The Scariest Day of My Life

In the summer of 2004 Alex was heading to Nevada for some military training and we would be moving to another duty station after he was done…so rather than Jacob and I stay in Florida we decided that we would go to the Pacific Northwest where we both had family with cousins for Jacob to get to know better…

That September my dad had flown to Illinois for his high school class reunion and then flew out to Washington to see us four older kids and our children…The afternoon he flew in my sisters and I decided to meet up for dinner at Laura’s house where he was staying…that morning my throat had been hurting and my gut told me to stay home, but I really wanted to see my dad so Jacob and I went to the airport to meet him and then head to my sisters…

We were all hanging out down stairs, when my brother-in-law went upstairs with the kids to play in my nieces room…he had been in there with them the entire time…he step out for one minute to check and see if dinner was ready and we were actually headed to go upstairs tell them that it was when a neighbor came running saying one of the kids fell out the window…Angela started saying, “Jacob fell out the window”…Laura went straight outside…Angela went straight to the phone…I went straight into denial think, “they are lying, they are picking on me…”  to fear, “oh my God, my baby is dead, I let Alex down…” to hearing that he was crying, and thanking God that he was alive and praying that he was ok…

The first person to get to Jacob happened to be a volunteer fire fighter who knew exactly what he was doing…he had been working in his yard and saw it all happen…eventually they came to get me saying that he was crying for me, so I started to head out to go be with him, but then someone mentioned blood and I started to freak out again so my dad had me go back inside…

I eventually calmed down and headed out to be with him, but a police officer had questions to ask me, so I wasn’t by his side until we were in the ambulance…we went to the local ER in Vancouver, WA…my first questions to them was I need to call my husband, he is in Vegas, he needs to know…they told me to wait until we knew what was going on…so I called my mom and spoke with her on the phone…My dad and sisters took my car and met me at the ER…

They decided that they were going to life flight him to a larger hospital over the river in Portland and told me to call my husband…I only had the number to his hotel room and knew that he would not be there…but I called the front desk first (on base) and told them what was going on…they put me through to the control tower…at first when they found him they told me he was flying (my husband is not a pilot)…I told them that I didn’t care, my son just fell out of a second floor window and I need to talk to him now!!  Well it turns out he was in class…they pulled him out…my sister Laura spoke to him first, but I was pretty upset by that point…Alex wasn’t able to fly out until the next morning so he had to sit in his room all night thinking about our son…

When they life flighted him at first they told me that I would be able to go with him…but then I guess because of the amount of medical staff there was not room…they had also sedated him, so he did not know that I was not with him…when we got to the hospital he went straight into surgery, I had to sit in the ER and go through in processing and what not…My sisters and dad and I then went up to the surgery waiting room and waited for hours…in a way it was nice because we just got to hang out and talk, my dad told us stories about growing up…not under the ideal circumstance…but there were a lot of miracles to this horrible event in our life…I also spoke to my mom on the phone while we were waiting and told her how scared I was that my smart baby (he was about to turn 2 and a half and already recognized the entire abc’s) would not be smart or that he wouldn’t be able to walk again…

Finally around 2am he was out of surgery and settled in the PICU where I could go see him…my dad decided to stay at the hospital with me and my sisters headed home to get some sleep…My sister Angela was going to get Alex from the airport in the morning and Laura was going to get my dad and I so we could get some sleep once Alex was there…

When I walked into the room to see him I know I said something, but don’t remember what it was…The nurse told me that his heart rate sped up when I spoke and that that was a good sign…it meant that he knew my voice…he was still sedated and would be fully sedated for three more days to monitor the swelling…

I stayed in his room for quite a while, but they told me that I need to get some rest…that the hard part was coming, he was resting now and was well taken care of…I went into the family sleeping are, but just could not sleep…I walked around the hospital with a blanket wrapped around me…I did find the Chapel and wrote a prayer request in there…

Eventually the morning came and Alex and Angela got to the hospital…I went back to our apartment and got some sleep…that afternoon I went back to the hospital…Jacob was fully sedated for three days and then for about another three says they slowly wore the sedative off…then for 2 days he was in the infant toddler ward before they moved him over to the inpatient therapy ward…during this time my sister Laura visited me at the hospital everyday but one…on the day that she was not able to, her mom (my dad’s ex-wife) came and stayed with me…Alex and I handled this event very differently…he stayed by Jacob’s side almost the entire time, unless he had to eat or go to the bathroom…I was in there a lot, but had to get out and be social…I needed to take mental breaks from it all…so having family come visit was a much needed blessing…My dad, sister Angela, my brother Mike, and his family, and Alex’s brother Chris and his family also visited us…

Right after I spoke with my mom on the phone the night of the accident she asked if I wanted her to come out (they were living in England)…I don’t remember my answer, but when I hung up I remember it was still up in the air, or so I thought…when she called me back she already had her ticket…she was flying in the afternoon that my dad would be leaving that morning…

Another visitor we had was my dad told me to request a Priest…it just so happened that an Air National Guard Priest from Portland had been starting at Tyndall that spring and had come back…so I asked the hospital chaplain to please find him (I think I knew the Parish, but can’t remember) and have him come see us…which he did…My sister Laura’s Preacher came out too

When Jacob was first admitted to the hospital we were told that his recovery would most likely take 6 months…Every week in the therapy ward there is a team meeting with all of the therapists, drs, and parents…that Tues we had our first meeting and they told us it would be our last…he would be discharged that Thurs…

When Jacob left the hospital only 17 days after the accident they told us that the only therapy that he would need would be speech…he walked out of the hospital…about a week later when the speech therapist came to evaluate him, he did not qualify for speech…he was approved to go back to gymnastics…and other than the ugly scar on his head you would have no idea anything had happened…

He has had some OT and Speech off and on since the accident, but I am not really sure if they are because of the accident, but because of the accident he sees a pediatric development specialist yearly and it was when he was 5, that he noticed some things needing those two services…after a summer of therapy he didn’t need it anymore…over Christmas break when he was 7, I was the one that noticed he needed services again…it was never his teachers that noticed these things, because they subtitle and not obvious…but because of his accident he was able to get the services needed to improve them…

As most reading this know today Jacob is a competitive gymnast working on moving up to level 6, he plays baseball (which we were told he would have trouble with hitting), soccer, basketball, and bowling…our current base has had all-star teams for basketball and baseball and he was selected to both…for soccer he was chosen to kick a goal for a tie breaker, in bowling we were told her need to move up to work with a better coach…Academically he is two years ahead in math, this was the subject that the injury was supposed to make hard for him…he is delayed in reading and writing and pretty much all of Language Arts, but we do not really think it is because of the injury, but more because he is a boy, and a very active one at that…

Jacob is our miracle baby…we did not plan him, God did…he was supposed to have a DNA mess up, but didn’t…and he fell out a window and recovered in less than three weeks…I see the hand of God in my son daily…He also has some awesome prayer skills and somehow knows how to speak to God directly and get things done…

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One thought on “The Scariest Day of My Life

  1. Carolyn says:

    Oh my goodness, Maggie! What a nightmare. I’m so thankful Jacob is well and seemingly unaffected by the fall.

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