May 1,2018….. Today is is one full year from the day that could’ve been the worst day of my life, but a day that also brought me closer to my faith and a day my family will never forget. It was a Monday and after the usual morning routine of lunch making and getting my oldest two off to school, my little one had a 6 month cleaning at the dentist. I was supposed to be volunteering at my kids school for recess but the weather was iffy so we decided not to rush back. Instead I thought us two girls could go do some Sam’s Club shopping and grab lunch. It’s funny how you can look back on certain events and realize how things could have been so different if you had made different choices.
My then 4 year old was riding in the cart as we shopped and I spotted some large planters I had been looking for to put outside my front entrance. I texted my husband some pictures to see what he thought of them and continued to shop as I awaited his response. I finished shopping and gave up waiting for him so we headed to check out. Just as we got in line he responded and told me to get them. So I got out of line and turned my cart back towards the aisle where I saw them. Halfway down the aisle I stopped to take my daughter out of the cart so I could fit the planters in. She was at the age where she looks down at her feet when she runs and she all of a sudden took off running down the aisle. I was yelling for her to stop when she ran straight into a metal covered, square pole right in the middle of the aisle. She quickly jumped up and said “I’m ok mommy!” At that moment the blood began streaming down her face and she started crying hysterically. That’s where the nightmare began for me that day, or maybe it was a blessing in disguise!
I grabbed my daughter and ran to the front of the store as fast as I could yelling for help. I was holding her head and blood was dripping down both of us, everyone just stared at me. I mean everyone! I was yelling for help and not one person, shopper, employee…no one even said a word to me. Finally a man checking out a few registers over ran over to us. He explained that he used to work rescue in the military and starts telling employees there what he needed. I had never felt so alone and helpless in my life, and this stranger quickly washed his hands and started cleaning my daughter’s wounds. He calmed us both down and decided it might be best to call 911 since we were both really shaken up at the moment. I called my husband as we waited for the ambulance and he was prepared to meet us at the hospital. The ambulance arrived and quickly bandaged her up. By that time they felt the bleeding had stopped enough, and we all felt she would be more at ease just traveling by car. They also informed me that the hospital had a large urgent care facility not far away that would be able to take care of the wound.
I called my husband and told him to meet us at the urgent care asap. He arrived just a few minutes after we walked in the door. The doctor there felt he could stitch the wound himself but since it came down her forehead he felt cosmetically it would be best if we went to the children’s hospital. So we all hopped in one car and headed downtown. Once we got there we were quickly rushed back so the nurse could check out the wound and let the numbing medicine work its magic.
Let me stop there and tell you that for 3 days prior my husband wasn’t feeling quite himself. He was exhausted, felt run down and had shortness of breath. He kept writing it off as maybe he was coming down with something, but that morning he finally gave in and called his doctor. He had an appt. scheduled for the following day.
So back to the day at hand. The doctor, nurses and some other staff came in the room to stitch my daughter up, distract her and keep her still. My husband was holding her hand while they were stitching her up. I remember the exact moment I looked over and he was obviously physically uncomfortable. His face was red and I could see beads of sweat on his forehead & upper lip. He was now tugging at his shirt collar at that point he started telling us that he needed to go and it wasn’t good. One nurse assumed he was queasy from the stitches & blood, she rushed out to get him juice and crackers. I quickly explained how he wasn’t feeling well the past 3 days and this wasn’t just queasiness. A moment later he was rushed to another room while I waited with my daughter who was still getting stitched up. When they finished with her I asked where my husband was and they quickly took me to see him. He was in another room in a tiny child sized bed all wired up while they were breaking up children’s aspirin into his mouth. A moment later they were rushing him across the street to the grown up hospital.
I remember being so scared and having no idea what was going on. When my daughter was discharged we rushed across the street to the other hospital. We were quickly whisked away to a private family waiting room with no update on how my husband was doing. And it felt like we waited in there forever. I’ve never prayed so hard before in my life. Not knowing what is happening is the worst because your mind rushes to the worst case scenario.
Later on we found out that my husband was indeed having a heart attack and his LAD was completely blocked. The ER doctors weren’t convinced at first because he was in good shape, tests were coming back good and he had no indicators aside from family history. Fortunately my husband doesn’t take no for an answer and was pushy that something was seriously wrong. He had a procedure that following day and remained in the hospital for the week.
Today is officially one year and today we celebrated! The kids made cards and we had a special dinner. He recently had his one year checkup and everything looks great. We’ve made lots of changes this past year including dietary and more consistent exercise. We’ve been back to that children’s hospital and are quickly visited by staff who remember that day or are saying hi because they’ve heard the story. My daughter will forever have a tiny scar on her forehead, a reminder of how she saved her daddy’s life. God works in mysterious ways and we are forever grateful for that blessing in disguise.