Thursday, September 11, 2008

Timing is everything.

If you live in the area, that's the accident the shut down the highway yesterday afternoon. That's right before my exit, and because I had to stop and get Joshua some new soccer shoes, I came through there later than I usually do. God put me there, though, because I was one of the very first people to get to that accident, and the only one with any kind of medical training. I had to take a First Aid class for my major because in the field of Criminal Justice, Youth Services, I would be considered a first responder. So, not only do I know basic first aid, I'm also required to know "more" than that - the same kind that volunteer firefighters do.

Anyhow, I came through RIGHT after it happened - like the dust hadn't settled yet. I saw the car in the left lane facing backwards, and the man slumped over the airbag. I pulled over and ran to the car to check on him. He was unconscious but breathing, so I considered him "stable". I didn't see the accident, so I didn't know where the other vehicle was. It was about 1/8 of a mile down the road, off in the willy weeds, almost to the chain link fence. After making sure the first victim was stable and assigning someone to stay with him, I ran down the road to check on the van. No one had been down there yet. Luckily, the driver was up moving around. He had some pretty good cuts, and I'm sure he's gonna be sore, but he was ok.

By the time I brought the other guy down the road to where the other guy was, he had woken up. He was very distraught, though, understandably. His arm was caught in the door and it all cut up, but I couldn't get to it, so luckily it wasn't gushing blood. All I could see of him, between the smashed car and the airbag, was his left side, from the waist up. After what felt like forever (even though it was only a couple of minutes), the first police officer got on scene. I was more than happy to let him take over. I had to wait around for a while with the other victim - let him use my cell phone to call his boss (it was a work van), and keep him calmed down, but not too long. Since I didn't see the accident happen, I was released from the scene.

I was fine when I was barking orders, keeping people calm, and in control of the situation, but I'll tell ya, when I got into my van to leave, I started shaking like a leaf. And then my stomach started to hurt. For the rest of the afternoon I couldn't focus on anything. Then I was ok for the evening, but it got REALLY bad when I tried to fall asleep last night. I just kept re-playing everything over and over and over and over again....... And then when I drove past where it happened this morning on my way to work, I started to shake and my stomach started to hurt again.

Say a prayer that the older man ends up being ok. He had to be extricated from his car. He was airlifted to the hospital, but I heard he was upgraded from critical to fair condition in the middle of the night last night. The other driver only had minor injuries - lots of cuts from glass shards, but I can't imagine how shaken up he must be. I'm a mess and I wasn't even in the accident...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow - I don't even know what to say about that. I hope that you know how special you are, being able to help those people like that. I will keep you, and them, in my prayers.