Back to the Beginning (first few hours)

I wasn’t quite sure where I should start this blogging of mine but I think the best place would be to recount the most horrible day of our lives, March 12, 2008.  I don’t remember most days as well as I can that day.  I remember everything that happened, from what I was wearing, what I was doing, what we had for lunch and even the cute wave and smile Shawn gave me as he drove out of the driveway.  Little did I know that it would be the last time I would see him smile or hear his voice for close to 6 months.  Even now it’s not the same smile or voice but new ones that I love just as much.
It was March Break and I had taken a few days off from work so that I could spend time with the kids.  Shawn had left the house to head to work around 12:30pm and I left shortly after to drop our daughter off at a babysitting course.  My son and I had gone grocery shopping and I even purchased the book “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” since we had found out I was pregnant just 2 days prior.  It had been 10 years since I was pregnant last and I was so excited to share the experience with Shawn.  We were going to read each chapter of the book together at bedtime , that was the plan.  I remember I had just finished bringing all the bags in from the car when the phone rang….
Shawn’s accident had happened at 12:50pm, just 5 minutes from his place of work.   It wasn’t until close to 2pm that the hospital was able to locate his belongings and find his cell phone and then called me.  When I received the call from the hospital they had no idea who they were even calling.  The caller basically explained who they were and that they found my number as the last number called on Shawn’s cell phone.  I do remember not really knowing what to do, I think part of me must have been in shock because I contemplated putting the groceries away before I left for the hospital.  Once I arrived at the hospital, my brother had already arrived as I had called my mom before I left the house and she contacted my brother because he worked close to it.  I can remember not really knowing where to go and as soon as I arrived at the ER they sent me up to ICU, as Shawn was still in the operating room.  It was when I arrived at the ICU waiting area that I met up with my brother and he was able to share some of the details.  The information that he was given was very vague but he was in possession of Shawn’s belongings and he knew that basically he was still in the OR and that they were operating on him.
What I was to learn later that day was as Shawn’s car entered the intersection to turn left on a green light, a truck travelling southbound ran the red light and t-boned Shawn on the drivers side.  I believe my brother had a copy of the paramedics report and that we were reading it to gain as much information as we could as we still had yet to speak to any doctors or nurses and were left and told to wait in the waiting room.  From the paramedics report we learned that the driver of the truck had been travelling at highway speed and I was under the impression that the “truck” was an SUV-type truck but I later learned it was a transport truck.  It took the paramedics 50 minutes to get Shawn out of the car, they had to use the Jaws of Life to take off the roof and reach him.  Shawn was air ambulanced to the trauma hospital and I credit the fast actions of a couple Personal Support Workers that were in the car behind Shawn.  I believe that there was alot in play that day to make sure the love of my life stayed with us.  These PSW’s knew that he needed more medical attention then what a local hospital would be able to provide.  The one who called 911 demanded that they send an air ambulance and if they didn’t this man was going to die.  To this day when I think about this moment it brings tears to my eyes because they were so instrumental in saving his life.  I think about them often but I never did find out more about them because I would love for them to know how he is doing.  They stayed with him and held his head and talked to him while he lay there unconscious waiting for help to arrive.
Up to the point that I arrived at the hospital I remember every little detail but once I started hearing the news and my brain was starting to process the severity of Shawn’s accident the day becomes a little patchy.  I can remember the chaplain, Claire, coming into the ICU waiting room and taking my brother, my son and I to a private room to await news.  At the time I was thinking it was very nice that we were given this private room to wait in, but I later realized after reading many, many brain injury stories similar to ours that the presense of a chaplain is the last person you want to see coming when a loved one is hospitalized.  Until this point I had very little experience with hospitals so I honestly had no idea this was not good.  My timelines are so blurry that first night because I was up for so long and slept maybe an hour.  I will do my best (based on some journaling I did at the beginning) to put the pieces together to let you know what it was like and what it is like for anyone going through the same thing.

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