Monday, August 3, 2015

My Brother-in-law's accident

It is NEVER a good thing when the phone rings after midnight and startles you awake and not just because your dream is interrupted. 

On Sunday, July 26th at 12:22am my husband's phone rang.  It woke us up from a dead sleep and the first words my husband said was, "Who the hell is calling at this time of night?!".  I got to the phone before he did and saw that it was our nephew.  That's when my stomach sank.

"My dad was in a motorcycle accident.  He is stable but I don't know what happened yet.  I'm on my way to get Mom and get to the hospital.  I'll let you know as I find out more."

All I could say is OK as I held my face.  There was nothing we could do but wait for the phone to ring again.  They were a 5 hour drive away and we'd be doing nothing but warming waiting room chairs.  We also needed to stay home to be a support for my mother-in-law.  So we stayed home.

I think we may have dozed off over the next few hours, but by 6am we were wide awake.  We turned on the local 6:30am news, and the accident was the lead story.  Not exactly the way you want to see your family make the news.

Over the rest of the day we continued to get updates on what injuries he suffered:
  • Compound fracture of left femur
  • broken humerus of right arm
  • a couple broken bones in one hand
  • some broken ribs
  • brain swelling
  • not awake yet
Yes, Chris was wearing full riding gear including his helmet.  That God for his helmet!

That first evening his brain swelling had gone down enough for them to do surgery to repair his leg.  Since then there have been multiple attempts to repair his arm, but due to complications it keeps having to be postponed.  In fact, just this morning we received word that it was postponed again.

He still has not woken up.  It's been 8 days.  There are some positive signs, however.  He does have some facial expressions.  Most are grimaces, but there is a smile every now and then.  He even reacts a little to his feet being tickled.  All positive signs.  It is going to be a long road of recovery for him.

Chris has been my brother-in-law for 17 years.  In that time he has annoyed me and helped me, just like any brother does.  He lives about 20 minutes from where my daughter is attending college.  Knowing that she has family that close has been a comfort for us, and for her.  We asked him if he would make sure she was ok while up there.  He took that request to heart, and cares for her as if she were his own. 

Chris is an auto-mechanic by trade and makes sure her car is always running as it should be.  Him and his wife also made sure that every Sunday (with very few exceptions) there was family dinner at his place.  To a college student surviving on ramen and mac 'n cheese, a home cooked meal is a true blessing. 

When my daughter drives home for a holiday, and returns back to school afterward, she is required to check in with him both ways.  He wants to make sure her travels were safe.  She recently went back for the upcoming school year.  She said it was weird not having to call him to say she was on the road.  However, she did check in with him when she got there.  He wasn't awake, but I'm sure he heard her.

This road of recovery is going to be a long and expensive one for him.  One of the biggest financial complications is that he is the sole income for him and his wife.  She has medical issues of her own that prevent her from being able to work.  If all goes well, he may be able to return to work in 6 months.  Now I don't know about you, but I don't have 6 months worth of rent, food, bills, expenses, etc set aside in case something like this were to happen to me.  I know I should, and this was a rude reminder of that, but I don't.  I assure you, it is one of my priorities from here forward. 

Another priority of mine is to help take care of him.  I am not one that typically asks for help for anything, (Trust me, I don't.  It annoys my husband at times that I don't ask.), but I am asking now.  If possible, help me take care of my family.  My nephew has started a GoFundMe account to help with medical and regular bills while Chris is out of commission and healing.  It doesn't take much and every little bit truly does help.  Even five dollars can add up really fast.

If you are a praying person, I ask that you pray for his full and speedy recovery and for peace and comfort for his wife.

One last request:  Please, PLEASE travel safely at all times to all destinations.  No one likes those middle of the night phone calls. 

Hug your loved ones extra tight today.

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