I was on vacation this summer, four states away, when I got the call that no mom ever wants to have. The call that just reading about, causes a pit of dread in your stomach, even if you have never received it. My son had been in a car accident while traveling for work and was life-flighted. His work dispatch did not have any details for me at the time other than that. Shock took over my body — panic had not even set in — just shock. I wasn’t sure if he was alive, no idea the extent of the injuries, or even what happened to him.
I set to pack up my things, throwing these that didn’t belong together in my suitcase like a zombie: shampoo in my make-up bag, my dirty hiking boots on top of a nice white dress. I kept stopping mid-way looking around in a blur. At some point in all this someone in my family took over and loaded the car.
I am unsure what I did during this time except start random sentences that I couldn’t finish. Within 30 minutes we(they) had the condo packed up and I was in so much shock that I needed to be helped to the car, physically unable to walk steadily. This was a first for me; I am not an emotional person. I don’t often cry or get out of sorts. There were not any flights available and I was 12 hours away from my son, condition unknown. This is when panic set in.
The work vehicle he was driving had a mechanical malfunction and the entire rear axle came off along with the wheel and tire on the highway, going 70mph. The vehicle flipped at least five times. The cab of the half ton truck he was driving was completely crushed. By some miracle my son is alive, he was life-flighted but stable. John had a TBI with a slight brain bleed but was incredibly lucky.
After he was discharged from the hospital, He stayed at my home for six weeks of rehab. What a six weeks those were! I was buying a shower chair for my nineteen year old son who hadn’t lived at home for about almost a year. Super successful in his career and trade school, this had been a giant step back just as he was spreading his wings and becoming an adult. I took care of him like he was a toddler for the first two weeks and then blessedly he kept improving, at such a rapid rate, he impressed the doctors. John went on with life as if nothing happened to him, living back at his own apartment by week seven. He will have…