Shortly after I last wrote in my blog, I got the phone call that every mother dreads and my personal nightmare began. My 22 year old son, Hunter, lost control of his motorcycle at high speed and slammed face first into a retaining wall. Although he had recently promised me he always wore his helmet, this time he didn’t, probably because he was making a short trip and was close to home.
With excellent care on the scene and life-flight to Denver’s St. Anthony Central Hospital, one of the top neuro-trauma centers in the country, miraculously my son survived. He has a massive brain injury and every bone in his face is badly broken, but he has survived and is on the long road to recovery. Other than his head, he has few injuries.
After nine days in a coma, he woke up yesterday and began responding appropriately to questions. He cannot speak yet because there is a tube in his throat (necessary for the facial reconstruction he will have in a few days). Last night I slept soundly for the first time after Hunter mouthed the words “I love you mom,” to me.
Today he is even more awake; beginning to respond to verbal commands to lift two fingers, lift your right leg, etc.; still nodding yes and no appropriately. Today he wrapped his arms around me and gave me a big bear hug and slapped a big fat kiss on my cheek. He’s sleeping more than he is awake right now, but that is to be expected.
It’s amazing how your life can change with one phone call and how different your perspective is once something like this has happened. Before the call, I was stressing about work, the next clinic, how I was going to get every thing done, how I was going to find time to ride my horse. All of that has changed now. I am just focused on the present—not the future—not the past. Hunter is strong and stubborn and a real fighter; I know he is going to be fine.
I have had tremendous support in this ordeal from my family, my incredible friends and the awesome people that work for me (who are also dear friends). For that I am so grateful. I am fine and I will be carrying on as usual soon, making all of my planned trips this fall and through the winter. Sorry to those of you who I had to cancel on last weekend—I’ve never had to do that before but it couldn’t be helped.
If you’d like to do something, you could send a get well card to Hunter (nothing else allowed in ICU), so that I can read them to him and put them up on the wall. Hunter Goodnight, Rm 211, St Anthony Central, 4231 W 16th Ave, Denver CO 80204.
Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers,