 30th 2017 has changed me. After a normal day at work in my most comfortable jeans and favorite K-state Hoodie (that I no longer have) I picked all 4 kids up at daycare and headed home. That is the last thing I remember clearly till 2 days later. 2 miles from home My suburban was T-boned by a truck traveling at HIGH rates of speed at an unmarked intersection. The collision threw my suburban over 60 feet into a field.
I was on the phone with my sister Amy when this happened. I had just gotten the then new iphone7 for Christmas which has noise cancellation so she did not hear the collision, but knew I was no longer talking and all she could hear was the kids screaming. She hung up and called her husband Mike and just told him to come find me that something was wrong. Then she called Mark to tell him that something happened - she didn't know what or where but that he needed to leave. Then Mark called our daycare provider to ask her if I had left there and if I had mentioned to her where I was going. Mike then called my brother Todd and said where he was going asked Todd to go another way and that they needed to find us.
I have no recollection of anything at the scene and only very spotty memories of the next few days. Amy is a person who handles stress and struggle through photography so I have many pictures (which I am grateful for) to let me in on what life looked like the days after the wreck.
So before Mike arrived on the scene Jaren had jumped out of a broken window to open the door as he couldn't find the door handle inside the car - he then let Landrie out so they could go to the edge of the road to get help. I can not imagine what those two went through in the moments after the wreck and it absolutely kills me to think about it. I am so very proud of them and their bravery and willingness to help mommy
When they were standing at the side of the dirt road looking for someone to help us a car of high school kids came by and they called 911 as myself and the other driver (who was alone) were both unconscious. Then a 'neighbor' who lives a mile behind us drove up too and told my kids he was gonna quick go home and get his wife who is a nurse. So they came back to the car to get their backpacks. Ryland was sitting in his 5 point harness the whole time just 'staring' as Jaren explains it - we now know he was in shock as he was suffering from a broken Tibia and Fibula as well as a brain palsy that we later found out about.
While the neighbor man was gone - Mike arrived on the scene and woke me up then tried to take care of Taylin who was SCREAMING with lots of blood on her face. Then my brother arrived and help take care of my babies. Another teacher from the school ended up driving past to go to her daycare and stopped and called the principal of the building who came out as well. They had found some glass in Taylin's mouth so she got to ride in the ambulance with me to the hospital.
When they were checking out the other kiddos to be released on the scene is when they figured out Ryland broke his leg as he hadn't complained about anything but they went to go put him down and he couldn't stand. So he got to ride in the ambulance with my brother. Mike Hunter then took Jaren and Landrie with him.
Along the way in all of this my dad had gotten called and made it to the scene as well and he rode in the ambulance with me and Taylin. My mom, Amy and Mark met us at the hospital followed closely by Nikki, Jim and Phyllis. I am pretty sure Rhonda too as she went to our house and got milk from the freezer for Taylin. I know a few of my co-workers came to the hospital too and I believe I have been told of other family members that were there, and I am sorry if I am forgetting to mention you, but if you weren't in a picture I struggle to remember all the other details.
What I do know is that MANY MANY MANY people were praying for us and for that I am eternally grateful.
Taylin had to stay the night in the hospital with a skull fracture and to monitor for swallowed glass. She got the neck collar off the next day and had no problems with glass. I am sad to say that the doctors refused Marks multiple requests for them to glue or stitch her forehead so she has a scar on her face as a constant reminder of this horrible day.
Ryland was released that evening with a splinted leg and referred to orthopedic doctor. Sadly though he had to be brought back into the hospital the next night as he was not acting right and his eyes were not lining up. That is when we learned he has suffered a brain palsy and if it did not cure itself in 6 months we would be looking at surgery. And with our wonderful team of prayer warriors in 3 months he had improved and by 6 months he passed with flying colors!!! Have seen no farther concerns with this either!!! (knock on wood)
When we did make it to the orthopedic doctor the x-rays were not good. We would try a cast and if that did not help there was one other long shot of a thing we could try but we were looking at surgery to set his leg. Casting alone did not do the trick so we went with the long shot of putting a wedge in the cast. Basically cut the cast and use a pliers to open it up and shove a wedge in it to manually straighten his bone. We are so grateful we tried this as it worked and he did not have to have surgery and he was so so so very brave. Thank God he was young enough to not fully understand what we were saying when we were talking about manually straightening his bone.
