It was really bad, BAD.
( the following is copied and pasted from the journal I kept in the ensuing days)
Sunday December 12, 2010
He got up at about maybe 1:20 and I went downstairs. He came into the bedroom and asked me if I was going to sleep and I said yes. I don't know when he left.
Around 3:37 am – in my dreams I could hear Mariam on the phone and she was saying to someone “is he okay?”
She came into the room and said, “Mommy don’t freak out”. I asked her for the phone and spoke to the woman on the other end. She was crying and very emotional. She told me that she came upon a car accident and that my husband was in a very bad car accident. She said that they were driving on the same road and her car hit the same patch of black ice and they skidded also, but because they were driving slowly, they were able to stop the car at the side of the road. She said that her girlfriend immediately called 911 and she was able to run over to Dan’s car. She tried to help as much as she could and reached into his pocket and found his cell. The glass was shattered, so she sent a text to Mariam stating “Bad car accident”. She wasn’t sure if the text was sent so then she called Mariam’s number from her cell. She said he was still breathing. She also said that the EMS personnel were there and they were working on him. I asked her which hospital they were going to take him and she said to call her back in about 10 minutes, that they weren’t telling her anything and that she was going to try to see if they would tell her.
During that conversation, Dinah woke up and came upstairs. I told her to go back to bed.
4 am - Very confused and shaken, Mariam and I tried to understand. I called back Stephanie and she didn’t answer the first time. I waited a while and tried her again. She answered very upset and crying saying that the police told her not to answer any phone and not to call anyone. She was very upset and said how could she not answer a phone. Finally she told the policeman that I was the wife and he spoke to me asking for Dan’s DOB and mine, address etc.
I was told through Stephanie that they were going to bring him to Wilson. I thanked her and we started to get ready.
Mariam started the van and we got dressed. Finally we left and very slowly we drove down the hill which fortunately they had just thrown salt on. The salt truck was just behind us.
I drove down Conklin, then over Exchange St. Bridge. I stayed right and drove down Front Street and then took Main Street all the way down to Wilson memorial hospital. We got good parking and then had the adventure to find to ER. I dialed the courtesy phone at the front desk and was told how to get to the ER.
It was very surreal walking through an ER that was standing at ready for a trauma patient, everywhere I looked there were people standing at ready. I asked if an accident victim came in already and was told no, a nursing somebody showed us where to sit and wait. I was extremely thirsty and dry. The nurse brought me some water.
The nurse gave us some water and we waited about 10 mins. I’m not quite sure.
Then I heard the overhead chime and the announcement “Trauma 1!” ( a sound and voice that will forever haunt me)
I stood up and peeked through the glass panel on the door. Mariam and I started to cry when I saw them wheeling him in and I recognized his uniform. They took him into an x-ray room and they spent what seemed like forever on him. The registration nurse called me and asked for info.
Soon after, the EMT who worked on him spoke to me about the accident. He said that it was a high speed collision and Dan had hit an ice patch and collided with another vehicle almost head on. I don’t remember what question I asked but the answer was that the cars were face to face across the width of the roadway.
He told me about his preliminary injuries, broken arm, badly broken legs and he asked me if there was any problem with left eye. I told him, only that he wears glasses and he has astigmatism in the left eye. He said they noticed something about his left eye. I asked about his glasses and he said, there was none at the scene, they were probably knocked off on impact. He spent a long time with me asking questions and answering mine, most of which I don’t remember. I asked if Dan knew he was in an accident and he said yes. He did say that it was a violent crash and his legs were trapped under the dash of the car. They had to use the Jaws of Life to get him out of the car. He also said that when they arrived on the scene, they could hardly walk from the ambulance to the car because of the slickness of the road. They practically slid over to the car. It took them about ½ hour to pry him from the car. He gave me Dan’s silver pen. He also asked if he could call me and ask about Dan and to see how he was doing, I said yes. He seemed very caring and concerned. He asked if his job knew about the accident and I told no. He asked if I would like him to contact his job and I said yes. He said he would ask dispatch to do so.
The security guard brought in his shield from his jacket.
I asked about which doctors were call. And was told Dr. Bajwa, Dr. Ojo was called in and that Dr. Desai was the orthopedic surgeon on call.
