If you missed part 1 of this story, you can read it here.
Finally the whole family was together in the Emergency Room where we began to be x-rayed and treated for our injuries. The staff was so gracious and compassionate to us! We were treated like royalty! They even set up a room for those with minimal injuries and gave the children coloring books, crayons, dolls, trucks, etc. and eventually fed them all supper, which included Lasagna and Chocolate Cake! :)
One nurse took a liking to my little Matthew (17 months old) and carried him all over the ER as she did her work! Everyone was astonished that we were all one family and that all the children had the same mom and dad!! ;) One nurse told my Mom that they were all amazed because they had never seen a family like ours before.
My mom responded, "Do you mean with so many children?"
The nurse answered, "Not just that, I mean the love they have for one another. No one is complaining about their own injuries, but they are all asking about each other, wanting to know that their brothers and sisters are OK."
It brings tears to my eyes even now just to type this!
Soon, the ER was spilling over with not just our family of eleven, but with my parents, some of our neighbors, friends from church, our pastor, and four of the county councilmen which my husband worked for. We learned that our accident had been on the evening news and that word was traveling fast! What a blessing it was to be surrounded by so much love and support!
Once I was cleared from any back or neck injuries, I relished the opportunity to check on all of my children and my husband, but I couldn't be by everyone's bedside at once and it was such a blessing to have others there ministering to each one.
While I was still waiting in x-ray, they wheeled my son, Joe, by the x-ray department so I could speak with him before they took him to surgery. Because his facial laceration was so deep and extensive and also so close to his eye, they wanted to put him to sleep and have his stitches put in by a doctor who was on call for facial trauma. He ended up getting 13 stitches in his forehead down to his eye and 21 staples on the top of his head!
I was then taken to see my oldest son, Taylor (13), who was going to be air-lifted to the Greenville hospital (an hour away) due to the suspected seriousness of his internal injuries. Taylor's injuries included a broken left arm, broken right collarbone, concussion, bruised right lung and some unidentified internal bleeding, which they thought might be from a damaged aorta. That was scary news! A neighbor offered to fly with him, but there wasn't enough room for anyone to go with him. We learned that our Pastor was going to drive over to the Greenville hospital ICU waiting room and be there when Taylor arrived.
My daughter Ashlyn (16) had a broken arm, some gashes behind her ear that had to be stitched up, and a mild concussion. She was released later that evening and went home with her best friend and her family. Another family from our church took six of the basically uninjured children home for the night and ministered to them in their home.
My husband, Alan, had a deep gash in his left hand which had to be stitched up and he had two fractured vertebrae in his back -- T-11 and L-1. He was admitted to the Anderson hospital that night.
I waited until Joe was out of surgery and in a regular room before I left. That was the second hardest thing I had to do -- leave my 9 year old son to spend the night in the hospital by himself! (Not to mention leaving my husband!) But, the nurses told me I needed to go to the Greenville Hospital (an hour away) to be with Taylor, because his injuries were more life-threatening and I might need to make crucial decisions and sign consent for treatment forms, etc.
It nearly tore my heart out to leave Joseph that night! He was so sweet about it and said weakly, "I'll be fine by myself, Mom. Go be with Taylor."
His nurse was such a sweet woman and she told me that after she finished with her other patients she would go sit in Joe's room to do her paperwork so that he wouldn't be alone! Wasn't that precious?? It was a soothing balm to my hurting mother's heart!
So, I left the Anderson hospital (and my husband and 9-year old son) about 10:00 pm and rode with my pastor and his wife over to my house, which was about 45 minutes away. Unfortunately, my house keys were lost in the wreck, but I had my husband's key for his Expedition. It was hard to get in that big vehicle and drive over to the hospital in Greenville, but I had to do it, and the Lord gave me grace.
By the time I got there, Taylor was doing great! He was even asking what was for breakfast! :) All internal bleeding had stopped, and a test of the aorta showed no damage! So, he just had the mild concussion, bruised lung and broken bones! He was actually moved from ICU to a regular room the very next day! Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!!
Now, I had to make a plan for the night. I could not stay with Taylor because he was in ICU, but I was an hour away from my husband and Joe in the Anderson hospital, and I had no house keys! Therefore, my Dad encouraged me to go home with him. It was comforting to go home with my Mom and Dad, and I even slept in bed with my Mom that night! :) Well, I didn't actually sleep much, as the entire accident kept swimming through my mind and my banged up head and shoulder ached -- but I was alive and my family was all alive and going to be OK and for that I praised God and thanked Him continuously through the night!
Come back tomorrow for part 3 . . .