Jack Fell Down and Broke His Crown – Day 17

Yesterday was supposed to be the best day for our family.  It was the first day of soccer season.  The weather was AMAZING.  I mean simply beautiful.  We took our long drive to the stadium.  We stuffed ourselves on hotdogs and baked potatoes at the tailgate.  We played on the fields next to the stadium.  Did I mention the weather?  It was a perfect day for soccer.  I was a little annoyed with myself for not grabbing a second pair of pants for the littlest.  He was doing army crawls up and down the hill since he hasn’t been walking long enough to manage walking up and down.  His knees got all dirty.  The only reason this mattered is because after the game we were going to head to the mall where we had an appointment to get family pictures taken.  My husband and I will have been married 5 years in July but we have never had any type of family portraits done so we figured it would be a good day since we would already be in matching albums.

Well that great day ended sometimes between 4:12 pm when I tweeted about highlighter colored keeps jerseys and 4:23pm which is the time my husband says was on my phone when I finally picked it up off the ground so he could see the seconds ticking by.  Seconds that I thought were being used to take my 15 month old son’s pulse or to count his respirations or even to just time how long he had been unconscious.  At this point I am sure it was an eternity.

We have front row seats, but there are only three seats and the older kids have seats in the third row because row two was taken.  Typically my 2 year old sits with us but when her bubbas are there she wants to sit with them.  I guess at just a few days under three years old we are already not cool enough for her.  So the 15 month old, Jack, is with us.  He is in the baby carrier on my back until after the national anthem and basically until kick off cause we stand that whole time.

He was excited at all the commotion.  He was into it. Standing on the bench between my husband and I with a season ticket hold scarf wrapped around his neck clapping away.  It was adorable.  I regret that cuteness.  I regret not being able to foresee the future.  I regret how things were going to end up.  I regret not putting him by the gate so he could stand and see the game.  All the regret in the world won’t change what happened next.

Out my peripheral vision I see a blur, immediately it registers in my brain that my baby is upside down on the cement.  He had fallen off the bench head first into the ground.  He was upside down on his head when I scooped him up and held him close to me.  He was screaming understandably.  I turned to my husband and showed him to him.  He’s a paramedic so I wanted to know he was ok.  He took the baby from me and I could see Jack was bleeding in his mouth.  Then the worst thing that could possibly happen happened.

Jack closed his eyes and stopped crying.  He should have still been screaming his head off.  I wish he had been screaming his head off.  Instead I he had lost consciousness.  He didn’t look like himself.  It was like he was asleep but didn’t have that peaceful look he does when he’s asleep.  He was limp in my husbands arms.  Utter fear was apparent in my husband’s face.  This is a man who is trained to keep it together in the face of tragedy, but he wasn’t a paramedic right now.  He was a daddy with his limp son in his arms.  Jack was bubbling spit and it was blood tinged. My husband yelled at the security guy to call the paramedics down.  This was serious.  I was starting to panic.  It seemed like nothing was going to happen.  We waited.  Jack kinda came to but he wasn’t himself.  Still no one was coming.  I told my husband to go find them.  In a shocking moment of clarity I made him dig his keys out of his pockets and give them too me.  I knew neither of them would be coming back.

Yes I stayed in my seat at the game.  What help could I have been?  What help would me and 4 additional children have been?  Absolutely none.

I was still at the game but it was over for me at that point.  Head injuries are bad and they are worse when they are closed head injuries because if there is any bleeding there is no place for it to go.  I was trying to hold it together.  I am happy that it was an early game cause I had my sunglasses on so at least  everyone couldn’t see the tears welling up in my eyes.  I needed to keep the terror and panic I was feeling to myself the best I could.  I had all the kids come down to my row to sit with me, otherwise I was alone.  I have never watched a game live without my husband by my side.

Security was amazing.  The supervisor came over and stood in our corner since he had a radio so he could let me know what was going on.  He asked if I needed anything and said if I did to let him know.  Eventually the normal security guy came back and he was great.  He kept asking me questions, if everything was ok, and just talking to me.  It was helping keeping my mind off the worst.  When I had time to think all I could think about was what could happen.

The worst thought that kept creeping in was that Jack was going to die.  That the last time I was going to hold my baby was going to be while he had been screaming because I hadn’t been paying enough attention to him.  The next on the list of horrible thoughts running through my head was that he was not going to be him any more.  Brain injuries are harder on babies.  Yes, their brains are growing neurons like crazy and a baby’s brain grows the most it ever will in the first 5 years – but damage to the brain in that time cause be devastating because adults can re-learn skills and baby never learned it in the first place.

The image is burned into my head of him upside down on the cement.  There was a smack when it happened and I thought that maybe it was my phone falling to the ground but I decided that it was the noise Jack’s head made when it hit the ground.  Last year at a game in April a player on the field broke his leg.  People said they could hear the snap of his bones as it broke.  I was too far away but I imagine that it sounded exactly the same.

