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Thursday, April 9, 2015

one more ride...

Meet Jenn. For this momma, the definition of being a mother was redefined after her son experienced a terrible accident. After the dust finally settled, Jenn's I Guess Im Due moment was found in the unexpected. Enjoy her story of tears, prayer, and triumph in her own words below...
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It was our favorite time of year, Rodeo Weekend. Jake, my 10 year old, especially loved this weekend, he had been going since he was a baby.
 He loved the rodeo, but what he really loved was camping on my uncles’ 40 acre property on the Peace River for the long weekend. We picked the kids up from school early on Friday and spent 3 fun-filled days riding 4-wheelers, playing manhunt, swimming in the river, and just having as much fun as you can have in the great outdoors.
After three days, my husband and I, were ready to get home, take a long hot shower, and a very long nap. We had packed up all 3 tents and had the truck ready to go. We drove the truck up to the pole barn to say our goodbyes to the rest of the family. Then Jake rode up and asked that question that we’ve all heard a hundred times… “One more time?”.
Since Jake had been out riding 4-wheelers with the 12 year old neighbor boy all day, we allowed him that “one more ride”. Five minutes later, the neighbor boy came riding back, alone. Written all over his face was fear and panic, and we all knew this couldn’t be good. “Jake is hurt,” he yelled out. Everybody ran. We found Jake laying by a tree limp and bleeding. It turns out that Jake had hit a bump that flipped his body over the 4-wheeler. As he fell in mid air, Jake held onto the front grill while the 4-wheeler collided into a tree. Thankfully, one of my uncles who was still at the campsite is a doctor, and my cousin a local paramedic. We knew we needed to take him straight to the hospital. My husband stayed back with my mom, while my uncle and my dad carried Jake to the car. I can still remember how he was, white as a ghost, but still with a smile on his face. “I’m OK, Momma!” he told me several times on the way to the hospital. As we drove to the hospital we were thinking we wouldn’t need to be there too long. He was probably just going to get his leg patched up and need plastic surgery down the line. As we were walking into the ER, Jake asked me if they had a cafeteria, and if so, he wanted to eat there when we were done. Little did we know that all of this was far more serious...

Thirty minutes later, the ER doctor broke the news to us that Jake had sustained multiple injuries. He fractured his pelvis in two places, had a fractured ankle, and had three broken ribs. He would be helicoptered immediately to a larger hospital to undergo surgery. In that moment, I remember thinking, this can’t be happening. This kind of stuff doesn’t happen to us! He has a smile on his face, I just need to get him something to eat. Then as I watched them start pumping him full of morphine, I thought to myself, he’s going to be by himself in that helicopter! How did I let this happen?! I just wanted to go back in time and say “No, Jake, not one more time.” My head began to spin and I actually thought I was going to faint. I left the room and headed to the bathroom. I splashed water on my face and pulled myself together. I just wanted to cry, but I knew that wasn’t going to help anything. I did all I could, I said a prayer and asked God to be with Jake on that helicopter ride.

Jake underwent surgery the next day to reconstruct his leg. After his surgery, he spent a week in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. For the next two weeks, I spent my days and nights watching my son recover. It wasn’t easy seeing him laying in a hospital bed in pain, hardly able to move. Having close family coming to visit helped our long days in the hospital room seem a bit easier.
 When he finally came home, we knew we had a long rode ahead of us. Jake was confined to a wheelchair, still in a lot of pain, and needed nursing care around the clock. Unfortunately, since we didn’t have a live in nurse, I was the one that had to give my 10 year old son a shot full of burning medicine in his stomach twice a day. It was going to be a hard couple of months at home.

The doctors told us he’d be confined to his chair for at least six months. But Jake was a fighter! He exceeded everyone expectations, that boy healed so well, and so fast. God is so good! In just three months Jake began taking his first steps again and in five months began running. We had so many people praying for him. It’s amazing how people come together to help those in need. We were overwhelmed with how we were surrounded by so much love and support from friends, family, church, and school. We couldn’t even believe it.

Jake’s school started raising money by selling “Team Jake” bracelets and all the proceeds helped out with medical bills. My sister-in-law started a Meal Train and friends and family came together to bring us delicious meals and encouraging words. Did I mention that my mom took a month off of work to help take care of the baby (who still didn’t sleep through the night)?! The thank you list goes on and on and on! For me, my I Guess Im Due moment was not the accident, but rather it was the MANY people that helped make this accident into a loving, humbling experience for our family. We will be forever grateful.

This March, marked one year since Jake's accident. So much has happened in just one year. And today, despite everything, Jake is that same sweet boy who loves the outdoors and a good ol' rodeo! 

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