Let me say first, I do not share this day without my heart breaking with every word.
But for me to heal and to help other grieving parents, I share my experiences.
Unfortunately, it is also a part of Kristin's life.
The Day That Changed My Life
wrecked on January 14th, 2005 on my and her step dad's 10th anniversary.
She was 5 months from her 17th birthday. Kristin was
leaving school headed to her grandmothers for the weekend while we
went out of town for our anniversary. It was a 10
minute drive from the school to g-ma's house. Kristin
attempted to pass a schoolmate on a back road and loss
control of the vehicle. She tail spinned, flipped and
hit a utility pole on the passenger side of her car.
No one has ever told me the actual speed but I'm
guessing she was going too fast as teenagers often do.
The boy Kristin was passing had only started calling
the house about 2 weeks previous to the wreck so I'm
assuming she was showing off a bit too, flirting,
whatever... being a teenager. I don't believe Kristin
had enough experience to handle what happened that day
to regain control of the car. I believe they were racing.
Kristin's dad called me on my cell, we were on the
interstate. We turned around and got back
to the hospital around 30 minutes after Kristin
arrived. Doctors met with us and wanted us to brace
ourselves before we went back to see her. They said
she had head trauma. So, I'm trying to control my
EVERYTHING so that I wouldn't pass out at anything I
seen. Kristin looked like she was asleep. No blood, no
signs of anything to her head. Just 6 to 8 people
working on her. I didn't understand.
They started handing me her jewelry, which I dropped.
I was holding her hand and felt like I was in the way,
I would move and the nurses would tell me "no mama,
hold her hand". I was telling Kristin everything would
be ok, just let them take care of her. I should have
been telling God "You cant have her now, I need
her, She's MINE!!". They wanted to transport Kristin to another
Neuro unit about an hour away. I said "Go, lets do it,
I want her in the best hands".
They wanted to get her stable for the move. We
stayed with Kristin only about 10 minutes and they
asked us to leave. They came back and got us a second
time, to see her before they transported her. Only me
and her Dad could go each time and we were the only
ones that they would talk to each time. I couldn't
remember a lot about being there, I had to ask
Kristin's dad a few weeks afterwards about things. Was
she breathing when we were there? He said yes, she
quit breathing once, started back, then another time
and she was vented from then on. The entire time I was
thinking she was just knocked unconscious. She needed
some time to come around.
Once transported to the next hospital... it was crazy,
just crazy. We arrived and was escorted in a room and
asked did we have a pastor to call. Thank God my
sister Tammy lived near by and was there waiting
on me. She called her pastor. We waited, we waited,
they weren't telling us anything. We had called the
pastor and assumed the worse. Then they asked us to
move locations, up to the neuro floor. An orderly or
something came out to tell us they were getting her
settled in and we could see her soon. After being told
that, I was thinking.. ok, we can get thru this, she's
going to be ok. We waited close to 3 hours before
getting to see her. The doctor came out to talk. He
said out of all of the people at that hospital, she
was the sickest. Knocked me down again! Finally got to
see her, other than hooked to everything she was
hooked to. She was still just sleeping. A LOT of kids
came that night from the school. I wouldn't let anyone
see her but family. I thought she needed her rest and
she didn't need to hear them crying over her.
Throughout the night, the head injury became apparent.
Kristin had swollen a good bit on the side of the
injury. I wished I had let the kids see her the night
before now, instead of like this. The doctors now
saying, the swelling was so bad that it could possibly
cut off circulation at the brain stem. There was
nothing they could do but wait.
I was still being the overprotective mom. I didn't want
anyone touching her. Her foot or hand would jump
and that gave me hope but I thought she needed to rest
and get better. I would call the nurse every time
Kristin's foot or hand would jump. They said, "that's
not a positive reaction". HUH? I thought the brain
controlled everything. I thought the hospital was full
of it. Just trying to not give me false hope.
They ran the FINAL test as the called it around 2pm the next day to
see if any blood was making it to the brain. That was
the longest 30 minutes, it seemed hours. When the
doctors called us again for a meeting... pray, pray,
pray... couldn't hear much, just praying he would say
something we wanted to hear. I heard it but didn't ..if
that makes sense. Everyone around me went to pieces,
loud, uncontrollable crying. Me... I just sit there
looking around, what just happened here? I wasn't
crying , I was asking God.. Why? What? Don't fail me
The pastor, minister for the hospital is someone I
hope to never see again. He was the most
uncompassionate, blunt jerk I have ever met. The staff
was doing their best to ease things on us and he would
jump in and say the worst things. When the doctor was
telling us the process of disconnecting Kristin from
the machines, the pastor jumped in and said "What he
is trying to say is that she is dead, when they did
that test, that proved it. They will disconnect her in the morning
whether you chose to or not". I walked out of the
meeting. I finally told my husband, if he (the pastor)
gets near me again, I will nut up. The pastor of all
people asked me, "Do you have other children".
You would think these people had some type of training to deal with loss.
As I looked back on the hospital a few days later. I
knew Kristin never made it to the 2nd hospital. I
couldn't "feel" her. She took her last breath on her
own in our hospital while her dad was on one side and
me on the other, holding her hand. I think that she
held on for that long for us. She squeezed my hand one time there.