When Life Hits You Like a Truck, Oh, It Was Only an SUV!

Life at times deals all of us unexpected JOLTS and last Friday night was a huge one for the Stipe family.  I was just placing the last items in my suitcase in anticipation of leaving for a long awaited tour of Israel when the phone rang.  The person on the other end was from Denver Health, a huge hospital in downtown Denver and they wanted to talk to my husband Tom.

I ran up stairs with the phone instinctively and did not even think it strange to be receiving a call from downtown at that time of night. But then I handed the phone to Tom and I could see it on his face, it was not good news.  I could tell by hearing only one half of the conversation that it was serious.  The conversation was over soon and Tom was telling me the unthinkable–our son, Thomas had been hit by an SUV on his bike and was in the emergency room.

Next, there was the good and the bad news.  According to the ER personnel–he had a brain bleed but was not critical.  A brain bleed but not critical–we kept reminding ourselves again and again as we drove to the hospital–because to us a brain bleed–sure sounded critical.  We got to the hospital and it was every parents nightmare. He was covered in blood with a swarm of doctors and nurses attending him.  I had to go out in the hall and sit down because I thought I was going to faint.  I could not take seeing my child like that.  Finally I got the courage to go back in and the swarm was down to one young female “Doc” stitching up a large laceration over Thomas’ eye.  I winced as she wove the stitches in an out over the precious brow I had kissed so often.  And little did I know that this was just the beginning of four harrowing days in the Surgical ICU.

For more on “every parent’s nightmare” see my husband’s thoughts at…http://crossroadsdenver.wordpress.com/2010/03/13/it-could-have-been-worse-by-tom-stipe/

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “When Life Hits You Like a Truck, Oh, It Was Only an SUV!

  1. Gene Ann Smith

    Oh Mary Ellen and Tom,
    I would not choose this way to be reacquainted with you and yet – why not.
    Having walked through some very deep valleys, I know beyond a doubt that God is good and life is very tough.
    I join you in petitioning our loving, heavenly Father that your son will make a full recovery.

  2. Wendy Smith

    Maryellen you have always been such a pillar of strength for your family. My heart goes out to you as you share the pain of coping seeing your son in the ER. I wish this had never happened to your family. Since I cannot pray it away… I pray for Thomas’s and your family’s healing from such a traumatic event. Thank you for sharing what is in your heart!

  3. carrie neumiller

    I can not , even in my wildest nightmares, imagine the horrifying experience you went through. I pray everyday for Thomas and for you and Tom. Wish there was more I could do. Prayers seem to be the most needed and the best I can do. Love to all of you.

  4. Mitz

    Maryellen, my heart bleeds for you all and what you had to endure. I still say I know that He is doing all of this for our good and His glory. It’s hard to see it now in the storm, but I know you can hear Him calling your name. His peace is coming. Thomas will be on a continual upward slope. Unlike my Aunt who had brain cancer and she seemed to always be on a downward slope. We know your Thomas will thrive and everyone’s faith will be stronger still because of it. You know I speak from many experiences with brain injuries when I say, “God will be with you” no matter what. Love and prayers to you all. Godspeed! M

  5. Angry

    It’s taken me awhile to write in or even say anything on the card I gave to Tom and Maryellen because when I heard about the acedent I got angry. I was angry that satan was alowed to touch someone I ask God to protect and I was angry that God alowed it to happen.
    I am a prayer and yet this shook me. I have no where to go but to God and hope He understands I’m mad as @#$% and I want saten to keep his dirty hands off our childern!
    I’m so sorry Thomas had to go through this. I will continue to pray for him.

  6. Maryellen Stipe

    Thanks all, for all your concern and prayers. Thomas went to the neurosurgeon today and received permission to go back to work and to resume college classes. This is the first step back to his normal life–please pray for his ability to carry out his schedule without major problems.

    Brain injuries can cause memory issues, attention span issues and problems concentrating and any of these symptoms could cause Thomas to be unable to perform up to par. Please pray that he can finish this semester of college. Also his hearing is still down in his right ear so–pray that his hearing will be totally restored.

    Thanks y’all
    Maryellen

  7. Eileen Wiedmaier

    Maryellen,
    I’m so glad to hear that Thomas is on the road to recovery. I’ll be praying for all.
    Eileen

  8. erunner

    Didn’t know where to leave this. It’s a real blessing.

  9. erunner

    The song is by Natalie Merchant and the video was put together by a woman as a dedication to girls with Down Syndrome. Boys are included as well!

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