One of the nurses brought his wallet.
5:37 am, I called Seton 3 and spoke to Lori, told them as much as I could about what I knew. I also told her that I was calling out for the evening shift. She said it might be too early to tell the supervisor so I would have to call later in the morning.
They wheeled him back from the CAT scan and took him back to the room. They started to do x-rays on him. I don’t exactly know how many x-rays they did, it just looked like one after the other, one after the other for a very long time.
The woman at the registrar brought us tea and graham crackers and juice for Mariam.
We sat down again and waited for time to call everyone. I called daddy first, no answer, I called sis. Dolly’s cell, voice mail, so I waited until Fajr time and called again. I spoke to daddy and told him what happened.
Then we saw him being wheeled to CT, all I saw was a bloody head and bloody bandages around his legs, lots of blood. Wish I took a picture.
6:46am I called sis. Dolly’s house and Ajo answered, I spoke to him thinking I was talking to daddy, and then caught myself after Ajo said hello. I told him and then he put me on speaker phone, I guess sis. Dolly must have picked up the phone.
After what seemed like an eternity, Dr. Ojo came out to talk to us, he took us to a small conference room and told us about his injuries. Broken left elbow, broken left thigh, broken right knee and ankle, small puncture on the left lung, and bleeding in the brain were the injuries he could identify. He said he called Dr. Bajwa as neurological surgeon, Dr. Desai as orthopedic surgeon.
He said that they were going to clean him up and they nurses were going to come get us so we can see him. He said he was going to give him some stitches for some cuts on his forehead. He said that he was already intubated.
A nurse brought out a Ziploc bag filled with all the things from his pocket.
The security guard introduced himself to us as Muslim and told us to make dua. He kept walking back to check on Dan and told us that they were still cleaning him up and as soon as they were done we could see him.
Dr. Ojo came back to ask me a question
6:57 called Nazeefah and told her what happened. She asked if it was why we were up at 4:00 in the morning. I told her pack and get ready to go to grandma. I spoke to Danyal and Dina. They all sounded so shocked and terrified.
7:13 am call out officially at Lourdes.
Soon after, I saw Dr. Bajwa enter the room with another Dr. I guess was Dr. Desai.
Housekeeping entered and started cleaning up.
Dr. Ojo came out and took us to the room and it was surreal. Bloody sneaker footprints all over the floor, he was lying in the bed with his work shirt still on lots of blood everywhere. He was already ventilated and he felt very cold.
Dr. Bajwa was there with Dr. Desai. When Dr. Bajwa saw us, he was surprised and took us outside the room and told us that the blood clot was on a bad place and he wasn’t going to operate, but just monitor him, he said that his injuries were extensive, but he will get better after a long time. He started crying and hugged both of us. We spoke to Dr. Desai and he told us that he was going to start the surgery in about an hour. He did tell us that the surgery might take about 6-8 hours and he would be in the ICU. They were going to keep him in ICU for an hour to monitor him and then take to OR.
One of the nurses said that they would check out that clot to make sure that the clot wasn’t the cause of the accident or that it was a result of the accident.
We stayed with Dan until it was time to take him upstairs. Mariam was crying all the while. We gave Salam and squeezed his hand. We think he recognized our voices, we saw a tear run down the side of his eye. He was very restless and seemed to be in a lot of pain, he was constantly moving. He was moving his arms, shoulders, legs and seemed very agitated. It was very scary to watch him like that.
We went up with him to the ICU and they told us that he was going to be there for an hour until the surgery. We waited in the family waiting room and I continued the phone calls, calling everyone and telling them about what was going on.
They called us in and he was already in a hospital gown, still bloody, with a Foley in, the nurse was busy hanging stuff. He was covered with a bair hugger to help make him warm. He was still agitated and restless. His potassium was low – 2.8, so he was going to get more hung. She checked his neuros and I saw his right pupil contract and his left didn’t, it stayed opened.
Soon his room was filled with people. I gave a brief medical history to the nurse, the nurse anesthetist was there and other OR personnel, so they were able to share in the history. Someone from the front desk brought in a phone number from John Sherman and a call back number.
The OR called for him and we went down to the surgical unit.
He was very restless and extremely agitated. He seemed to respond to Mariam's voice.
