Monday, June 26, 2006

Don't Tread on Me

Here's another story from the Jones family archives, which fits with the recent theme of 'Miracles', and also, in its own way, with another prominent theme of this blog (at least so far), 'The Trials of Desmond and Molly Jones and Their Children'.

Seven years ago, I was sitting in my office at work, deeply dialed-in to whatever was on my computer screen at the time, when the phone rang. It was a friend of ours. "7M has had an accident," was all she said. My mind raced as she explained that he was in intensive care; I don't remember the rest of what she said. I left work and drove to the hospital, a 45-minute drive, during which I could only wonder what I'd find when I got there, or if my son was even alive.

7M was a year-and-a-half old at the time. He and some neighbor kids were playing in our front yard that afternoon. At one point 7M was standing behind the neighbor's minivan; the neighbor came out, got into his car and backed out - right over my toddler son. The neighbor across the street saw it happen and called the ambulance immediately. 5M, who was seven at the time, might have saved 7M's life by getting the driver's attention and getting him to stop. Molly was inside the house talking with a friend who had dropped in, when one of the kids ran in and told her what had happened. At first, she didn't believe them, but her friend said, um, why don't you go out and see what's going on. The ambulance arrived within a minute or two, and then things were a blur.

By the time I arrived at the hospital, his situation was diagnosed - he had a bunch of cuts and bruises (including a detailed tire-tread-pattern bruise that ran from his thigh, all the way up his torso, and across his cheek), a broken collarbone, three non-displaced skull fractures (non-displaced is good, if you have to have a broken skull), and bruised lungs. The bruised lungs were actually the biggest concern of the ER docs (I guess if you have trouble breathing, things get bad very quickly). They had him hooked up to a machine that monitored his breathing. At that point, every minute that passes with him breathing well is a good minute, but they wanted to monitor him for 24-48 hours. So we just waited for the 'good minutes' to keep accumulating. After 24 hours, they moved him to a less-intensive section of the ICU, and the next day, they released him, because all they were doing was chasing him around the ICU. Our boy had a clean bill of health 48 hours after being run over by a minivan (well, except for the broken bones and bruises thing).

When we tried to figure out how this could have happened, the doctor said that his young age actually was in his favor, because kids that age are very flexible - their bones aren't brittle, so they've got more 'give' to them, and they don't break as severely as older folks' do. Also, the fact that the vehicle was a minivan (comparatively little weight over the rear axle), and only the rear axle ran over him, was probably fortunate, as well as the gravel driveway (the gravel had some 'give' to it that a concrete driveway wouldn't have). Even so - the back tire of the minivan ran directly OVER HIS HEAD. I couldn't have imagined that that would be survivable, much less survivable with no discernable effects. And yet, today, we have a completely normal eight-year-old. If anything, he's notably brighter than most of his peers (not that I'd want my other kids to get their heads run over, to make them smarter, or anything).

I try to be slow about making claims of miracles, but 7M being run over by a car without any lasting effect, is about the most amazing thing I've seen in my life. We've told 7M that he'd better be good, because God did something amazing for him to be alive today.


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