All throughout our life we are changing. We change from when we’re children into responsible adults. We change our opinions, our mannerisms, our friends, our ideas about the world. Everything about us changes at one time or another. Sometimes we change because we have to. Other times we change because of events in our life that physically change us against our will. The latter is the case with my wife.
It was a regular Tuesday evening. The day had been the same as every day. We’d gone to work, came home, fixed dinner, and were sitting on the system enjoying one of our favorite shows. About 10 minutes into our show, just a little after 7:00 PM we heard a loud screeching and then a crunching noise as a car came barreling into our buildings yard. As we did not cover our fencing with steel metal roofing so that it came directly into our house. I glanced out the front window with enough time to stand and move so that I was unharmed when the car came through the wall of our home but my wife was not so lucky.
I watched from the side of the room as the car slammed through the wall of my house and crashed into my living room. I saw the car hit my wife in what felt like slow motion. I saw my wife rise from her spot on the couch and took a step or two, but wasn’t quite fast enough to get out of the way of the car. No one expects a car to crash into their house. You can never prepare for it. You never know that it’s coming and it happens so rarely. This car crash happened to be the result of a drunk driver.
As soon as the car came to a halt I rushed in to find my wife. To get to her I had to pull away large chunks of my now non-existent wall including house siding, plaster, and wood. When I was finally able to reach her she was still wedged underneath the front bumper of the car and was unconscious. From my vantage point I could see she had minimal cuts and bruises but I couldn’t see the rest of her body that was still hidden by the vehicle.
The neighbors called 911 right away but it still felt like an eternity before the paramedics arrived. In my panic it felt like I was watching my wife slip away from me. As I tried to stay near my wife the rest of the neighborhood assisted those in the car itself. It turns out the drunk driver was not travelling alone and happened to have his two young children in the back of the car. Thankfully the children survived with only bumps and bruises but that cannot be said of the driver. After crashing into the house he suffered injuries that he could not overcome and passed away fairly quickly.
The paramedics once they arrived were able to lift the car and could pull my unconscious wife from the rubble. They immediately whisked her away in the ambulance and I followed behind. Neighbors had told me they would watch after the house until I could return and there were cops everywhere so I chose not to worry about my physical possessions when my wife was in such danger. Though my wife was taken to the hospital quickly it was obvious right away that she sustained a head injury that could be life threatening. By all appearances her head looked fine from the outside but the doctors told me that she had been hit with such force that her brains was severely bruised from the impact on her skull. Being an optimist I did my best to continue to believe that she would get better.
At last, my wife was recovered my injuries
In addition to her brain injury she suffered two broken legs and some cracked ribs. The broken bones mended with time and so did her brain injury for the most part. It is not uncommon for people to have a change in personality with severe brain damage. I don’t know all of the technicality behind it, but basically after an injury is sustained there is the possibility that certain aspects of the person change. Prior to the accident my wife was prone to negativity. I love her but it’s true that she tended to look at everything in a negative light and would complain about things that others would simply let go. Things that didn’t matter. She was a woman that would yell at stoplights if they turned red. She would get so angry and would argue that they had turned red just because she was coming. The rest of us found this really hilarious but if you happened to laugh you would be her next target. She generally seemed to be an unhappy woman before the accident.
After the accident it was like a brand new woman. Certainly her recover took a lot of time. The bones healed quickly but her brain took years to recover what it had lost. Small stretches of memory, difficulty recalling certain words, all of that took time. The greatest part was that she took it all in stride. I think her change was twofold. I think the injury itself changed her negativity into positivity and I think her ability to survive such a fluke accident gave her a new respect for life. I truly think if she had remained the negative woman I knew before that she may not have made it through. Her positive outlook kept both of us going and kept us striving to help her improve each and every day.
Now that she is fully recovered it’s like she has a whole new lease on life. She now works with an organization as a volunteer to help others that are also suffering brain injuries. As someone that has been through it she can use her knowledge, expertise, and personal experience to relate with those that are currently struggling. She is a truly remarkable woman and it is incredible to see her helping others.