Ok so it has been a LONG time since I have posted out here, it was unfortunately with good reason... I have never written this out, so I will warn you it is long and filled with both heart wrenching and joyfilled moments.
Six months ago our day began as any other, getting everyone up and ready for school, Morgan up and preparing to go to cross country practice and dragging the twins out of bed to get them ready for school. Morgan left for practice and shortly later I left to drive the twins to school. I received a phone call while dropping off the twins (that I was unable to answer because I was in the school zone.) A few minutes later my husband called. We had received the phone call that the parents of every driving teenager fears. Morgan had been in an accident on his way to school.
We never saw the crash site, but were told it was just outside the city limits of Blooming Grove where he attends high school. For reasons unknown, he ran off the road and flipped his car. The officer at the scene reported that he fell asleep due to lack of skid marks, but knowing how our son bounds out of bed and leaves with coffee in hand (as well as the fact that he stopped at a friends on the way to school), we do not believe that was the case.
I quickly returned home to pick up Trace before heading to Parkland (and praying we didn't get stopped given my haste to get there.) We had been informed that he wrecked about 6:30 and by the time we got the call about 7:45 he was already being airlifted to Dallas. Fortunately living in a small town has advantages, his principal learned of the wreck via scanner and his identity via inside connections, and was able to get our info to the officers so they could contact us. (PAUSE FOR SOAPBOX NOTE! - If you have a child driving - or even for yourself - set your background on your phone to a pic or info with emergency #s on it so police can contact someone if you are placed in this situation. Our son had a securely locked Iphone, rendering it useless for police to reach us.) We tried to contact the hospital but were unable to get any info until we had arrived. All we know was he flipped his car, had sustained a head injury, was conscious immediately following the wreck but passed out before he was airlifted. He was talking when the good samaritan behind him stopped to check on him and was insisting that someone else was in the car with him (more on this later.)
We arrived at Parkland and were taken to a "family room". Where we awaited news on his condition. All we were told was that he was alive and stable, but they were running scans to check the extent of his injuries. When we were taken back we were greeted by a site that no number of years working in the hospital and seeing ER patients come through could have prepared me for, my baby, on a table connected to a breathing machine, multi ple IVs, his clothes having been cut apart and his head bandaged and covered in drying blood. We were later told that he sustained no major injuries to his body - one lone scratch on his ankle. He did however receive multiple blows to the head, including 2 that needed stitches, a deep internal bleed in his brain and was diagnosed with a "Traumatic Brain Injury" as well as the news that no one wants to hear that we would be playing the waiting game. There was no way to gauge how severe the injury would be until he regained consciousness. He was soon moved to ICU to see how things would progress.
The Dr.'s came and went, carefully telling us that he was "concussed" and it would continue to be a waiting game. He was in ICU for 24 hours, then thankfully his was taken off the ventilator and breathing on his own, shortly after they moved him to a regular room. I spent days sitting by his side and praying, grateful to friends and family who were caring for the other boys. I was forced home a couple times to shower, eat, change and sleep (Ha!). He remained to out of it to eat, so after a couple days they placed a feeding tube. I have never felt so helpless in my life. Five days post-accident they sent in a speech therapist to see if we could rouse him enough to eat, he would not, that was when she gave us literature on the Glasgow Coma scale. They had not used the word coma before... I was completely broken. I fell on my knees, unable even to pray anymore. My best friend came and held me (literally) as I felt my life falling apart. But we have a huge support system and he had others praying for him across the country. Within hours of my breakdown, he began a turnaround.
The physical therapists came and got him moving. As soon as they finished the speech therapist returned and found him responsive enough to take some food. The improvements seemed to come faster and faster at this point (feed a teenage boy right?!) God brought him back to us little by little. Once he was able to communicate he asked why he was in the hospital, he broke down crying when we told him about the wreck and over and over asked if he hurt anyone else. Though it didn't seem so at the time, things began to move quickly. Eight days after the wreck we made the decision to move him to Our Children's House at Baylor - a pediatric rehab facility. We sat down with their Dr.'s and therapists and asked the hard questions, when, what, how... And received hard answers - we were looking at a long inpatient stay, months of outpatient therapy and no guarantee that he would ever be 100% again. He would lose a semester of HS and probably wouldn't graduate with his class and it would be 6 months to a year before he could return to "normal" activities. He couldn't follow what was going on, so I cried for him, for the hard road he had ahead, for the time he would lose, for the things he might not regain. But I continued to pray and others continued to lift him up and in that time I thanked God for the little things, solid food, unaided steps, watching him dress and brush his teeth. He began slow but quickly worked up to 6 hours a day of therapy sessions with physical, occupational, speech and neuro therapists. Little by little my son was coming back, we saw it in his smile, his teasing nature with friends that came to visit, attempts at sarcasm and his extreme competitive nature coming out during therapy.
Fast forward. He spent 8 days in Parkland and a month at OCH when we got the great news that we could take him home. He began their outpatient Day Neuro program where we expected to spend months driving him back and forth to Dallas. Throughout it all he never missed a beat. As soon as we told him he couldn't return to school, he began asking for makeup work. In between therapy sessions, he was reading History chapters, doing Algebra assignments and writing English papers. Within a week of returning to school, his makeup work was done. He even managed to find a Homecoming date while still in the hospital and was released the day before Homecoming, allowing him to be at the game. After only a month of outpatient therapy we were told he could return to school.
By Thankgiving, we had our son back. He was even mourning the loss of his cross country season. We began dealing with his stubbornness as the list of things he was not allowed to do was long. No bike, no sports, no ATV's, horses, or pretty much anything physical besides walking - and nothing where his feet would leave the ground. We let him start jogging back and forth down our road to keep him from going crazy! On Dec. 1st we gave in and let him run in the Jingle Bell Jog - a 5K, his normal distance in cross country season - and he not only finished, but did it in 25 minutes - when we weren't even sure he could finish.
His struggles aren't quite over, school is still harder for him than it was, but he is moving forward every day. He completed his fall semester with decent grades - including 2 dual-credit college courses. After slowly reintroducing driving, we allowed him on the road again. And now he has rejoined his team and is running track with his fellow Lions. He has placed in several races and last week even ran a personal best in the mile 5:53 - faster than his best time last spring!
We continue to give all the glory to God for his recovery - deemed miraculous by even his Dr.'s and therapists. We don't know what He has in store for Morgan, but we know this is meant to help shape his future and trust that God will turn this hard season in our lives to do great things.
Jeremiah 29:11 - For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.