On may 12, 2004 almost 2 years ago, i was driving home after a day of shopping and having fun. i was very happy that day. the sun was shining, the windows were down, and the radio was blasting. i had not a care in the world. i was driving home, and i crested the hill.
then i saw him. directly in my lane. no moment to react. no time to turn the wheel. we hit head on. i don’t know how long I had passed out when i finally woke up, but i do know that my legs were crushed in the undercarriage, and i couldn’t move my legs. i started screaming, to no one in particular, just anyone who might hear me and pull me out. but mostly to jesus. i remember screaming help me god. then it happened.
i heard something in the engine ignite. now the car was on fire. and i was trapped. my knee was dislocated but i just kept pulling and pulling struggling to break free and get out. no luck. by now the flames were to the windshield. i thought i was going to be burned alive. thick black smoke was entering my lungs with every scream, and every breathe. i slid under the steering wheel, and opened my passenger door and there he was. my hero whose name i didn’t even know for so long. Tim reluctantly pulled me out, he was hesitant to do it because he didn’t know what was broken and he didn’t want to hurt me any further. but i told him it was just my legs and he pulled me out. then i was dragged down the road, as the place where i was just sitting, moments ago, was engulfed in flames. i did not cry. not once as i was waiting for help. but how i didn’t is not known to me, because as i was laying there, i heard screams that were not my own. screams coming from the other car!
a man. he could not get out. the door was jammed in and it had sliced his side. the beer bottle between his legs had broken and severed his testicles. bits of them were found later at the garage, lying in the seat. no one could get him out. i had to lie there waiting for the ambulance, my ears filled with the screams and moaning of a dying man. he never even made it to the hospital.
the ambulance came and took me to the hospital. they had not restrained my legs so every bump we hit my legs would fly into the air. it was horrible. they were rolling me down the corridor on a stretcher, i turned my head to one of the women and i asked, “Am i going to die?” she looked at me for just a moment, and just simply said ” i dont know.” no comforting words.. no reassurance that i would be fine.
the helicopter came, and i was taken to another hospital in Indianapolis. they were very kind, and very reassuring. so lovely. i got there, and they had to set my legs. my mother, lynn bobbie, and sandy, had told me that it was probably just as painful to hear as it was to feel. apparently i was screaming again. i don’t remember the pain though. so we finally learned the extent of my injuries.
2 broken femurs. one was clean in half. crushed right heel and ankle. crushed so badly that they couldnt even remove all the little tiny bone fragments. broken metatarsals on my left foot, with a fractured big toe. a dislocated left knee. a huge gash down the bone on my right knee. 3 fractured vertebrae. cracked hip. a ruptured spleen. all my leg muscles had atrophied. not to mention the huge bruises and other cuts.
i spent 2 full weeks there. on my last day the physical therapist came to arrange where i would go. he wanted to send me to a nursing home, given the extent of my injuries. i said forget that. i’m going home. and so i did. my mother slept on the couch beside me for a very long time, since i had to have pain pills every few hours. and i had to use the bathroom alot. how humiliating it is to have to use a potty chair. to not be able to go to the bathroom.
i had to use a machine 8 hours a day stretching my knees, as i couldn’t bend them. after about 5 months of that, which puts us at about sept/oct… i finally was allowed to stand for the first time.
i had a wheelchair too. just imagine, lying in bed… day after day after day. to not be able to just get up and go outside. or to look at something across the room that you want and not being able to just go and get it. this was the worst part about being handicapped.
fast forward today almost 2 years later. im still undergoing surgeries, but only have 3 left. 2 years in prison because of one man’s ignorance, whom i’ll never meet. my life was ripped from me. my future was ripped from me. and in the end, even my friends were ripped from me. except for those who remain loyal. the ones who have sacrificed so much just to keep me happy. it is a harsh reality to realize that the people who meant so much to you, don’t give a damn about you. i have lost so much throughout this experience. but i have gained much more.
Dont drink and drive. Please.
– Sarah (Brazil, IN)