Today’s post is from Haeli. This was written by her from her eyes. I am so proud of her strength
On Sunday August 19th, my life changed. I got up that morning so excited for the day. It was move-in day for college. I never knew that i could be so happy yet so scared for the future. My mom and I got ready and left the hotel. Then we went and got sonic (because the closest sonic in Virginia was 40 minutes away!) and started our drive. The car we had rented was a white Jeep Patriot. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get much radio signal so I started to play a mix from my spotify that i had created months before. One minute my mom and I are singing along to my songs, the next we are on our side after rolling roughly 5 times and waiting for rescue. I can remember looking out the window, watching the trees go by and then hear my mom gasp. As I turn my head and look ahead of us, a red car hits the car in front of us and i hear myself scream. I felt the impact of the car hit us, but the rolling number and being hit a second time from behind was a surprise to me. I remember opening my eyes and realizing that i was dangling from the side of my seat. The car was on its side, driver’s side down. I was hanging by the seat belt, at first i couldn’t speak, I could just look around me. But i heard my mom say my name and it almost sort of snapped me back into reality. She asked me if i was alright and I said I was (that was before I knew my leg was broken) and I asked her if she was and she said yes. We heard a woman’s voice saying that the ambulance was on its way. I knew my mom was hurt because I could see the blood on the inside of the car door, but I didn’t know how bad. Since I was dangling from the seatbelt, I knew that I would need to hold myself up so i wouldn’t fall on her and hurt her even more. I could hear my phone still playing music on the ground near my feet so I tried to reach it. But when I tried to hold myself up and push my legs further to the side to reach it, my left leg gave out. I could see the bone sticking up underneath the skin and I just started to cry. Of course my mom, being in worse shape than I was, tried to calm me down. The wait for the ambulance was the worst part, my mom was having a harder time breathing with each minute passing and I couldn’t hold myself any longer, I could hear her repeating, “Please God, Please God.” Then soon enough help arrived. The passenger door opened and a police officer and a bystander were looking down at me and discussing how they could pull me out. In the end they decided that they needed to cut the seatbelt off of my and lift me out of the car. But i had to help lift myself, by putting weight on my broken leg I helped them pull me out and set my on top of the car. They knew my femur was broken but didn’t know exactly what to do with it so I laid down with my broken leg bent and my good leg down, until I couldn’t take the pressure on my broken leg anymore and I asked them to set it down. They were able to put me on a stretcher and put me on the ground near the car. Out of the corner of my eye I could see a crowd around my mom’s side of the car. One of the police officers was able to grab my phone and we tried calling my dad but he wouldn’t answer and then my brother but still no answer. Finally one of the bystanders was able to get a hold of my dad and tell him what happened. I was able to get my grandparents and boyfriend on the phone in the minutes after. I could hear the machine they were using to cut my mom out of the vehicle, as a preacher who had seen the accident held my hand and prayed for mom and I. Finally after almost an hour after the accident, they cut my mom out and were able to get her into the helicopter and me into the ambulance. It wasn’t until we were moving that I found out that we weren’t going to the same hospital. The whole ride is really a blur of me falling asleep and waking up and forgetting I fell asleep. Once at the hospital they rushed me into a room where they lifted me up and put me onto a bed. They cut my clothes off in a room full of maybe 10 people while they stuck IV’s in me. Then they had to set my leg, and that was the worst pain. They told me I needed surgery and soon took me to the doctor who was going to do it. Then I woke up in the hospital room after the surgery. They told me that they put a titanium rod in my femur, with 3 screws to keep it in place. The next couple days were hard. My grandparents had come and my grandma, who is a nurse, started to help me. I had to walk, but to put pressure on my leg was scary. I was angry, I was scared, I just had so many emotions at one time. Sometimes at night after my grandparents had left to the hotel and the nurses had come and gone, I would cry in the room. Why did this happen to us? Why me? One minute i’m on my way to college and the next i’m in the hospital. It didn’t feel real. But the pain did, a constant reminder of what happened. The next few days were just a routine, nurses coming in drawing blood, checking my levels and asking my pain scale. It never went over a 5. My grandparents were given the task to track down the car and get the paperwork together to be able to retrieve the things in the vehicle, which was everything I owned. They were able to save most of my things, but sentimental items were lost. How can you put a price tag on a necklace that my mom got me for graduation? It was hard being without my mom, she was alone. Even though she had visitors, she was alone. When I was finally released from the hospital my grandparents took me to go see her. I didn’t know what to feel. Anger, regret, sadness, as I entered her room and see her, with almost everything on her left side broken. I felt like it was my fault. If i had listened to my dad and stayed in virginia for a semester, we wouldn’t have been on that road. If had woken up earlier or convinced her we didn’t need sonic or something. But I couldn’t go back, I couldn’t change what happened to my mom, and what happened to me. Now, two weeks after the accident, we wait for my mom to have another surgery. I am off the crutches, off the walker, and off the cane. I stumble all the time, but I’m walking. Now we wait for my mom to get better.