June 24th 2009- My husband kissed me goodbye and told me he loved me. He walked out the door at 6:30am, I rolled over and went back to sleep, never knowing how much my life was about to change.
Two hours later I woke up to someone banging on my window. I peeked out and saw one of Jared's work friends. I smiled and headed to the door thinking "What has Jared gotten into now." remembering the oil soaked goose he caught at work a few weeks earlier.
I opened the door Standing there with a very serious face his friend said "We have to go to the hospital, Jared had a wreck on his motorcycle."... "It's bad." I was stunned. Jared left for work almost two hours ago, why was he on his bike? Then it hit me... he had the accident on the way to work. I told his friend I needed to get the kids dressed and scrambled around looking for clothes and waking the kids up. The whole time I'm thinking to myself "Why didn't he call me?" and "Why didn't he tell someone to call me?". I changed a diaper and left Jared's friend to dress the baby. I kept asking questions, "What happened?" and "Where did he wreck?". The only thing he could tell me was that Jared had a wreck on his way to work and Jared needed family at the hospital.
At some point I realized that Jared didn't call me because he couldn't and that whatever happened was so bad he couldn't give anyone instructions to call me.
I shook as I drove the short distance to the hospital. When I walked into the emergency room my cell phone rang. It was a woman from the police department telling me that Jared had been in an accident and that he was being air lifted to another hospital.
I asked a passing nurse where my husband was and told her his name. She told me "He's on the helicopter! You have to go out there!" and pointed out the door.
I knew exactly where the helicopter was, I had looked at the landing pad many times before wondering about the people who had been loaded into the small helicopters and flown to bigger hospitals.
I ran to the fenced in area and up to the open door of the helicopter. I shook so hard, I couldn't breathe. I remember the flight nurse handing me his wedding ring. I started crying as I stood there in shock starring at my husband. His head was so swollen, his face was bruised, he had deep open cuts on his forehead and chin. He was strapped to a board with a collar around his neck and his head was strapped down squishing it between two pads. He had a tube in his throat breathing for him, blood trickling from his mouth. My worst nightmare come true.
I remember the pilot telling me in such a calm voice "He has a head injury, I have him sedated and he can't talk to you. We're flying him to Little Rock, give me your cell phone number and we will call you when we land. You need to go to Little Rock." I asked him "I can't go with him?". The pilot kindly replied "No. You can't fly with him, you need to find someone to drive you there."
Taking a few deep breaths I asked "Can I kiss him?" The pilot gently grabbed my shoulders and laughed a bit and said "Of course, you can do whatever you want.".
I leaned into the helicopter and kissed him on the corner of his mouth three times. As I pulled away I saw the flight nurse lift her fingers to her mouth, trying to find the words to tell Jared's blood was on my lips.
I knew he needed help... and fast. I turned and walked back to the emergency room. Several nurses were standing there waiting for me. One nurse sat my daughter in a chair and talked to her. Another nurse was talking to Jared's friend as he held my son. As I walked up, a nurse handed me a white plastic bag and asked me for my cell phone. She put a sticker on the back of the phone and told me it had all of Jared's information on it, she also wrote the phone number of the hospital Jared was flying to and handed me the the phone. She explained which hospital I needed to go to. I called Jared's parents and broke the news. I called my mother and asked her to make arrangements for my children and told her to call everyone else.
Jared's friend offered to drive me to Little Rock. We left the hospital and I went to Jared's older brother's house. I told him what had happened and asked him to keep the kids until someone else could get them. I went home and packed a small bag and waited for Jared's friend to pick me up. While I waited I remembered the white plastic bag. I opened it and discovered Jared's belongings. His clothes, wallet, and phone were in the bag. I starred at them until I had to leave.
We drove for what seemed like forever.
I received a text message from the pilot telling me that Jared was stable with good vital signs and a estimated time of arrival.
A little later my phone rang, it was Jared's helicopter pilot. He told me that they had arrived and Jared was in trauma room two. His vitals were good and that the doctors were taking care of him. He wished us well and asked if I would update him on Jared's condition.
We finally arrived at the second hospital. I rushed into the emergency room desperate to see Jared. I had to sit at the desk and give them our information before they would allow me to go back. I remember walking down a hallway, straight towards trauma 2. The curtains were open and I could see Jared laying there with his arms stretched out to each side. There was a drape over his face, and doctors and nurses gathered around his head behind the drape. The nurse guided me past trauma two into a family room. I was told the doctor would be in to talk to me in a few minutes. I waited while our families raced to get to the hospital all of us only knowing Jared had a head injury.
After another small eternity Dr. E came in. He explained that Jared had a closed head injury called Diffused Axonal Injury. He explained the injury was caused by the sudden stop when Jared crashed. The brain floats in cerebral spinal fluid, when he hit the other vehicle his brain shifted sheering the axons around his brain. His brain smashed into the front of his skull causing the frontal lobes to bruise and hemorrhage. He explained that there was a bone in the center of the skull and Jared's brain had pushed into that as well, causing more bleeding and bruising. Finally he explained how Jared's brain twisted, damaging the brain stem on one side. I was told the next few weeks were critical and Jared's injury was potentially fatal. He told me that Jared would suffer some left sided weakness form the brain stem damage. I asked as many questions that I could think of, sobbing the entire time.
When Dr. E left, I went out and asked where the restroom was. A nurse escorted me to the bathroom as I tried to calm myself down.
When I regained some self control I walked back to trauma two. The curtain was closed now. I peeked into the curtain, aching to see Jared.
A doctor was standing over Jared, with his face draped again. The nurse rushed over, her eyes telling me to leave. "I know what your doing in there, I can handle it." .... "I just want to see him." She looked over her shoulder for approval from the doctor, he nodded, and she stepped to the side allowing me to enter.
I walked in and asked if I could hold his hand, again the Doctor nodded. A nurse came in with a chair for me to sit in. I sat there kissing the back of his hand and watching the doctor suture the cuts on Jared's face.
Jared fought so hard with that right hand. He squeezed me and tried to pull his hand up to his face. It took everything I had to hold him down, mentally and physically.
When the doctor was finished they removed the drapes. I sat there for the longest time accessing each injury. I read the dry erase board with all the details about Jared's suspected injuries. I saw the drain that had been placed in Jared's skull and all the freshly sutured wounds.
At this point the details are foggy. I remember the nurses buzzing around and hearing "The Dad is here.". I slowly began to recognise voices in the hall, I knew Jared's family had arrived. I had asked the Doctors to come back and speak to the family and asked that the nurses clean Jared up as much as they could. I was horrified by all the dried blood and wanted to spare the others from that experience.
Family members slowly came in, crying, and taking turns holding his hands. After a while Jared was wheeled to ICU, escorted by his entire family.