Have you ever been awakened from a dead sleep by something that normally wouldn’t wake you up and then something happens that you would have missed if you had been asleep? This was something that happened to me a couple of years ago.
It was about 4 a.m. and I awoke to the cat scratching furiously on the door to get in from our patio to our bedroom. I let her in and then stumbled to the bathroom so I wouldn’t be awakened later by my small bladder and need to frequently go to the bathroom. I figured this would give me at least 2 or 3 more hours uninterrupted sleep before I had to get up. #1 was not living at home (away at college) and #2 had moved back home but had gone to a concert and was staying with friends and #3 was still in high school but was staying with friends. It was very early on Sunday morning.
As I’m sitting on the toilet I hear sirens and I’m thinking to myself “Wow, this is awfully early for someone to be up on a Sunday morning” and then I stumbled back to bed. I was almost asleep when I heard the cat throw up. Great!! So I get back up and clean up the cat throw up, scrub the carpet and my hands and fall back into bed. I am almost asleep again when hubby says “Was that the doorbell?” Mind you, our doorbell does not ring. It has not worked since we moved in our house. It makes a weird very low urrrrggghhh sound and if you’re not sitting in the living room you usually do not hear it. Our bedroom is across the house from the chimer (which does not work).
I mumble to hubby “Who in the world would be at our door at 4:30 in the morning (by now it’s almost 4:30). Hubby says “I swear I think that was the doorbell.” So he climbs out of bed to go check the door and I throw on my robe, find my slippers and then follow him out to the living room and as I get near the door I hear an unfamiliar man’s voice say “We don’t think the injuries are life threatening but you might want to get to Grady as soon as you can.” WTH???
First off, I don’t know who it is that is at my door. Secondly, I don’t know who they are talking about because none of our kids are home at the moment. Thirdly, who in the heck would we know that would be at Grady?
As I walk up to the door I see there are two uniformed Georgia State Highway Patrolmen standing on our stoop and a look of shock on hubby’s face. Who? What? What’s going on???? My knees went weak and my heart felt like it was stuck in my throat. The officers asked hubby if we were going to be okay to drive to downtown Atlanta to Grady and then shook my husband’s hand, told us to drive carefully and left. I had a million questions as I was shakily trying to throw on my clothes.
Apparently #2 had gone to her concert and then gone to her friend’s house afterwards for a few hours and then decided to drive home. She was almost exactly a mile from our house when she apparently fell asleep at the wheel and drove off the left side of the road. The road is very rough in that section and despite my repeatedly telling her NOT to, she always drove down the wrong side of the road right through that part because she didn’t like to “mess up her tires” on the rough stretch. If only that was all she had to worry about. When her driver’s side tires hit the gravel on the side of the road it apparently woke her up as she hit the mailbox and over corrected to get back on the road. She was driving an older model Ford Explorer and when she jerked the wheel to bring the car back on the road the car flipped. According to the police officer it flipped end over end about 5 or 6 times. It came to rest on the driver’s side with her arm out the window and the vehicle laying on her arm.
The impact broke every single piece of glass out of the vehicle (including head and tail lights) and since it flipped so many times, there was glass and personal belongings from the vehicle strewn for almost a mile down the road. The only thing left in the vehicle was #2 because she was wearing her seat belt. The impact rendered her unconscious and she had lain there unconscious breathing in the gas fumes for over an hour until two women happened to drive by and find her. And apparently anyone in the vicinity of Atlanta who receives a head trauma that renders them unconscious in a motor vehicle accident is transported to Grady.
At first they thought she was inebriated because she came to briefly when they were trying to cut her clothes off of her before they put her in the ambulance and they considered her “combative”. Her response was “If you woke up and a bunch of men you didn’t know were trying to rip off your clothes wouldn’t you fight too?” Can’t say I blame her there, especially when she wasn’t aware of what was going on. They also said they had found a broken wine bottle and liquor bottle at the scene so they thought she was drinking. She admitted she had been drinking WAY earlier but that was why she had stayed at her friends for so long so she had sobered up. Her birthday had been the day before and someone had given her the bottle of liquor for her birthday. If they had paid attention they would have noticed that the seal was still intact. I know because I found that on the side of the road. They only found the broken bottle and immediately thought she was drinking it. As for the wine bottle, it was empty. She has a friend who collects unusual wine bottles and she had found it weeks earlier and it was in her car for when she saw her friend again. I don’t know why they didn’t bother to do a blood alcohol test if they thought she was inebriated.
They had to use “the jaws of life” to cut the top of the car off to get her out of the vehicle and the officer had told us that when they drove up on the scene of the accident they thought that her arm had been amputated since they only say part of her arm sticking out from under the vehicle. The gas ran out of the vehicle as she say there and there are still “burns” on the road from where the gasoline seared the road. She lay there for over an hour inhaling those fumes which I’m sure contributed to her confused state.
I cannot believe after what she had been through she wasn’t more injured than she was. She was in and out of consciousness for several hours after the accident and well into the morning. Other than the cuts and contusions on her arms and leg she had some serious bruising on her face. They found out a couple of days later that she broke the bones underneath her eye (her cheekbone area) but other than that, miraculously, nothing else was broken. They ended up keeping her in Grady for 5 days. I think it’s because they are always in threat of being shut down because they have no money so that when they finally got a patient that actually had insurance they kept her as long as possible.
Most of these pictures of her were taken weeks after her accident so that gives you a sense of just how bruised she actually was. Her car of course was a total loss but that was nothing. A vehicle is material and can be replaced. I feel so lucky and blessed that she had no further injuries than she did and no long lasting effects. I told her she needs to get down on her hands and knees every day and kiss the ground and thank God that she’s still here. I am so thankful for the blessings I have been given.