Ten years ago today, I experienced one of the scariest days in my life: a horrible car accident that thanks to God above, me and my friend Kelly lived through. A man ran a stop sign as we were on our way to Norfolk to a wedding, sending our car across 3 lanes of traffic and far into a ditch. I was driving and was sure that when I looked over after the car came to a stop that I was sure to find my friend seriously injured or even dead, as it hit her side. Thank God she was not. She was concsious, bleeding and had the car embedded on her legs, but conscious. We landed outside of a pizza hut (Madison, NE), and the customers in there came to our assistance within seconds. A man gave Kelly the shirt off his back to press to her bleeding head. In the whirlwind of it all, she took my hand and started to pray (that is how amazing and committed she is). Shortly before the ambulance got there, I noticed something was seriously wrong. My stomach was starting to bloat and I started to "black out"-I remained fully conscious but when my eyes were wide open, all I saw was black. But when I heard the voice of the paramedics, my sight came back...I think because I knew help was there, it was going to be okay. They transferred us by ambulance (lights, sirens and all) to the Norfolk hospital and after some tests were completed and while Kelly was getting treated for her numerous injuries, they found out I was bleeding internally and would need to be life-flighted to Omaha. As if I wasn't scared enuf already...I was transported to the helicopter by myself-having to say a tearful and fearful goodbye to Kelly, her mom and some of our NCC friends that had gotten there. I was helicoptered to Omaha and kept there for a few days, some of them in ICU to monitor the internal damage to my liver and spleen. I also broke my left wrist, had a deep cut from my seatbelt (which saved our lives, I am sure!) and some other strained muscles. This is not to mention the amount of windshield glass I had all over my body-in my mouth, etc. In the following days, I had the most amazing support from my family and friends-some who traveled many miles to visit me. And of course, my now husband, Dan-who drove back and forth numerous times during that week to stay by my side.
I am indebted to those amazing EMT's and doctors who tended to us that day, as well as the citizens who stayed by our side thru the chaos. We came to find out later that our car actually started on fire not long after the jaws of life got Kelly and I out. Also that the impact of the accident actually made a cut into the cement on the highway. Also found out out the other driver had been thrown out of his car, but walked away with a broken arm.
And I must mention my parents, because what a dreadful day for them-one to receive that phone call, but then after a 3 hour drive to arrive at Norfolk to be told I was no longer there and that they needed to drive a few more hours to Omaha before they could get to their little girl to comfort her. A parents worst nightmare, I am sure.
The outcome of this day could have been a LOT worse-I believe God was watching out for us-I believe that we did not roll and that there were no other cars in the 3 lanes we crossed because He had a plan for us to stay on this earth longer. Had those things occurred, it would have been a (potential) tragedy. While it has been 10 years to this day, I must remind myself everyday that God kept me here for a reason....I must not let Him down. I think of this day often-sometimes to remind myself of how lucky and blessed I am, but sometimes because I simply can't get that moment of impact out of my head. I can close my eyes and relive it in an instant. It sticks with you forever. And that is okay-becuase while I may be a very paranoid driver sometimes (especially if I see drivers making fast stops to my right at intersections, my heart seriously starts to pound), and my heart skips a beat when I see an ambulance, I am okay having those reactions because it keeps it real. It reminds me that we will not be here forever and so while I am here, I need to do the right things. The things that honor God and his goodness. Something I strive for every day.