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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Wreck

I tried to decide on a better title for this post, but I think that is the most fitting. Luke was in a wreck on June 10, and it has literally wrecked our summer. My other option was "God Provides," and that is definitely more optimistic and just as true.
This story begins one early morning with Luke and his buddies meeting for breakfast. They were having the discussion that the road to Heaven is narrow; in fact, probably narrower than we would all like to think it is. Luke and I were discussing this later and Luke stated, "My life has been so good so far. I just really dont feel like God has tested me." I quickly retorted, "Well, I know I am going to Heaven and dont need to be tested. Please pray again quickly that he tests you and only you because I dont want to be along for that ride!" ha. ha.
On Friday, June 10, Luke and I had met for two law firm parties. He is fixing to start his 3rd and final year of school and had two internships this summer. Both firms had parties that night, and we attended both. Both were very lovely, the people were nice, and the food was delicious! I have learned alot over the past month, and one thing is, be careful what you pray for. I said a quick prayer that night that Luke wouldn't have to pick between the two firms. That is a ridiculous thing to think, and God took care of it. Kate was at my parents, and Preston was at my grandparents, so at the end of the night, I headed to get Kate and Luke got Pres. Luke went in to my grandmothers, fixed her tv, picked up the baby, and headed home. At 11:58, he called me, told me he had been in a bad wreck, and that he thought his leg was shattered. I could her Preston screaming in the background, and I immediately sprang into nurse/mama bear mode. I got 911 on the phone, and made sure they were sending someone immediately. Out where we live, there is sometimes a delay in emergency responders because they cant decide whose jurisdiction we are in. Anyway, by the time I got to the scene (I was ab 15 minutes behind Luke), there were about 8 cop cars and an ambulance on the scene. Luke's car was perpendicular to the road and I could tell he was cut up and hurting. The EMT was checking him out in the car, and told me he was fine and I could check on the baby. Preston was asleep in the backseat of a cop car by this time, and I stood there and held him in the middle of the street. My parents pulled up as they started to cut Luke out of the car. As they pulled him from the vehicle, he let out a guttural yell that just made me sick. Being there was almost surreal, and I hope I never have that feeling again. They put Luke in an ambulance and took him up to a gas station close by. He was airlifted to The Med, and my mom and I followed behind. My dad took the babies home with him.(Turns out the EMT who was in charge of Luke was my 4H horse judging coach. God provided a familiar face in a very scary situation.)
When we finally got to The Med, we couldnt find the ER, and we told we needed to speak with the chaplain. We moved on to the next checkpoint and were put in a tiny waiting room with no other people and were told to wait for the chaplain. When you have just loaded your husband onto a helicopter, that is not exactly the best thing to hear. I wanted to puke until she came in all smiles and told us he was in assessment and it would probably be a little while before we could see him. Two of our dearest friends had gotten there by this point, and we hung out in the tiny room until we could get back to him. When we did get to see him, they had determined that he had a broken femur and a 3rd degree laceration on his spleen. The nurse said they would do surgery on his leg, but it might not be until Monday. He would have to lay on that hard stretcher with no surgery for 2 days! We immediately started praying his surgery would be moved up. My mom and I ran to my house, got my dog and some clothes, went to her house, took quick naps and headed back to The Med. Prayers were already being answered when we met his dad and stepmother in the hallway. He had been moved to the TICU. We were able to get in to see him, & he looked great other than pain in his leg. They put his left leg in traction until it could be fixed. We continued to pray for surgery for that day, and it happened about 6 that night. Having surgery this day turned out to be imperative to his recovery. His mom got there while he was in surgery, and he woke up after and was his normal self. We decided that everyone could go home for the night and we would come back when they let us in for visitation at 9 the next morning. A family friend (& our wonderful pediatrician) has an apartment on the river, so he let Luke's mom and I go there for the night so I didnt have to come all the way home. At 7:04 Sunday morning, Luke's "girlfriend nurse," Pam, called very concerned. She said Luke had a mental status change over night and I needed to get there immediately. My heart dropped, and we headed back up there. Luke had gone to CT at 2:30 that morning for a follow up of his spleen. When he got back to his room about 4, he was unresponsive. Unresponsive as in he looked like he was sound asleep, but we couldnt get him awake. Not even a deep sternal rub, which I mastered, could get him to open his eyes. We had no explanations, but a lot of worry.
The next few days were a blur. The drs did test after test; xrays, ct scans, MRIs, arteriograms, and nothing came back abnormal. Every time they made me leave his bedside, I would shake uncontrollably and be physically ill until I was back by his side. On Monday, they really thought he was just going to wake back up. Tuesday, we had a neuro resident come in and say she thought that he had a series of mini strokes which left behind non reversible brain damage. Minutes before she walked in, the head of the legal council came by to check on Luke. She knew one fo their family friends, and had offered her help for anything we needed. After that news, I insisted on an EEG. The resident told me there would be now way for it to be done that day. I again insisted on it, and the nurse came in, got the legal councils number, and it was done within the hour. When the neuro attending ready the EEG, she said there were no mini strokes, that she saw FIRDA. It is a type of brain injury that is basically a bruise and would heal on it's own. God provided an answer when we needed it most, and He provided people along the way to help us out.

come back....the story gets better!

6 comments:

The Skaggs said...

On pins and needles reading this!! What a scary time!!! So thankful he's doing better!

The Plunkadoodles said...

I am amazed at your strength!! You are a very incredible woman!

The Treadwells said...

I knew all of this was chaotic @ the time but I had NO idea it was like this @ he was cut from the car & the Chaplin. OHHH my you are one strong woman. I'm just really glad we're reading this having already known the outcome !!!!!

Artsy Fartsy said...

Love that you are doing this and hope it is cathartic. Love you oodles, bunches, and tons. Kiss Kiss.

Andersons in Cajun Country said...

Thanks for this Amanda - I've been following this as closely as possible from LA. and heard several versions of how everything happened but I really wanted to hear it from you yet I'd never ask you to repeat it. I know God's there at every turn of this difficult journey and I pray for the return of your charmed life. You two make such beautiful babies and I wish you were working on more instead of dealing with all of this. You are all in my prayers! Lori

Tricia said...

Reading this from Quito, Ecuador! People in St. Louis and Ecuador have been praying for the Cantrells. You are such a good writer, I feel like I was there too (and I wish I could have been, to be there for you). I love you and your family very much!