I had a broken nose, skull fractures, brain bleeds, broken ribs and many bruises, cuts and lacerations. I left the hospital with a neck brace for 6 weeks - that turned in to 8 full weeks and 2 weeks of 1/2 days, orders for two weeks off work, which turned into two full weeks and 2 half day weeks a 10 pound weight restriction which lasted the whole 12 weeks with neck brace and lots of pain meds. and appointment to see a facial surgeon for my nose.
I can't fully express how even now when I think about it, it is hard to wrap my brain around how much love and support came our way after this day. prayers, visits, food, money, kind gestures, etc. etc. etc. We didn't cook for ever, we didn't clean our house for ever, I had to be driven everywhere - thanks to my dad and marks dad for picking me up from work and taking me home. For all the trips with my kids to and from daycare and school. For all the people who offered to babysit me. for all the rides to and from doctors appointments and for all the help with Ryland as well with his cast and wheelchair.
Mark - oh I could never say enough about Mark. How strong he was. How he never complained about anything. He did so much so selflessly. He did everything for the kids and for this house (that others weren't doing for us) and for me. He never lost his temper or just said he couldn't do it any more. What he went through because of me because of the wreck for me and for the kids is just a powerful display of the amazing man, husband and father he is. The time, the money, the stress, the heartache. I will never forget what he did in those weeks and pray to never be able to repay him in the way of helping him post an accident. What I do pray to do is to help in the way of being able to provide for him a happy home with many beautiful memories and evenings and weekends filled with quality family time. To know that tomorrow is not promised and that you have to make the very best out of today while you have it in front of you.
Here are some pictures from that day and following days.
|Father Aaron giving me a blessing of the sick|
|Finally getting to see the kids|
|My dear friend Sarah coming to visit.|
|my sister Nikki who stayed in the room with Taylin the first night. She stayed there - Amy stayed with me and Mark wore a path on the floor between the two rooms.|
|The next day|
|Mike got to come see us at hospital after helping take care of us on the scene and taking Jaren and Landrie from the scene|
|Taylin Tess seeing specialist|
|And she got it off!!!|
|Ryland coming back in the hospital|
|eyes aren't right|
|special time with Mom for Hunter|
|I'm sitting up here at least|
|PT had to take me for a walk in the cute slippers my brother Todd got for me|
|Finally got to go home and my best friend Kelsey from KC came and stayed with us and helped make sure that Jaren and Landrie felt special too.|
|I finally got to clean my hair!!!|
|Beautiful baby girl|
|I demanded to go to Jaren and Landries basketball games that Sat.I know bad choice but it was honestly better than when I tried to go the next Sat - the day after my nose surgery - that was BAD|
|getting splint off to be casted|
|The magical piece of plastic that saved us from surgery|
|I know it is from amount of pain meds and lack of memory but for me recovery from the nose surgery was worse then the wreck itself.|
|Ryland was AMAZING the whole time he had the cast on|
|The thought putting Taylins neck brace on was great. I told them unless they are playing doctor I NEVER want to see them in one of these.|
|getting cast off|
|his leg was SOOOO hairy :)|
|happy girl with mosquito bite scar|
Many other things followed these pictures - a baby tooth I have always had was knocked loose in the wreck and so I had to have it extracted in Dec. and get an implant this summer. I got braces on in June to straighten teeth for the implant. After the neck brace came off it had done some pretty bad damage to my neck and I had almost no range of motion. Which resulted in many Physical Therapy appointments. My neck is now doing GREAT much thanks to an amazing PT (Amanda as Harter PT in Goddard) Ryland had a few trips to school with mommy to see the PT to get ideas on how to help him with is limp post cast. We finally got a new car which happens to be the twin sister to the suburban we were in in the wreck. same color/year, etc... Everyone is healthy, happy and here THANK THE LORD!!!
We are still fighting with insurance on one final claim, I still have the braces on and I have to get the implant still put in place when braces come off, but other than that we are clear of this day on paper.
With one year past and almost everything lined out I pray we can fully move past this day now, never forget it, but move past it.