Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Seven Years Later . . .

Seven years ago this afternoon I got the phone call no parent ever wants to receive: “There’s been a bad car accident.” It involved my two sons and my daughter in law. Rachel was air-lifted to Rochester. My son, Peder, was taken to Rochester by ambulance. My son, Hans, was taken to the Owatonna hospital. It was recommended that I come as soon as possible and I was told not to drive alone.

I could hardly believe what I had heard. Immediately I prayed, “O Lord, please let them be okay. Please help me to get to Rochester before one of them dies. My Aunt Liz and cousin Pat came with me.

The trip to Rochester felt like the longest 90 miles I had ever driven. Rachel had cuts on her face, and her arm was wrapped. She told us that she had a punctured lung, broken ribs and a broken arm.

Peder lay on a table. I was stunned when I saw him. His head was swollen, and His eyes were swollen shut. There were several tubes in his throat. Five doctors were working on him, yet they asked me to come in close and reassure Peder that I was there. I told him I was there. Then Peder motioned that he wanted to write something. A doctor gave him a pen and paper. Peder scribbled: “Are my passengers okay? Who won the football game?” One of the doctors told me later that that was great news. It assured them he had no brain damage.

Later that night, Hans was released from the Owatonna hospital with cuts and bruises.

Peder spent the next five days in ICU, continuing to write to us on a white board. A week later he had major surgery lasting about 11 hours. The end results were good. Peder is totally blind in his left eye, and most of his skull was reconstructed with titanium and is held together with screws. But to look at him, you would never know it, and there was no brain damage. He is a miracle!

Rachel and Hans recovered well, too. To my knowledge, Rachel has full use of her arm.

Peder wrote about this today on his blog. You can read it here.

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