Monday, September 24, 2012

Don't Tread On Me

This is a re-post of a story from my old blog, edited as appropriate.  My readership has changed pretty significantly since I first posted it six years ago, and many of you might not be aware of this episode from our life.  So, in the interest of bringing you all up to speed, and testifying to God's goodness and mercy, I offer it to you again. . .


Thirteen years ago today, I was sitting in my office at work, deeply dialed-in to whatever was on my computer screen at the time, when the phone rang. It was a friend of ours. "7M has had an accident," she said. My mind raced as she explained that he was in intensive care; I don't remember the rest of what she said. I left work and drove to the hospital, a 45-minute drive, during which I could only wonder what I'd find when I got there, or if my son was even alive.

7M was a year-and-a-half old at the time. He and some neighbor kids were playing in our front yard that afternoon. At one point, 7M was standing behind the neighbor's minivan; the neighbor came out, got into his car and backed out - right over my toddler son. The neighbor across the street saw it happen and called the ambulance immediately. 5M, who was seven at the time, might have saved 7M's life by getting the driver's attention and getting him to stop. Jen was inside the house talking with a friend who had dropped in, when one of the kids ran in and told her what had happened. At first, she didn't believe them, but her friend said, um, why don't you go out and see what's going on. The ambulance arrived within a minute or two, and then things were a blur.

By the time I arrived at the hospital, his situation was diagnosed - he had a bunch of cuts and bruises (including a detailed tire-tread-pattern bruise that ran from his thigh, all the way up his torso, and across his cheek; looking back, it was really pretty spectacular), a broken collarbone, three non-displaced skull fractures (if you absolutely have to have a broken skull, non-displaced is definitely the way to go), and bruised lungs. His eyes had no 'whites', if one was inclined to be persnickety about color; they were more like 'bright reds'.  The bruised lungs were actually the biggest concern of the ER docs (I guess if you have trouble breathing, things get bad very quickly). They had him hooked up to a machine that monitored his breathing. By the time I arrived at the hospital, his breathing was good, but they wanted to monitor him for 24-48 hours.  At that point, every minute that passed with him breathing well was a good minute, so we just waited for the 'good minutes' to keep accumulating. After 24 hours, they moved him to a less-intensive section of the ICU (if that even makes sense), and the next day, they released him, because all they were doing was chasing him around the ICU, and chasing toddlers is not what ICUs (even pediatric ICUs) are set up to do. Our boy had a clean bill of health 48 hours after being run over by a minivan (well, except for the broken-bones-and-bruises thing).

When we tried to figure out how this could have happened, the doctor said that his young age actually was in his favor, because kids that age are very flexible - their bones aren't brittle, so they've got more 'give' to them, and they don't break as severely as older folks' do. Also, the fact that the vehicle was a minivan (comparatively little weight over the rear axle), and only the rear axle ran over him, was probably fortunate, as well as the gravel driveway (the gravel had some 'give' to it that a concrete driveway wouldn't have). Even so - the back tire of the minivan ran directly OVER HIS HEAD. I couldn't have imagined that that would be survivable, much less survivable with no apparent effects. And yet, today, we have a completely normal, healthy fourteen-year-old. To be perfectly candid, he's an above-average athlete, and notably brighter than most of his peers (not that I'd want my other kids to get their heads run over, to make them smarter, or anything).

I try to be slow about making claims of miracles, but 7M being run over by a car without any discernible lasting effects, is about the most amazing thing I've seen in my life. We've told 7M that he'd better pay attention and be good, because God did something pretty amazing for him to be alive today. . .


  1. "...God did something pretty amazing..."


    Thanks for the re-run.

  2. Yes, that is pretty much a miracle. My grandparents had 8 children and grandma backed over number 8 when he was little and he also survived, but grandma never drove again because of the trauma.

  3. Wow. Can't add much to that. Just... WOW.

  4. Skip - My pleasure. . .

    Bijoux - I can imagine it would shake her up. It shook up our neighbor pretty good, too. We got a call from a lawyer, volunteering to take our case if we wanted to sue him, but that just kinda made my skin crawl. He'd suffered enough. . .

    Suldog - Hey, you even spelled it backwards!

    I can't add much to it, either. It being 13 years in the past, now, and 7M being completely healthy, sometimes we forget how amazing it really was. . .

  5. i remember reading this and wow is right. definitely miracle territory even if it's just a matter of green bones being run over at just the right angle so as to cause the least amount of damage. so glad your son was preserved and restored.

  6. Meesh - See, two can play at this 'Six-Year-Old-Rerun' game. . .


    And you're right, of course - just because you can conjure up an explanation, doesn't mean that it's NOT a miracle. . .

  7. We know accidents, that had to be life-altering .... wow.

  8. Xavier - Yeah, you DO know accidents, don't you?

    Funny; looking back, it doesn't seem quite so 'life-changing' as you might think. I mean, other than those couple days, life returned to 'normal' pretty quickly, and there really haven't been ANY long-term consequences.

    That said, in the event, we got a TON of daily support from friends and folks in our community, which really showed us, on a down-and-dirty level, 'How good and pleasant it is, when brethren live together in unity'.

    And of course, you can't help but look back and acknowledge the miraculous aspect of the whole episode, and wonder that such a thing would happen to US. . .

  9. No matter how they explain that - minivan weight, gravel, young bones, etc etc...That is a flipping miracle!!

    Expect great things from that boy.

  10. joeh - Flipping or not, I'm sure you're right. . .

  11. WOAH!! I really had to make myself read the whole post -- cause I was cringing in shock and horror reading the details. I can't imagine enduring that sort of event!! What a blessed miracle that he survived it and survived it well.

  12. Flutter - The first time I posted this, six years ago, several of the comments were very 'cringe-y' (remember FTN?). It was much easier to endure, with a healthy living child at the end of the story. I can't imagine if he'd died, or been debilitated for the rest of his life. . .

    A most blessed miracle, indeed. For all of the grief we've endured in our lives, sometimes I just shake my head in amazement at the blessings. . .