On Thursday evening around 4:30, I was checking the time, wondering in the back of my mind what was taking Chadd so long to get to my house. "I guess he just got a late start", I thought as I stood on our back deck area, husking corn on the cob and listening to some of my latest favorite worship songs. I finished that and went inside.
"Okay. Everything is all set. Burgers are ready to grill, lettuce and tomatoes are chopped. Water is waiting to be boiled for the corn, the cauliflower is ready for cooking and mashing. The table is even set out on the deck. Now I just need my people." I thought out loud, (nobody was home. Figured it wasn't too weird to talk to myself. Maybe it was.)
The house phone rang and I checked the caller ID. I didn't recognize the number. I almost answered, thinking maybe it was the caterer I had left a message for that morning, but then I remembered the number for the caterer and chose not to answer the phone, figuring the call wasn't for me anyhow.
I realized that I wasn't wearing any earrings and went back to my room to put some on. While I was in there, I heard my cell phone vibrating in my purse. I answered, it was my dad.
I wondered if plans had changed and I was supposed to meet up with him and my mom somewhere.
"Did you just hear the phone ring at the house?" He asked
"Yeah but I didn't answer it", I said. Just being honest
At that point I began to wonder if my mom had been in an accident.
My dad explained that a friend of ours who is a first responder had been called to the scene of an accident and had tried to call our house before calling my dad's phone.
"...He thinks it may have been Chadd", I heard my dad say.
"Okay." I said. Determining not to worry too much yet. Maybe it wasn't even Chadd, and if it was, maybe it wasn't a bad accident.
I told my dad I was leaving the house and driving to the scene. I don't remember the conversation, but I remember saying "okay" a lot, hearing more panic seep into my voice with every word.
But I remained determined to be calm until I got to the scene.
It took me about 5 minutes to get there. I was then detoured, of course. I parked at a nearby grocery store and ran across a field to get back to the scene. I stopped a traffic director in a straw hat.
"Is there where the accident was?" I asked
"Yes" he replied
"I think my fiancé was in that accident!" I explained at volume, panic level rising.
I took note of the expression on his face when I said that. It concerned me.
It was somewhere in between "oh this is bad" and "dear Lord, help this child".
I decided not to read into his expression too much, and rather chose to ask for more information.
He told me to park nearby and wait for word that Chadd had been taken to the hospital.
I ran back across the field to my car and called my dad again.
He told me to meet up with him so that we could ride into the hospital together.
"It looks like it could have been serious", my dad said. What he didn't tell me at that point was that Chadd had been air lifted to the hospital.
I started driving toward the meeting point, but recognized that I was beginning to panic more, and feared that it would affect my driving.
I called my dad again at a red light, I told him I was going to stop somewhere and wait to be picked up. We decided that I should stop at my workplace and wait.
We also decided that my mom should pick me up, as she had been detoured by a different accident and was closer to my location than my dad was. My dad decided to drive straight to the hospital.
I got to my workplace and went inside, seeking one person in particular. My friend Heidi, who is like a big sister and spiritual mentor and best friend to me. I look up to her so much.
I figured the chances of me coming right to her were slim, as she is a lead in our department and has responsibilities that keep her moving. But thankfully, she was in the very first area I looked.
I found her explaining procedures to a new employee.
I felt somewhat rude for interrupting. Especially in such an emotional and panicked state, but I got over it quickly.
"I need to talk to you when you can", I said, my voice shaky and winded.
I went straight into the hall and waited for her. Seconds later, she came out and I fell over her shoulder, shaking and sobbing. "Chadd's been in an accident and it looks serious but I don't know what happened and he's going to the hospital so I'm waiting for my mom to pick me up here" I spewed out between tears.
Heidi, my sweet amazing friend, kept her calm and said "let's go outside, okay?"
We stepped out and she said "let's pray"
So we did, and shortly after we finished we were surrounded by loving coworkers who work in the traffic department. My grandma, who works in the call center at the theater, also came. She was crying and explained what had happened on her end.
Hearing of the accident and then finding it was Chadd had taken a toll on her nerves as well.
A wonderful friend and coworker named Hugo lifted up a prayer for about 10 of the 25 or so minutes we waited for my mom.
Finally she was able to get to the theater to pick me up (traffic was notably terrible everywhere we went), and we headed on our way. We got redirected a few more times.
It led us closer to Chadd's home. We decided to stop and find out if his mom was aware of the accident yet. She had just gotten home and did not know.
She got in our car and we finally, finally got to the hospital.
Chadd was being taken into surgery. He had a lot of serious injuries and needed to immediately treated. (An understatement, by the way).
We waited in the waiting room for hours. Caring family and friends poured in.
We got word that all the departments at the theater were praying nonstop for us. That's at least 500 people.
We began to receive little bits of good news from the surgeons as the hours went by.
And eventually he was done.
They took him into the trauma unit, and we switched to that waiting room. Eventually they stabilized him enough that we could go into his room.
He was sedated and had all sorts of tubes and wires and your typical hospital mess attached to him. It was hard to see him that way, but by then I didn't care how he looked. He was still breathing, therefore I was thankful.
We left around 11 that night. We got home, I slept maybe two hours. And on my floor.
I was afraid to sleep in my bed with my ring on because it could skip off of my finger. I figured it would be easier to find if it slipped off while I slept on the floor.
We got ready and left around 6:30am.
Shortly after we got in, the dr, noticed some "free fluid" in Chadd's stomach and decided to operate and fix whatever was going on.
This operation took hours and we were scared, to put it lightly.
Eventually it was finished and he was taken back to his room.
I don't remember much else from that day.
Or the next day.
By Sunday, he had improved enough to have his "final big surgery". We were pleased, because this happened a day earlier than expected.
He spent the day yesterday recovering from that operation. In and out of sleep.
I enjoyed a visit with some coworker friends. They stayed for lunch and got me laughing.
They are amazing and such a blessing.
Last evening I was relieved when I talked to Chadd and he said "I want you to get home and rest".
Always watching out for me, what a sweetheart.
It was refreshing to head out early and enjoy seeing a beautiful sunset on the drive home. Also to spend time chatting with my family at home before bed.
This morning my mom and I are staying primarily in the waiting room. Hoping and praying that Chadd can drink something soon!
He is desperate for water.
I keep thinking I would give up my water for him a hundred times over if he could have it. But we've got to wait until his body can handle it.
So that's the story and the update from my point of view. I'll try to keep you posted but I can't guarantee it will be too soon.
Thanks everyone for the prayers and support!
We do have a fundraiser going for him, as he had recently switched jobs and may not have been medically insured because of timing.
Here is the link if it's on your heart to bless us tremendously:
Blessings for Chadd
Blessings for Chadd
Please come back soon!