I had very little info as to what was going on.  My husband was texting me and it was about 20 minutes before he texted me to tell me the ambulance had arrived.  I had assumed they would have already been at the hospital at that point- not just getting ready to leave the stadium.

On one hand everything was moving very very slowly.  On the other hand the game itself seemed to be going so fast.  Its like I wasn’t moving but the world around me was going faster than ever.  I thought about leaving early but my husband had told me to stay there.  To try to relax and watch the game.  I knew that waiting at the game was better than waiting at the hospital. Plus I wasn’t really sure about my ability to drive safely any sooner.  I am thankful for my friend Molly; I texted her to tell her what happened and she texted back and forth with me for the next 90 minutes helping me keep some peace of mind.

Once the game was over we eventually left after waiting to talk to some friends.  I am thankful for my soccer family for being there .  If I hadn’t have waited til the end of the game then Angel would not have been able to offer for my kids to go hang out at her house and she would feed them dinner and then I wouldn’t have to drag them all to the hospital.  My kids were super happy about that too since 2 of them have had their own hospital stays and aren’t really keen on being in one if they don’t have to be.  I was also able to follow her out of the stadium which was great because I have never driven to or from the stadium and having to actually think about how to get out of there was too much.  “Follow me” worked much better.  This is what friends do.  My soccer family is to me what many people’s church family are to them.

When I got to the hospital, Jack was on the bed with my husband.  He didn’t look right. His eyes were a little open but he was sleeping.  I took my 3 year old to the bathroom.  When I came back Jack was awake and I held him.  He looked at me and wanted his mama.  He was ok.  I had been told that already but I wasn’t going to believe that until I saw him myself.  I burst into tears.  I couldn’t hold back anymore.  I hugged my baby and my husband for a few minutes.

We stayed at the hospital for a few more hours for observation.  Changed a diaper.  Got Jack some juice (he drank 2 boxes).  Kinda watched a movie.  Played some soccer with his new Silver Champions Ball with the signatures of the entire team on it (kindly given to my son before he left the stadium in the ambulance).  He played with his sister.  As time went on he was more and more like Jack.

When we were being discharged the doctor assured me that if he hadn’t shown any additional signs of distress in the last 4 hours that he would be fine because if there was serious damage, like a bleed, they would know because there is no wary for the body to hide those symptoms for 4 hours.

We picked up the big kids and drove our 2 hours home.  I rolled into bed at midnight and slept straight until Jack woke up at 7am (the hour previously known as 6am).

He has been playing all morning.  Everyone else is asleep still.  Jack is in a good mood.  I can’t stop looking at him.  While I write this I have been crying off and on just thinking about what could have happened even though it didn’t.  I consider myself lucky.  I consider Jack lucky.  He’s off to an early start of concussions like his daddy and giving me heart attacks.

We are going to carry on with our lives like normally and I’ll hug all my babies a bit more.


Next game though, he won’t be standing on the bench.


17 thoughts on “Jack Fell Down and Broke His Crown – Day 17

  1. Oh sweetie….I wish you were here so I could hug you. I’m crying just reading this. I’ve been through falls and shake-ups with your cousins and that fear goes straight to the heart. I’m glad he’s okay.

  2. I’m glad you were there for me the day before too. I didn’t realize you guys had front row seats. That’s really cool! And I want a soccer family. I’m kinda thinking about getting interested in basketball, because that’s *the* sport here, but I don’t think there’d be much of a basketball family to be had.

    And I didn’t know Jack got a signed ball before he left in the ambulance. That’s pretty cool! I wonder if it was pre-signed and if they have a stash of them to hand to injured season ticket holders or if they all signed them during a break or something (does soccer have a halftime?)

    Heck, after this, I’ll be hugging him a bit tighter when we finally meet. I mean, not at first – don’t wanna freak him out. I’ll hug him when we’re saying good bye, after he’s warmed up to me.

    • They signed the ball that afternoon. I’m sure they have a bunch because they do silent auctions at the game and the money goes into their charitable giving.

      If you wanted I bet I could find someone who would be willing to get you guys seats to a Sporting KC game. I know you’d have a soccer family eventually. It took us 2 seasons.

      • I wonder if I could talk Zach into going to a game. He needs a hobby, and I think if he tried he might be able to enjoy it. I was super surprised when I got into that basketball game, and started recognizing the players.

  3. I am so glad that you got through this horrible situtation. I will continue praying for you and your family especially Jack.

  4. What an awful, terrifying experience for all of you. I’ve never met any of you, but I am so relieved and thankful this ended well for you.

  5. Dy-Anne,

    Wow, what an experience – and, once again, you wrote it so that we actually re-lived it with you. Harrowing.

