My goal is to share my story and make a difference somewhere… So, here it is (at least part of it but, I’ve actually left out a lot of details)…
My story for those who want to know it—March 14, 2007 (9 days after turning 16–8 days after getting my license) I was heading home from church. I was going the back way home to drop my sister off and then take my best friend home, after 30 minutes (one way) away from my house. We got about 5-10 minutes away from the church, creeped up a hill to some flashing lights on a highway. I remember stopping and my best friend and sister laughing because I had been texting an “anonymous” number all day (my sisters) talking to her about my best friend (a guy). He texted her and turned around and said, “I knew it was you.” I looked both way, didn’t see anything–pitch black, shivering, and couldn’t breathe. Something heavy was on top of me–I was on my left side, with something crushing my from the right, I began pushing. I couldn’t see anything and I felt something that kept dripping into my ear and my hair. I heard a voice talking to me telling me that I needed to stop. They were going to get me out but, I had to relax.
He began asking me questions, my name, where I had been, where I was going, who all was with me… I couldn’t remember anything other than I had left the church and where I was going. Didn’t know where I was, if I had dropped my sister or my friend off. I started panicking because I couldn’t see anything and I couldn’t hear anyone else talking. They told me all they saw was my friend but, when they told me where I was, I knew my baby sister was still in the car. I lost control of myself and began screaming for her to wake up. They hadn’t seen her because our van had been T-boned and crushed where she was sitting. They hadn’t seen her. I began panicking. I had to get out, I had I wake her up. She had to be okay. They both had to wake up. He began trying to calm me down again. Told me I had to breathe deep. I prayed and prayed, begged him to tell me it was a dream. He told me he wished he could but, he it wasn’t. He told me they had to put a blanket over us to break the window to get my best friend out. But, that it would be okay. I heard glass shattering, metal scrapping, and the dipping continuing. I couldn’t see anything. I felt glass falling in different places. I could fell pieces down by my foot as my right shoe had been thrown off. They took the blanket off and began to maneuver him out of the car. Once he was out, the fireman was back. He kept talking to me as they placed a neck brace on me. He told me how they were going to pull me out and how I couldn’t push because they didn’t know what was wrong with me so if I pushed, I could injury myself even more. Half of what he said at that point, I didn’t care about. I kept telling him to just get my sister. I begged him to leave me, if he could just get her out. He reassured me they would get her but, I had to go first.
They pulled me out and I did my best to not help too much but, I couldn’t help but think the sooner I get out, the sooner she’ll be okay. As they got me on the gurney, I could see the flashing lights. I began prying that if there was a God, that he would let them be okay. That they would be alive. If anyone was to die, to take me.
The winter wind made me shiver and I did my best to hold it together until I was in the ambulance. I begged the emts to save her first. I told them she had to be okay. They did their best to reassure me as they asked me to hold still so they could get IVs going and warm me up.
The drive seemed to take forever. I just wanted to know how they were. We got there and they threw the doors open. I remember lights, doors, ceiling tiles, loud talking, and all of the sudden people talking to me, telling me they needed to cut my clothes off and all kinds of other things. I felt horrified because I was an overweight teen and about to be seen naked by strangers. I did my best to hold still and not loss it as I didn’t know how the others were doing and my last bit of comfort was about to be torn from me. After what felt like hours of poking and prodding, millions of questions, fingers where I felt they shouldn’t be, horrible bedside manner, unanswered questions, missed piece of glass in my ear, and bedpans spilt underneath me–an MRI where everything came flooding back to me, all at once–my mom and sister arrived. I told my mom how sorry I was, I begged her to go find out how my sister was. If they had seen my friends mom and to tell her I was so sorry. I just wanted answers. I wanted to get up. They wheeled me through the lobby where I heard familiar voices but, I stared at the ceiling as tears poured from my eyes.
My older sister held my hand the whole way. My friends mom came to see me and I could barely breathe, I told her I was so sorry. I told her I would understand if she hated me and I was so, so sorry! She reassured me she knew it was an accident and she had no hate for me. My sister stayed in the room with me through the night–more needles and more tests, to rule out drugs and alcohol.
The night was long and the next day, even longer as each person that came in brought more tears, hugs, and I am sorry, please don’t hate me, I didn’t mean to. Those next 19 hours were the longest of my life. 19 hours of not knowing if my sister was going to recover. Of telling people I couldn’t to see my sister like that but, not being listened to–seeing her laying there, not being herself.. She wasn’t even sleeping like herself. Of my best friend being in the ICU. Of being I could go home that night but, I didn’t want to… I want to escape to a friends and pretend it didn’t happen.
19 hours later and my baby sister was declared brain dead. My 2 best friend of the last, my sister almost 13 years and the other, a new true friend… One on life support, who was removed shortly later. One who was in a coma… Who I visited for a few days, before I couldn’t handle it but, I would stare and his picture and pray every day for him. He was slowly brought out of the coma, he began to squeeze his moms hand. But, 1 year and 1 month later, he passed away.
I lost my two best friends in a car accident. I wasn’t drunk, I wasn’t in drugs, and I wasn’t texting. But, we got hit–I didn’t wake up one morning and think I was going to get in an accident but, I got in one.
I lost my 2 best friends. It took my a long time to understand that it was an accident. That I couldn’t have stopped it. That I couldn’t have gone any faster.
I struggled with many things after that–cutting, bulimia, self worth.. A lot of things many people do. But, I made it through. I feel like a car accident magnet as I’ve been in 5 accidents in my life and I am only 22. I was driving in 2. This one I have told you about and one that happened this last March. When I was 7 months pregnant with my son, my 2 and 4 year, and my mother in law were all in the car–we were on our way to pick my husband up from work when I stopped for an ambulance and got rear ended.
Accident happen–whether you think they will happen to you or not, they do. I have been blessed with an amazing husband and 3 beautiful boys. But, I will never forget any of the accidents and every day is a struggle. Whether I have to drive somewhere with or without my boys, my husband has to drive to work, I miss my best friends hugs, or I just need to talk to them.
I want y’all to know that accident do happen but, if you get a second or a third chance, take life and enjoy it. It’s not guaranteed. Be safe, love your family, do what you dream.
If you’ve been in an accident, I will tell you what many told me and I had to tell myself this for the last 6.5 years–“An accident is just that… An accident. You didn’t plan for it to happen. So, quit beating yourself up.” You may not believe it now. Someone may have been killed or injured during your accident but, I promise you, you can come out of it.
If you have questions, comments, or anything else, please leave them for me.
Thank you for reading my story.