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A Life Changing Accident

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A Life Changing Accident

I was twelve years old enjoying my summer after fifth grade. My two cousins, Blake and Lacy, my aunt's boyfriend, Chris, and his daughter, Emily, and I hopped in Chris's old ford truck. All of us kids had been bulldozing down trees in the forest behind the house all day and decided that we wanted to build a tree house. We were headed to town to buy supplies for the tree house. As we were all getting in the truck there was no room in the front for all of us, so Blake and I jumped in the back bed of the truck, not knowing this would be a choice that would change our lives, and would be remembered forever.

After getting supplies in town we were driving home on the back road. This was past Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, between Sandpoint and Athol. We were on a dusty, gravel road with trees on both sides of the road with miles of forest behind them. It was a beautiful sunny day and Blake and I were laughing so hard bouncing around in the back. We were having a great time until the truck went out of control and began to tip.

The next thing I remember was gripping onto the side so hard that I could have bent the metal on the side of the bed. I clung on tight while Blake flew out in mid air and hit a tree. Unfortunately because I held on, the truck ended up on top of me, pinning me underneath it. There were some logs, that were luckily lying on the side of the road, that held the truck up just enough so that the truck didn't completely smash me, if they hadn't have been there I would have been crushed and killed.

We were miles from home or from any houses or people who could help us. My cousin Lacy, who had a broken nose and cut up face from smashing into the windshield, took off running for help. Her face was bleeding horribly while she ran three miles before finding a house. Just our luck, the first house she came to, the people that lived there didn't have a phone so they drove Lacy to the next house to call 911.

In the mean time, while we were waiting for help, I was trapped under the truck. Chris was desperately trying to dig me out, from under the truck, with his hands. Blake hurt his back so bad from hitting the tree he couldn't walk or even stand, and Emily had cracked her head open and wasn't coherent to help either. We were all in terrible shape and there was still no help.

During the wreck the gasoline tank was punctured and gas was spilling onto my body. It was eating away my skin and I couldn't move or get out. My head hit the ground so hard when I landed that I cracked open my skull. I was bleeding and was in so much pain from the gas burning my entire right side. I was yelling and screaming for them to get the truck off of me; I was so scared and thought that help would never find us.

Eventually an ambulance and fire truck arrived but that still wasn't the end. They could not find a way to get the truck off of me without it completely crushing and killing me. I was stuck for hours and hours while everyone tried everything they could do to try to help me. Seven hours later they lifted the truck off of me. The gasoline had been on my skin for so long that my entire right side had almost melted off my body. My muscles, tendons and nerves were completely damaged on my right side.

By the time I got to the hospital, with all of the pain and injuries, I was delirious. It seemed like everyone was spinning around me. People were talking so fast and the lights on the hospital walls were racing by as they wheeled my bed down the hall. I had so many IVs and machines hooked up to me, I was scared to death but so thankful I was getting help. I don't remember too much after that. I guess I kept calling out for my grandpa Bob; I wanted him to be there with me. I don't remember saying this among many other things.

I did not stay in the Coeur d' Alene hospital for very long. They could only stabilize me and then I was flown, in a helicopter, to Harborview Medical Center, in Seattle, Washington. I needed special care for my burns and Harborview had one of the top burn units in the states. I slept in a mild comma for about a week from hitting my head so hard.

The first month and a half, while I was in Harborview, I spent most of the time letting my burns heal. I remember when they would clean my burns it felt like they were taking sandpaper and rubbing all over my skin until it was raw. They were really only using soft washcloths but my skin was so tender it felt much different. The doctors used pig skin to help heal my burns. I was repulsed when the doctors first told me this. I thought that it was going to grow onto my skin where my old skin had been and I was going to have to wear it for the rest of my life. I soon found out that the pig skin only helps my new skin grow back and then falls off. It was still pretty disgusting but at least I didn't have to wear an animal's skin forever. I also thought it was very interesting what technology can do to help us now days and the things we can use to help us heal.

I spent a lot of time lying in bed. I couldn't walk or even use my right arm. I became very depressed and very, very skinny. Mentally and physically I was completely drained. I wanted to just give up and didn't care if I lived. It only became worse the day my doctor came in and told me that I had little chance to ever walk again or use my right arm. He said that my arm would just hang along my side and I would have to be in a wheelchair, there was little chance that I would fully recover. Being as young as I was and already in the depressed mental state, this was the worse thing I could have heard. I did not care anymore at all. I never had an appetite and became even skinnier. The doctors soon threatened to put tubes down my throat and force feed me, so I began to eat apple sauce and graham crackers. After that day I wanted to give up.

My mom flew to Seattle right after my accident to stay with me. She stayed by my side the entire time I was there, every night and day she was there for me. If it wasn't for her hope and prayers, and keeping me strong, I probably would have given up. My mom didn't believe that I would be crippled and she wouldn't



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