At approximately 7:40 a.m. on Tuesday, September 30, 2008, Mom and three students from CBA were involved in a head-on collision on highway 54 south of Weatherford. Mom and the three boys were in Mom's Suburban, and the other driver was in a 2007 Mazda Miata.
The gentleman that called 911 had been following the Miata north on Highway 54. He indicated the car had been swerving back and forth across the yellow line for several miles.
About the time he met Mom (whose cruise control was set at 65), he swerved across the center line and hit Mom head-on. The boys who were with Mom said she screamed and swerved to the right. By doing so, she took the brunt of the impact in her area. The impact pushed the front right tire back and into the vehicle such that it is planted about halfway under the middle of the driver's seat.
The driver of the Miata was thrown from his vehicle and was pronounced dead on the scene. The student buckled in the front passenger seat escaped largely unscathed. He had a couple of staples in his forehead, but is doing well. The two boys in the back seat were not thrown from the vehicle, but crawled out the driver side window (we previously thought the boys were thrown out the back driver's side door, but the witness account indicates they were crawling out of the vehicle). They are both here at OU Medical Center and doing well - both had broken bones, but are in good shape (and out of ICU).
Mom was trapped in the Suburban for about 45 minutes and was sent via AirVac directly to the Trauma Center at OU Medical Center. Her legs were trapped and were very difficult to extricate. She was, however, conscious the entire time. She was calm and collected - many who were on site have told me "That's one tough cookie." Dad was informed at school, and he was on scene approximately 20 minutes after the incident.
Her injuries are extensive. She has several lacerations on her face and numerous others on her head (non are serious). She has several broken ribs and a collapsed lung. She has several abdominal muscles torn. And that's the good news... Her right tibula is broken into three pieces. Since her right knee has been replaced, repair of this will be more difficult. Her left femur is broken directly above the knee. Her left tibula is also severely broken. Her left foot is virtually crushed. All the breaks were open wounds, so there is serious risk of infection due to all the foreign objects and debris in her wounds.
She went into surgery at OU Medical Center at approximately 2pm on Tuesday. They spent about 6 and a half hours irrigating the wounds and using external pins and rods to stabilize the breaks. The were able to repair several arteries in her legs to restore blood flow to her feet. They continue to caution us that the wounds are "limb-threatening." Throughout her time in the trauma unit and in surgery, she received 9 units of blood. When she was in the trauma unit, she remained conscious and alert.
She arrived in Trauma ICU Tuesday evening. She is on a ventilator just to help her lungs. She has a chest tube due to the punctured lung. She has a neck brace, and her legs have several drains on the open wounds. She's heavily sedated to prevent her from fighting the ventilator.
We finally got to see her around 11pm. Despite being sedated, she is able to open her eyes and recognize those who do see her. She can't talk due to the ventilator, but she will shake her head Yes or No in response to questions. We, for the most part, don't try to talk to her. We are pleased that she is resting fairly comfortably, and tells us she isn't in pain.
Dad and I spent the night in the ICU waiting room... I was in her room many times throughout the night. Due to the fluids she has been receiving, she is very puffy - you'll be taken a bit by surprise if you step in to her room.
So many people came to visit today - I am sure I will forget someone who was here. If I do, please let me know. It will be so important for mom over the coming days to know how much people care for her, so I want to be sure we know everyone who has called and come by. Here's the best I can recall from Tuesday (forgive me for misspellings):
Alvin and Kristin Friesen
Fabiola (not even going to try the rest of her name!)
Paul and Leida Schimmer
Mike and Debbie Schimmer
Monte and Sandy Schimmer
Tim and Rhonda Simpson
David and Terry Barnett (brought Sunday School ladies)
Sunny Jo Roof
Steve and Marla Austin, and Hannah and Becca
Tim, Nathan, and Sarah Sandy
Snip and Penny Baker
Trisha (Parker) Ward
Again, if I missed anyone, PLEASE LET ME KNOW! It is really important to us that we have good record of all of this. I'm going to try to keep up with even those that come back... I want her to know how much support she's getting!