In The Blink of An Eye

Yesterday started out a day like any other. I woke up bleary eyed to the squawking alarm, begging for another hour. I bathed,dressed and prepared myself for the day. I got Tucker ready, grabbed my ritualistic tumbler of coffee and headed out the door. Tucker and I had our usual morning conversation about where he was going that day and whether or not Cade was coming home yet.

I dropped him off at daycare and headed for the highway. My morning commute to the nearest “big” town is about a half hour drive. I don’t mind this trek. I get a chance to collect my thoughts, make a mental note of the day’s activities and also listen to my beloved radio show. Yesterday was no different.

I made my way into town sipping my coffee, savouring the sweet taste of the creamer. I was laughing at my radio show and their silly antics for the day. Little did I know that my day was about to change in a way I would never forget.

I was focused on the traffic around me and had just set my coffee cup down. The car in front of me was passing a side street when out of nowhere a black 4-door sedan coming in the opposite direction makes a left hand turn in front of the burgundy Oldsmobile in front of me! It was as if it was happening in slow motion playing it back in my mind. I know I was verbalizing the words, “Oh my god! DON’T TURN! Oh my god! DON’T TURN!”

The car in front of me had zero time to react. He t-boned the black sedan sending them both in a spin and landing square in the center of the side street facing each other.

I’m fairly certain my heart stopped for at least a second or two. My poor mind was trying to wrap itself around what I had just witnessed. Survival mode kicked in. I slammed on my brakes and pulled off the highway. I dug for my phone in my console, fumbled to dial 911, pulled the keys out of the ignition and ran to the cars.

I didn’t know what to expect to see. As I ran I could see that at least four people were out of the cars, but something was very wrong. A man was laying on the ground shaking. It didn’t look right. I was trying to tell the dispatcher what I was seeing and trying to assess the situation. I could tell the driver of the Oldsmobile was standing up and seemed okay. I passed him and kept running to the man on the ground. As soon as I reached him it was obvious he was having a seizure by the clenched fist, uncontrollable convulsions and his eyes rolled back in his head. I relayed this to the dipatcher, “Send someone NOW! This guy’s having a seizure!”

All the while, the driver of the sedan (I found out later it was a BMW), is jumping around, crying out, “WHAT DID I DO?! Oh, Clinto, what did I do?! Why did I turn? WHY DID I TURN?”

The dispatcher is asking all sorts of questions.

“How old is he?”

“I, I don’t know… maybe in his early twenties.”

Driver chimes in, ” He’s twenty-one.”

“Okay, he says he’s twenty-one.”

Dispatcher: “Is he diabetic?”

“I don’t know. Is he diabetic?”

Driver: “NO. No, he’s not diabetic.”

“Okay, no, he’s not diabetic.”

Dispatcher: “Okay, is he epileptic?”

“I don’t know. Is he epileptic?”

Driver: “No.”

“Okay, he’s not epileptic.”

Dispatcher: “Is he on any medications?”

“Is he on any medications?”

Driver: “No! Oh, god, what did I do? Clinto what did I do!”

“He’s not on any medications. Please hurry! He’s still seizing!”

This whole time the driver can’t keep it together. He finally comes and sits behind Clint’s head and holds it. He tells me that he’s an EMT. I’m thankful that he’s an EMT.

I think, “Good he can help me out. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’ve never seen anyone have a seizure. Are you supposed to roll them on their sides? Is he going to swallow his tongue? No, silly girl, they can’t really swallow their tongues! Please, Mr. EMT, driver guy, please know what to do.”

Unfortunately, the driver was so upset he couldn’t help me. I kept looking around hoping the ambulance would hurry up and get here.

And then…

Then the angel arrived.

I don’t even remember what she said her name was. She came and took over for the driver. She held Clint’s head and talked to him. I kept telling her that the dispatcher was telling me to turn him on his side. But I didn’t want to. What if his neck was broken? She told me, “No, we’re not turning him on his side. Let me talk to the dispatcher.”

I handed her the phone. She spoke with the dispatcher. In her angel voice she told the dispatcher she was a medic with Life Team, the local life flight helicopter team. I knew right then and there we were going to be okay. I knew that Clint was in good hands. He wouldn’t have to rely on me and my lack of any sort of medical knowledge to get him by until the ambulance got there.

Finally the medics arrived and I could get up. I just walked away. I knew I wasn’t going to be any good to Clint any more.

I walked over to the officer and told him I was the first one on the scene and had witnessed the entire accident. He let me sit in his nice warm car and fill out my witness report. My hands were shaking so bad I didn’t know if I could hold the pen. I got it together finally and wrote the whole story as I remembered it. It didn’t take me nearly as long as I thought it would.

After I finished the report I handed it back to the officer, made sure it was okay and then went to find the old man who had hit the black sedan. He was still sitting on the ground next to his car. I wanted to make sure he was okay and let him know that I had seen the whole thing. I wanted him to know that he had someone on his side.

I walked back to my car, got in and just sat there.

What just happened? Did I really just see and do what I thought I did?

I called Grady and told him the whole story as I drove back to the office to try to make the remainder of my day as normal as possible.

Oh, and by the way, I spoke with reporting officer today and am happy to tell you that Clint is okay.

The point of my story is that we should always be thankful for the moments we have, bad or good because we never know what the Lord has in store for us. I will never forget the day that my life literally changed in the blink of an eye.

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