    I am so glad that everything turned out all right. Since I don’t have any children myself, I can only imagine how terrifying it must have been. Now, as the days pass, I will continue to pray for Jack – and for you and your family.

  6. That must have been scary! I’m so glad your boy is ok!

    I wonder if I may ask, now that there has been some time to get over the scare, if at any point during this ordeal you thought about turning to God for help? The reason I ask is that I think that Medicine is often the arena where you see science and faith collide. Sometimes in a confrontational way (e.g. Jehovah Witnesses and blood transfusion) and sometimes in a complimentary way (e.g. Christians looking for miracles in the area of medicine or doctors looking to God to explain cases that simply don’t fit the expectations of their training). Regardless of how they collide, this does seem to be an area where the two do necessarily and often come in contact.

    I know for me the science vs. God thing was huge. It was probably the last great obstacle I had to faith. It took me a long time to realize that the two weren’t necessarily opposite – they weren’t foes, but they did speak different languages. Science with it’s emphasis on empirical proof, God asking for belief in the absence of empirical proof, what I realized is they both required faith. Now in the matter of that faith in God requires faith, I think we all can agree, but I can feel you raising an eyebrow at the assertion that confidence in science also requires faith, but when you think about it, it’s really amazing the amount of faith, both as Christians and non-Christians, that we have in science.

    Last year I made the very bad decision of allowing my wife to join me when the doctor went over the results of my blood test – high triglycerides! You want to know how to tell if a food has triglycerides in it; it doesn’t taste like ass! Now the results of that blood test represents an chain of preceding events, in all of which my wife has placed her faith; the nurse who took the sample knew what she was doing, they didn’t get the wrong name on my sample, the doctor knows how to read the results, the guy that took my blood from the doctors office to the lab didn’t mix up the vials, that the people at the lab knew what they were doing, that the people that made the lab equipment knew what they were doing, that the people who made the materials with which the lab equipment knew what they were doing, That the people who taught all of these people (doctor, nurse, lab tech etc) to do what they do knew what they were doing and that all of these people didn’t forget to wash there hands after coming back from Hardee’s for lunch and accidentally get some extra triglycerides in my sample. Despite this entire chain of events in which my wife must place her faith, I still can’t get a cheeseburger anymore for love or money!

    So I guess the question that I was left with when deciding to believe in God was; why do we find it so easy to exhibit faith when it comes to the things of this world, seen or unseen (I never saw them actually put my blood in a centrifuge) but not when it comes to things not of this world? Because science has lied to us; at one time or another it told us that the earth was flat, the sun revolved around the earth, that it was a good idea to put asbestos in ceilings, that whole milk and red meat was a healthy diet, that the titanic couldn’t be sunk, the twin towers could not be destroyed by aircraft. Now of course I use the word “lie” a bit facetiously here, but science has led man astray. God’s never led me astray. Religion has led me astray. Men misusing God’s word have led me astray, but God has never led me astray. He’s never come to me in prayer and said “you know what, forget all that about helping those less fortunate, I’ve had a change of heart”. I’ve never gone to Sunday sermon and heard the preacher say “we’ve been getting some new data that would seem to indicate that we may have been off in our thinking about the whole ‘do unto others’ thing”. I’ve never gotten a new bible and realized that in the new God’s Word version 7.2 we no longer are required to honor our parents. In fact, if I were to be scientific about it, I’d have to say that God has a much higher confidence level than science. Because, isn’t that really what the scientific method is – that is a progressive, systematic process, producing (hopefully) less wrong results?

    Now I see science, medicine etc. in a much different light. I still don’t think that they are foes to faith, but rather different ways of seeking of seeking the same thing; truth. I believe that science represents a wonderful gift to us from God, intended for us to use to explore and better understand the wonder of his creation. The problem comes when we begin to deify science and the men who create it. Because it is of man it will always be subject to error. Have you ever noticed how science speaks in terms of probability and confidential levels and Beta errors – “we’re this percent sure that we are right”, Have you ever noticed that it’s never 100%? I believe that to be very responsible, but a lot of folks just don’t see that. They see something in a medical journal, or on the internet or the Dr. Phil show and accept it as gospel. They don’t know or care what those little numbers are at the end of the study – “smart people are saying this so it must be true”, or even worse “I want to be thought of as smart like these people so I’m going to believe what they believe” That’s horrifying! Because now you’ve given away your free will. Your will, your intellect, your reason; all traded for the shinny prize of being like the smart people and in the process you’ve forfeited exactly the thing that you say your were protecting by refusing to have faith in God.

    That was me anyway. Just thought I’d share that with you. Now this again was only meant to be a couple of sentence reply that just got away from me. I’m sorry, I’ll stop now before I use up the whole internet.

    I’m so glad you’re little boy is feeling better and keep letting us know how you are doing.

  7. Pingback: Turning to God for Help | A Temporary Christian

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