One year ago, Alex came into my room plopped on my bed, handed me the tweezers, and said, “Mom, I need you to pluck my eyebrows”..this was a ritual we had. So she would lay in my lap, and I would pluck one hair at time, while she said, “ouch” each time. That next morning she got up for school and was kinda grumpy. I didn’t let it bother me, as it was early and I knew how she was in the morning. I said my usual things before she and Landria, my oldest headed out the door. 25 minutes later, I got the call that changed my life forever. I screamed, cried and ran up to tell my youngest daughter, Hope to get dressed, the girls were in an accident. We jumped in the car, I was shaking and crying. I had Hope call the Benton County Sheriff to find out anything we could. They had already taken Alex, and Landria was trapped in the car, the baby was okay. When we got there, they took Hope and I back to Rylan, who was screaming with blood running down his face. It was horrible. He was so scared. He kept screaming, “Help Me”..I just kept trying to calm him down. Soon after, I was called into to talk to the Neurosurgeon, who told us Alex was brought in unconscious and had a very serious brain injury. They had to put a Internal brain pressure sensor monitor in her brain. Then Landria was finally brought in, she was covered in blood, had a hole in the side of head by her eye. Her eye was almost swollen shut, her cheek was sunken in…her leg was broken and her hands were bloody, arms, legs full of cuts, scrapes..that is what we knew at that point. She just kept saying, “I am so sorry Mom”, over and over. I was in shock by how bad she looked. I kept reassuring her it wasn’t that bad. I didn’t know what to tell her besides that. I felt like I was in Hell. It was surreal, I did not know who to go to, so I went back to Rylan, who they were finally giving a sedative so they could take him for a CAT scan. Rylan had a pretty deep cut on his cheek and a gash on his head, but other than that he was okay physically.
I had to think fast about who to call to come get Rylan, so I could be there for the girls. After his grandfather picked him up, I called Landria’s Dad and my Dad. Rob, Alex’s Dad and his wife, Jeanne’, were already there. He made it there before I did. My Dad flew out the next morning from Boston.
That first night both girls were in ICU in rooms right next to each other. I had to leave the ICU and call to be buzzed back in each time I wanted to go to the each girl’s room. It was horrible. I couldn’t do anything for anyone, but try to reassure Landria.
Alex was unconscious, and they had to work really hard to keep her brain pressure down. We didn’t know the extent of her brain injuries at this time, but knew it was pretty bad. She had a broken pelvis and sacrum. By the next day they put in the Brain drain tube. To know they drilled holes in our daughters skull was horrific. I never imagined this would go on and on. I thought she would wake up at anytime. They then gave her medication to put her deeper in the coma she was in to let her brain rest, so we could only stay in her room for short periods of time, with little stimuli, so her brain could rest.
Landria had to have surgery on her leg, face and arms. I cannot remember the timing of when these took place. She had a steel rod put in her femur, and plates and screws in one wrist, and plates and screws in her other arm. She had to have plates and screws in her face, as she had a tripod fracture of her orbital bone and cheekbone. We then found out she had a punctured lung, chipped knee cap, broken ribs, broken pelvis and about two weeks into it found she had a broken foot as well.
I remember that first night having some of my friends come. I was in shock, didn’t know what to say or do. Prayer and God were such a huge part of this experience from the moment it happened. I have so much more to say and write about our experience of what came next. I will continue writing about this as the days go on, as it has been a year since that awful day of the accident.