Our trip to Idaho was awesome in more ways than one. But what fun would a trip be without a little drama, right?
When Steve flew in to Idaho straight from China, we met him at security with “Welcome Home Daddy” signs. The kids were crazy excited and just plain crazy in most regards – especially Bennett. When he saw his dad walk through he screamed and ran. He was more hyper and happy than his usual hyper and happy self and his excitement was hard to contain. I found myself saying several times, “Don’t do that…stop running…you need to stay by me…” but of course he was oblivious.
As we walked out to the curb, Bennett immediately started straight for the street and we pulled him back. He saw our ride pull up and he quickly ran to it. We pulled him back, however, he did not realize the car was still pulling up slowly to the curb, and he stumbled off the curb and stepped/fell in front of the front wheel. I saw it all happen. It was slow motion, partly because the car was moving so slowly. His leg twisted and the top of his foot went to the pavement and the wheel sat on top of the bottom of his foot. Before the car had time to back up and before we could pull him over to the curb, there was a lady right next to us, on the phone. She was directing us as to what we needed to do and it took me to realize she was on the phone with 911.
I’m not sure where she came from, but she identified herself as a first responder who witnessed it happen and stayed with us until more help arrived. This is where everything became a little foggy. I heard some sirens and it didn’t register until the firetruck was sitting in front of us that I realized the sirens were for us. Bennett was screaming and inconsolable and questions were being asked left and right. I think I explained the situation to at least 6 people and grew more sick every time I described it. The more strangers that surrounded us on the curb at the airport, the more Bennett panicked and begged to go home.
Not wanting to scare the kid anymore than we had to, we declined further help (including transport) and rushed straight to the ER. That was the longest 7 mile drive ever with a child screaming in pain in the back seat.
The ER was quick to address us and his immediate pain and he even received x-rays quite quickly. However, then there was the waiting period to hear results. The pain medication worked quickly and before long he was zonked out on my shoulder.
He stayed that way until they came in to scrub his wound. Not just wash…scrub. No amount of painkillers can mask that pain and he fought it. In the end, I was holding down his upper body and Steve his lower body, as the nurse worked quickly. They brought him a sticker after the scrubbing and he thought it was a bandaid for his “owie”. He insisted we put it on his leg!
The doctor came back with shockingly good news. No broken bones. Even the toe that was standing straight up when we walked in – no broken bones. A lot of ligament damage and road rash but no broken bones. We learned children’s bones aren’t quite developed leaving them more pliable – which saved us in this case. I nearly cried with relief but instead my body just let out a huge sigh of relief. Steve’s body was already in a state of shock from traveling across the world and only sleeping 5 hours out of 48 so just knowing that we could be on our way home was music to his ears.
They bandaged Bennett up, gave him a prescription for pain and we were on our way. It was a long day. I couldn’t help but he filled with joy, relief and complete gratitude at the circumstance. That little boy had angels watching over him and protecting him. Within minutes of being in the car, he was sleeping again and I looked back at him. Tears rolled down my cheeks thinking of how different and tragic this day could’ve been for our young family.
Bennett was definitely not himself for a while after that. He couldn’t walk and he would scream in pain when his foot was bumped or jostled. But slowly his body repaired and healed itself – the body is an amazing thing and we take for granted the miracle that it is. We had to wash his wound each night which was a wrestling match in and of itself and he wasn’t able to wear a shoe for a while. The first couple days we carried him around everywhere and after that he figured out he could crawl around which saved both our arms!
I thanked my Heavenly Father many times that day and every day after that our little guy is alive. Life is so fragile and can change so quickly on us and I was reminded of that in a very gentle way.