Tuesday morning wasn’t anything special until about 11:30am. Brad was at work, kids were at school and I was home doing the usual laundry and cleaning. I was in the middle of a work out and could see Brad texting me about mundane things so when he called I didn’t think much of it and I figured he could wait until I was done. Then I saw a text that said “dad was in a really bad wreck you need to get mom to the hospital right now” That one stopped me in my tracks. For a second I thought, oh Bradley thinks I’m ignoring him so he made up an emergency to get me to call him back. It worked, and unfortunately it was not made up.
My father in law had been in an accident, the hospital 20 minutes away called my mother in law and told her she needed to get there asap but didn’t give her any information as to why other than Bob was involved in a car accident. I quickly changed into the first clothes I could find and I raced out the door to pick up my mother in law, Viv. Brad and his 2 brothers Ryan and Brandon were already in the city and my sister in law Morgan was on her way. Morgan called to tell me there was a detour on the highway and I’d be better off going through the neighbouring town because the detour took drivers down a dusty back road with bad visibility. We quickly realized this detour was most likely due to Bobs accident. Brad called while we were driving to fill us in on what happened. Turns out Bib was hit on the highway by a semi truck fully loaded with gravel. He also informed us they couldn’t find a pulse in dads leg and they were most likely going to air lift him to the Calgary foothills hospital. I turned my hazards on and pinned it to the hospital. Once there, we met up with the rest of the family in a family room inside the hospitals emergency department. We had family grief councillors, police and doctors all come in to talk to us and we learned our dad had three life threatening injuries at this point (ruptured spleen, shattered pelvis, and a torn aoreta in his heart) amid a broken hip, knee and arm. They wanted to airlift him but the helicopter was rerouted somewhere else so they were taking him by ambulance. This was when I heard the worst words I’ve ever heard. It was very likely he wouldn’t make it the 2.5 hour drive and we needed to prepare ourselves, they then led us into the emergency room dad was in so we could say our “goodbyes” We were beyond devastated. Brad and I decided we would drive up with mom, and Brandon and morgan would take their vehicle. After making arrangements for our kids for the next couple days we ran home to pack a bag, while my sister in law Rachel went home with Viv to help her get her stuff organized. We hauled ass to Calgary while we dealt with numerous phone calls and text from people who were hearing the news. The media had coverage and pictures of the wreck and of course curiosity got the best of me and I had to look. Bad, bad idea.
I was a mess. All I could think was, “Nope, this can’t be it. Me and my kids have only had this wonderful man in our lives for 4 years and we are not ready to give him up yet” Brad asked me to call the Foothills hospital to see if they’d let us know when he arrived. They told me to call back in about an hour and if he wasn’t there yet I could continue to check every 20-30 minutes. That was the longest hour of my life.
Finally it was time to call. I’m pretty sure the three of us in that truck held our breath the entire time I waited for an answer. Our prayers had been answered. He made it and he was stable!! And so was his leg they couldn’t find a pulse on! I was so relieved. He was still intebated and they were just assessing him to see if he was going to the ICU or straight to surgery so the lady on the phone gave me instructions on what to do when we arrived. It was at this point I thought “he’s got this”.
After some confusion of where exactly we were going (we ended up at the university and Brandon and Morgan took a wrong turn) we made it to the hospital emergency room where we were told to wait and the staff would find out where dad was. It felt like we waited for eternity. A social worker came and found us to give us the run down of the hospital on our way to where dad was. They had taken him to surgery so we were shown to the waiting room on the surgical floor and told in an hour we could call the social workers again and they could find out some more information for us. Again the waiting was awful. We called the social worker and we found out dad was in surgery for his heart and his spleen as these were the biggest concerns. We waited again. After about 6-7 hours of waiting we finally got a call saying dad was transferred to ICU and we could go see him. So far he had made the drive up and through surgery. Relief all around.
He was heavily sedated and obviously had no idea we were there. The doctors and nurses filled us in on how the surgery went and said this is how he would be all night but if we wanted to come back and listen in on morning rounds we were more than welcome and we should be there just before 9 because he would be the first person they checked on. We went to a hotel to try and get some sleep.
We were back bright and early and dad was in pretty much the same condition. Morning rounds in this hospital were intense. I counted 13 people reporting on dad. They did some neurological exams to rule out any head trauma and decided to send him in for round 2 of surgery to fix his knee, hip and pelvis. Brandon and morgan had to get home so me, Brad and Viv went back to the hotel to wait out the surgery.
6 hours later the hospital called and we headed back. Surgery had gone well and he was still heavily sedated. It was already fairly late so we called it a night.
Thursday morning arrived and we were back in the hospital for report. Nothing much had changed but they had decided to start waking him every 4 hours to continue nueralogical checks. We hung around the hospital for the day before we decided there wasn’t much we could do and figured it was time to head back home for a night and we would come back for the weekend.
I’ll get to the weekend in another post.
This was one of the scariest situations I’ve ever had to deal with and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Our family is so incredibly greatful for all the love and support we have received in the last week we honestly are blown away by everyone who has offered their help to get us through this tough time. Dad has a long road ahead of him but he’s one tough SOB and we are already seeing improvements. I married into one of the closest families I’ve ever seen, it’s incredible they are able to lean on each other in a situation like this and I’m so grateful I have them right now.