Christine and I left Fort Worth yesterday at around 5:30 pm, headed west-bound on I-20 for Abilene. It was a 2 hour 57 minute trip according to MapQuest. We made it in 2 hours.
It took us a couple of drives up and down the main drag in Abilene to find the hospital, but once we were parked it only took a few minutes to find Nanny and Bussy and Sarah (Amy’s oldest daughter at 17 years old). It was ‘eating time’ for the patients, so we couldn’t walk in to say hi to her just yet, so we sat out in the Critical Care waiting room with Nanny and Bussy.
The good news is that Amy is now in "Stable" condition and has been moved from the Critical Care unit to a private room.
Bussy gave us the run down on Amy, and Nanny gave the details (or maybe it was the other way around) but both seemed quite encouraged by her progress since last Thursday. We relayed messages from people in Bellvile that have offered to help in some way, and they were quite moved and thankful, but they think they have everything covered for now. They’ll let us know if anyone needs to pitch in.
The story is that Amy was driving outside of Abilene in her SUV, probably going the speed limit, or close to it. She doesn’t remember what really happened, but she lost control of the vehicle and it started rolling. Amy had been wearing her seat-belt, but only the lap part. She’d put the shoulder harness behind her for comfort. The SUV rolled 6 times, and each time it did she was thrown a little farther out the window, but not totally out, until the vehicle came to a stop. Think about that: it rolled SIX times and she was hanging partly out of the driver’s side window.
Two 18-wheeler drivers saw the wreck, and immediately called 911, while an off-duty ER nurse who just happened to be passing by, stopped to render aid (this is probably what saved Amy’s life).
During the rolling, the pressure on Amy’s torso by the lap-belt managed to completely rupture her bladder, but didn’t harm any other major internal organs, though she was bleeding badly internally. Her left leg was compound-broken three times above the knee, and once or twice below the knee. Her left shoulder was beat up pretty badly – there is bone damage and most of the skin from the bottom of the shoulder blade to the shoulder and in to the neck is just gone.
Amy’s right elbow is shattered, and her right heel is pretty bunged up, and I think the achille’s tendon has been snapped. Amy’s back right-side from the bottom of her buttocks up to her shoulder is ‘hamburger’ according to Bussy, and they don’t know if it got that way from skidding on the ground, or from the violence of the roll, and the action of her body on the seats of the vehicle.
When Amy was delivered to the hospital ER by the ambulance, the doctors didn’t know what might be wrong with her internally, so they performed two cat scans prior to slicing from the bottom of her sternum, around her belly button, down to her belly. They said that she had lost about 12 units of blood by the time she’d gotten to the hospital, and most of it was still in her belly. The inspected all of the organs and repaired the bladder, which had ‘just exploded’.
After the internal organs were ‘fixed’ they turned their attention to the left leg, which was the worst extremity.
The doctor told Bussy that he pulled all kinds of dirt, grass, wheat, and other stuff out of the wound (like way up under the skin) of her broken leg, on three different occasions. To me, it sounded kind of like cleaning a bird after you’ve killed it: open hole, insert hand, dig around, remove stuff… quite gruesome to be sure, but the doctors are the ones telling the stories… The doctor said he could have grown a farm out of all the stuff he pulled out of the wound.
That’s their biggest fear right now, infection in that leg, and they’re letting that wound drain as they continue to watch her progress and work on the other injuries.
They’ve talked about how long it’s going to take for Amy to fully recover, and they’ve said anything from 6 months to a year at least, and they aren’t really even sure of that. They don’t know if she’ll be able to walk again normally, or even walk for that matter.
Amy’s a tough cookie, though. She’s gonna make it out of this just fine. I just pray that Sarah and Kari make it through this okay.
We left Amy a "cookie-bouquet" so hopefully she’ll get some enjoyment out of eating some sweets (if they let her).
The weather wasn’t so hot as we were leaving Abilene, so we stopped at a Super 8 motel for the night ($35 for the night) and drove to Fort Worth early this morning…