We stayed with him until he went into the OR and then the aide showed us the waiting room for surgery.
There was another family there. Mariam left me to go home and I called home Sami and kids hadn’t left yet.
Soon after mommy and daddy came in, she brought me breakfast cheese and chota. They kept me company for quite a while until Sami came with the kids.
9:28am -The green light went on his name stating that he went into surgery.
More phone calls.
Sami started a puzzle.
I started about 50 solitaire card games on the computer and solved only one.
I called John Sherman back and he was very concerned about him, he said that the dispatch from the EMT called and told what them happened. He also said that another worker from the Binghamton area passed by the accident, but wasn’t able to drive there as they had closed the road. So she didn’t know that it was Mo. He also asked if we needed anything, please ask.
Soon after, not sure how long after, his manager Donna called and was very concerned about him.
Lunch, more cheese and chota and that was all.
Plugged in all electronics to charge especially camera battery
1pm - Dr Bajwa came in and told me that they finished one leg and were starting on the other one. He said he was going to be fine.
Sami left to take back Elaine’s notes.
More waiting, taking pictures of all three of the surgery boards and trying to ignore my restless legs
3:25pm – suddenly his name turned pink, he was out of surgery and in the recovery room!
Called Sami and texted Mariam
Started packing up everything and putting them all together and waited for Dr. Desai. Sami came back and waited with me.
3:45pm ish - Dr. Desai came in and explained his injuries.
Damaged left elbow, tendons and soft tissue damage short rod in place and stabilizing the area as the elbow was very unstable.
Left femur bone fractured in about 3 places which is very unusual. Rod inserted to stabilize and heal, hopefully he doesn’t have to go back in. Deep laceration on left knee, no damage to knee, just soft tissue, and another laceration on the bottom of left heel, clean up and bandaged.
On the right, the bone just above the knee was broken, right knee broken, right ankle broken through the skin.
He should recover from all injuries, he will be in the ICU for a while until Dr. Bajwa is happy with the state of the blood clot, then he will be transferred to the ortho floor after which he would have rehab.
He would be non weight bearing on the right and the left heel could support weight except for the left broken femur. He received 3 units of blood.
He said he would be in the recovery room for about an hour, and then the nurses would let us know when they’re taking him to the ICU.
Another hour waiting and some more phone calls.
The aide came and told us that they were taking him back to ICU, so we came back up.
Received a call from an officer who was present on scene, very kind, very concerned, very compassionate call, he texted me info on the towing company that took the car and his phone number to contact him. I also received a text from Stephanie asking about how he was doing… will ask Sami to answer. I’m tired from talking so much about it.
We waited for a while until they were done and then the nurse came in to get us. We went in to see him and saw the reason for the delay. They had put the chest tube in. The collapsed lung had gotten bigger. He looked so much calmer and rested than before. He felt so much warmer than before. Nothing felt cold. He was covered with many blankets. I lifted his gown and examined everything I could.
The nurse asked us to leave as she didn’t want him agitated. Mariam was talking to him and he seemed to be in pain. He was also trying to pull his Foley out and they’d put him in restraints.
I overheard the nurse telling another one that his blood pressure was in the 66’s when he got up on the floor.
We kissed him and told him we loved him. He was so swollen with all the fluids they’d been giving him that even the conjunctiva of his eyes were filled with fluid. He moved his left foot and seemed to squeeze my hand when I talked to him.
She checked his neuros again and his pupils seemed to stay the same. She said no change.
We left and went to the waiting room. I called mommy and told them to bring the kids and that they could come visit.
Dr. Bajwa spoke to me about his blood clot and said that they are going to monitor the clot. He said that he will get better. He also said that he told some community members.
Mommy brought food roti, dhal, turkey curry and rice. We ate, I couldn’t eat as much, and Sami had the roti.When we were almost done eating, Dr. Sethi came in the room and he said that Romineh called him at his office and asked him to come over. He said he looked at his scans and there seemed to be a clot directly on the brain stem. The position of the clot is very atypical of this type of brain injury as bleeding in the brain would have blood above the brain and not on the brain stem. He said the clot was directly behind the mouth. It could be that he’s always had the clot there and it could be congenital. He said that his injuries are recoverable, and echoed Dr. Desai in saying that he has a long road ahead of him.