How I almost lost my Husband
The year was 2005 and we were seniors in High School, thinking we were untouchable and that we ruled the world, hahaha the hallways of the school maybe. My husband, then boyfriend had just recently turned 18 and as any 18 year old would, he went to a club in New Hampshire with some friends, nothing wrong with that. I wasn’t 18 yet and was doing what any senior girl does...preparing for prom!!
The date was February 26th, 2005 it was a regular cold Saturday in New England, I woke up to a missed call from my husband and figured he was just calling to tell me he was home and I didn’t think anything of it. I tried calling him a few times and it just kept going to voicemail. I figured it was off because he got in late and was sleeping. So I prepared to go prom dress shopping with my friends. We had made these plans a few weeks back. While getting dressed my phone rang and I picked it up thinking and hoping it was my husband, but it wasn’t, it was his cousin. I answered the phone and I could immediately tell something was wrong. His voice sounded kind of shaky.
He told me that Mardochee, my husband had been in an accident and I flat out said no he called me last night and left me a message. His cousin interrupted me and said Katricia, listen, “he was in an accident and broke his neck.” I dropped the phone and fell with it to the floor. Tears immediately started falling from my eyes. I picked up the phone and asked his cousin, where is he, what hospital? He replied Mass General and deep down I knew it was serious. Although only 17 years old at the time, I knew that if you were injured and taken to Mass General, it meant serious injuries.
I texted my girlfriends and told them I couldn’t go prom dress shopping I needed to get to the hospital. I jumped in my car with my sister and turned my gps on, because despite living in Massachusetts practically my whole life I had never driven into Boston and I needed to get there fast! When I got to the hospital, his whole family was there, we took up almost the entire emergency waiting room. His cousin who was with him that night approached me and said Hi, and filled me in the best he could. The driver had fallen asleep and the car rolled a few times. My husband was asleep in the car and was brought into the hospital asleep. We had no idea how serious his injuries were because doctors were still working on him and running tests. We must have waited for what felt like hours!
When they finally got him sedated and in a room they allowed us to go in and see him a few people at a time. I didn’t know what to expect, I had never dealt with anyone being in a serious car accident before, I had barely seen anyone laying in a hospital bed. I mustered up the strength to go into his room, my stomach was in nots. I walked into his room and all I could see were machines on him and wires everywhere. And at the time I didn’t know what half of these machines did, what they were for, or what they were called. I noticed he had a thin tube in his neck. Which I later found out was called a trachea, he needed it to breathe because they placed him in a induced coma. What scared me and made me start crying was the giant metal thing he had screwed to his head, which I later found out was called a Halo. I had never seen one before and it was screwed to his head! I thought about how painful that must be. But he couldn’t feel it, he was on a lot of pain meds and was in the a coma for that reason. I reached out and touched his hands, they were kind of swollen and had some scratches on them with some dried blood. But I touched him anyway, touching him didn’t scare me, it was seeing him laying there in practically a vegetative state that scared me. I didn’t know what to think or what happens now. I didn’t want to leave his side but there were so many other people waiting to see him and pray over him. I stroked his hand and whispered I love you in his ear and left the room. I walked out to his family and friends all staring at me, wondering was I going to be there for him and be supportive or would this all be too much for me. I started crying and his oldest brother embraced me.
The doctors said he needed rest and that the next 24 hours were the most critical. They gave him 24 hours to live, because they needed to be able to stop the hemorrhaging in his brain. I was stunned, I didn’t believe it and all we could do was wait and pray. I stayed at the hospital that night as late as I could and a girlfriend of mine drove home with me and stayed the night to make sure I was ok.
I wasn’t ok but, I was trying to be strong for his sake and prayed like I’ve never prayed before. My phone was ringing nonstop with calls and text messages from friends now that word had spread. I spoke to the ones I could and the rest just had to forgive me because it was a lot to process. After he was given 24 hours they moved it up to 72 hours. My husband was strong and was fighting. I went to see him everyday I could in the hospital, after school, after work, on the weekends. Even though he didn’t know I was there because of the induced a coma, I still went and held his hand even if just for a few hours. It was so strange not hearing his voice on the phone everyday or seeing him at school. School just wasn’t the same without him. He shared my locker so we would see each other several times a day. We had lunch together and one class together. Without him there I was going through all of it on my own and being asked daily about how he was doing. I mean the rumors people spread really got to me, like he wasn’t going to walk again or he wasn’t going to make it. People who had no clue what state he was in were talking and it pissed me off. Don’t spread something because you heard it, go to the source if you really want to know.
The days came and went and he was still under the induced coma. My 18th birthday was coming up and all I wanted to do was spend it with him. I decided I was going to skip school and spend my entire birthday with him. My mom wasn’t happy about that, she didn’t want me skipping school but I had made up my mind and said I wasn’t going. The morning of my birthday it snowed and there was no school so like I planned I got in the car and drove in the snow with my sister to Boston to go spend my birthday with him. He wasn’t awake yet and he had no idea I was even there, but it meant the world to me to be there with him on that day. I held his hand and told him I was here and it was my birthday and everything was going to be okay. I stayed at the hospital as late as they allowed visitors to stay and then I drove home. When I got home my mother had left me a birthday cake. It wasn’t the fairytale 18th birthday I dreamt of but it was just fine. I cut myself a piece of cake, took a few bites and went to bed.
The day we had all been waiting for finally came on March 3rd, 2005. The doctors took him off the medication causing the induced coma and he came too. I was at school when it happened but his cousin who had been with him when the accident happened was there and he texted me and let me know he was awake. I rushed over to the hospital after school to see him awake. He reached out to hold my hand, he couldn’t talk because of the trachea. He pointed for a notebook to write, “I’m sorry I missed your birthday.” I cried and wanted to hug him but the halo made that kind of difficult. I sat on the edge of the bed and told him he doesn’t have to apologize, it’s not his fault and I’m just happy he’s ok. I told him I spent my birthday with him. I would come to find out later that as soon as he woke up he asked his mother for the date and what happened and where was he. He had no recollection of the accident and had no idea he was in the hospital.
Another week went by and I had gotten quite good at reading his lips. But then the day came when the trachea was removed! I knew the day was coming but being at school waiting for the call that it had been removed felt like agony. I couldn’t wait to hear his voice again. It was lunch time and we weren’t allowed to be on our phones, but when the call came in, I ran to the bathroom and he said “hi” to me for the first time in weeks and I started crying. Who knew how much you could miss hearing someone’s voice. His voice was a little hoarse and shaky but it was him on the other end saying “hi, I miss you, are you coming to see me today.”
A few more weeks in the hospital before he could go home because he had to do rehab in order to walk with the halo. In total he spent a day shy of a month in the hospita. He would have to be homeschooled for the remainder of the school year. So he didn’t walk me to class any more, we didn’t eat lunch together. But everyday after work I would go see him. We didn’t go to senior prom but rather he created a prom for us at his house, which was more than I could’ve asked for. We had pizza, a movie and cake, it was also a celebration of my 18th birthday.
He would wear the halo at graduation, but what’s most important is that he graduated! He didn’t fall behind in his school work. I helped him with it when I could and he also had a tutor. The halo came off in late August and he then had to wear a neck brace for a few months. It was a long journey but through it all I was by his side, I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else but right there with him.
I share this long, touching story because it’s our reality, it’s what we went through and still found each other on the other side of it. It’s what brought us closer together as a couple but also what brought us closer to God. God is so good! He saved my husband and has given us so much to be thankful for. This was also a reminder to us to not take life for granted. I hope that’s one of the things you take away from reading this.