I remember the day as if it was yesterday. It was April 4, 1997 . . . over 20 years ago. It was also four days after the April Fool’s snowstorm . . . which is quite ironic, since we just had another snowstorm on April 1st.
At the time, I was pregnant with our first child.
It was all so surreal, I had just returned from my lunch hour at the technology company where I worked. As soon as I walked into the building, the head of Human Resources was there to greet me. He asked me to step into his office because he needed to talk with me about my husband, Dave.
My mind started racing in all different directions . . . and what he said was the last thing I expected . . .
He said that the HR department at my husband’s work just called him about Dave. They said that he had been in an accident at work. Dave had fallen into a chemical containment pit and that the emergency team was trying to get him out. At the time, they did not know the extent of his injuries but that I needed to go to the hospital immediately.
He then asked my friend who was also my sister-in-law, Carmel, to escort me to the hospital.
At the time, Dave worked at a circuit board company managing their waste water as a supervisor. For those of you not familiar with this type of job, his role was to cleanse the water before it is discharged to the city sewer.
I worked about 25 minutes from the hospital. Carmel and I arrived a little after the ambulance.
As Carmel and I entered the hospital, we were met by the Chaplin since it was a Catholic hospital. We were immediately escorted into his office within the Chapel. I had no idea what this meant; however, Carmel did since she was and is Catholic. Although, Carmel’s disposition was outwardly composed and loving, internally she was “freaking out”.
For me, I believe it was a blessing in disguise . . .
Had I known the real reason we were meeting with the Chaplin was because he was unsure whether David would live or die.
The doctor then met with me and gravely told me that Dave had shattered his femur in his left leg. Since the femur is the largest bone in the human body and David had shattered his . . . it was important that they operate on him. The doctor said the surgery would take about two hours. They needed to take bone grafts from his hip and then rebuild his femur with pins, blots and screws.
The two hours turned into six hours. It was the longest day of my life. The not knowing was killing me . . . I was an emotional, pregnant wreck. I was very lucky that I did not have a miscarriage.
When the doctor finally came out to meet with me, he said that the surgery took longer than expect due to the amount of shattered bones. He said it was important to remove all the tiny pieces of bones so that he did not have a blood clot and die. The doctor then said that he was very lucky to be alive. If he had fallen into one of the tanks, he would not be here today.
It was a long road to recovery for him. He was in the hospital for two weeks and then home for seven weeks thereafter. Dave had intense physical therapy where he had to relearn how to walk.
Financially we were strapped, but I believe that God was watching over us and provides for us when we need him . . . because at the time, we won $1,000 on a lottery ticket.
As I look back on that harrowing experience, Dave’s attitude was always positive and upbeat. He was determined to walk before Jackie was born. And he did. Our beautiful baby girl, Jackie, was born on August 19, 1997 and Dave was able to carry her in his arms as he walked.
Dave and I have had long discussions on his mindset during this dark time and how he used the Power of Positive thinking to overcome the challenges he faced.
In closing, writing this blog brings tears to my eyes about the “what ifs” . . . so please take a moment to either text, call or hug your loved ones and let them know how much they mean to you:).