March 3rd 1994: The day my life changed. I was 24 years old, waiting on Med School or PA school admission, when I had a horrible accident on the way home from work one morning.
I remember everything. I was driving home from working 3rd shift at a Laboratory in Winston Salem NC, when I hit a patch of black ice. ( It had rained all night and the temperature dropped from 44 to 32 degrees F.) It was 7 am and the sun was just rising. I was able to stop my car on the side of I 40 in Winston Salem NC.
But that’s when it happened. A 2 ton white delivery truck hit the same patch of ice that I had. He lost control. I remember trying to run. The next thing- I saw a flash of red and was twirling around upright, then I’m on the wet concrete pavement under the truck -face down- with my head and body between the axels of the truck. I then did a quick assessment of my situation without moving. All the while the driver of the truck is grinding the gears trying to back up off my crushed car trunk. All I could think was that he was going to run over my head. I tried to raise my upper body up. No dice. -excruciating lower back pain. My body began to go into shock: Shivering, vomiting. The truck was still running.
I heard the ambulance coming within a few minutes of the accident. An EMT crawled under the truck to me. He began his assessment of my condition. Since I was still laying face down, He cut my jeans up the back of both legs to by bottom , my shirt from the hem to the back of the collar , and the sleeves from wrist to shoulder.
I was pulled from this position under the truck, using what was left of my jeans, straight out into the highway. The EMT and his partners then put on a collar and flipped me over onto a backboard. Again extreme pain. No major external bleeding. Obvious open book pelvic fracture, broken ankle, cuts and scrapes on my hands and face.
I was rushed to our local trauma center 10 minutes from the crash site on I 40. IVs started, BP taken, finger stick glucose, oxygen…and a very bumpy ride. I passed out until they were transferring me to the Emergency Room bed. Then: Loud Doctor asking lots of questions, being stripped naked for all to see –freezing cold, BP cuff, heart monitor sticky pads applied, poked, prodded, blood drawn, bright lights, abdominal tap to check for blood, urinary catheter insertion, oxygen, trauma blood transfusion, finally I got covered with a thin sheet and blanket, then emergency CT scan, and into the OR for major orthopedic surgery.
That was 23.5 years ago. Stay tuned for more…..