Monday, April 19, 2010

Stay safe!

It's been quite a while since I blogged. I've been very busy and never seem to find the time. However, today I seem to have a lot of time as I'm sitting in my son's hospital room. Kyle, my 17 year old, was in a severe vehicle accident on Thursday. He was riding his moped and was hit broad side by a truck. He went airborne and tumbled end over end repeatedly and landed in the grass about 45 feet away.

As you can imagine, Kyle's injuries are severe. Lot's of internal bleeding from damaged organs. The doctors rate the injuries on a scale of 1 to 5. His spleen is between a 1 and 2, his kidney is a 3, and his liver is damaged the most and rated a 4. Luckily, the internal bleeding stopped on its own and Kyle didn't need surgery. He's still not out of the woods yet as any wrong movement could restart the bleeding, but it's looking very good at this point. The doctors plan to let him get out of bed on Tuesday.

Besides the internal injuries, Kyle also has 4 broken ribs and a broken pelvic bone. Those should all heal on their own. Once the trauma team gives the "okay" that Kyle can get out of bed, the orthopedic team will work with him to teach him how to move and walk without putting weight on the right side. He also had a pretty ugly slash on his arm and a major puncture wound in his abdomen.

Considering the severity of the accident, Kyle is doing quite well and we're happy with the improvement. For anyone that wants to keep tabs on his progress, I have a "Care Pages" website set up:

What I really want to get across in this blog is safety!!!!

Kyle's accident was his fault. He didn't have his attention focused on driving. He was in the right-most lane of a busy intersection. The light was red and there was a school bus in front of him. Kyle was on his way to his first job interview, and thus was unfamiliar with where he was headed. While waiting for the light to turn green, he was looking down and fumbling with the GPS.

What happened next was a split second of poor judgment because of a lack of focus. The vehicle to his left rolled forward a little bit. The bus in front of him turned right. Kyle registered the movement of both those vehicles as, "The light must have turned green." He didn't realize the bus turned because of the "Turn right on red" rule. Without verifying the green light himself, Kyle just drove ahead right through the busy intersection. Unfortunately, there was a truck coming towards him from the right. The truck hadn't been able to see him because the large school bus was blocking the view. The speed limit is 45 on that road so the truck was moving very fast when he slammed directly into the right side of Kyle.

So the first point in today's blog is that I want everyone to remember to stay focused while driving. We've all done it. We've all turned our focus to something else. Fumbled with the radio. Talked on the cell phone. Admired something on the side of the road that caught our attention. I'm just as guilty as everyone else. Of course, Kyle is a young driver and hasn't had near as much experience as most of us. I'm sure that's a huge factor in the distraction being so detrimental to Kyle's bad decision. But we all know that we could have easily made that same mistake.

The second safety point of my blog is to stress the importance of wearing a helmet!!!

Had Kyle not been wearing a helmet, I would not be writing this blog. Instead, I would be dealing with my son's funeral. There is absolutely no doubt about this fact. Those who witnessed this accident described it as horrendous. I have talked with the unfortunate man who was driving the truck. He told me that as he ran to Kyle's side, he just knew in his heart that he was going to be dead. He didn't think it was possible for someone to survive that impact. The driver was quite shaken up and so relieved to hear that Kyle is going to survive. He was even more relieved that Kyle suffered no brain damage.

Surviving being hit at 45 mph and tumbling end over end for 45 feet across pavement, up over a curb, and into the grass is a true testament to the importance of wearing a helmet. I really doubt Kyle would have lived if he hadn't had a helmet. If he had lived, he certainly would have had severe permanent brain damage. So I can't stress enough the importance of wearing a helmet!

It's tough world out there! Please be safe!


Doug Hennig said...

So sorry to hear about Kyle's accident. I agree completely with the helmet issue. I've been preaching that for years and never go riding or let my son go riding without a helmet. That means bike riding, skateboarding, snowboarding, and skating. It only takes a split second for a tragic accident and a helmet is the only thing protecting your head from the concrete or ice.

Unknown said...

So very sorry to hear about the accident. We will keep you and Kyle in our thoughts and prayers. I hope Kyle is up and around soon.

Unknown said...

Sorry to hear about Kyle's accident. I'll keep you and Kyle in my thoughts and prayers.

Andrew MacNeill said...

Sorry to hear about Kyle's accident.

It sounds like his prognosis is good - and I hope he's up and around soon and back home.

Foxy said...

Dear Cathy: we've never actually have any contact before, but your writing on VFP has been helping me all these last ten years. I am very sorry to hear about the accident. I have a son myself, yet I can't imagine how you feel. Must be terrible. Anyway, I want let you know that me and my family are crossing our fingers here in Bandung, Indonesia for your son and your family. I hope he will get well as soon as possible.