You know how it is, when your child is born and you look them over from head to foot and make sure they have all their visible body parts in all the right places and in the correct quantity? I remember doing that when Emily was born.
On Wednesday, just as I was getting in line to pay for my lunch at the end of our Toastmasters meeting in Fremont, the waitress came in and said, “There is an emergency phone call for Janell Carson.” I gulped down the initial wave of fear and answered the phone.
“This is Ashley at the Blair Hospital Emergency Room,” she said and added, “I don’t want you to panic.”
“Too late for that,” I replied, “What’s going on?”
“Jack brought Emily in to the ER because she had an accident with the lawnmower. We are transferring her by ambulance to the Fremont ER.”
So I hurried over to the Fremont Area Medical Center and waited…and waited…and waited. Time can really crawl when it wants to. Fortunately there was a Western Horseman magazine in the waiting room so I forced myself to read it, concentrating as hard as I could between glances out the window, watching for the ambulance.
At long last, a nurse came and said, “You can come back, now.” She led me to the treatment room where my daughter laid on a stretcher, pale, trembling and teary-eyed. I swear I tried not to cry with her, but I did as I leaned down to touch my cheek to her’s. I was afraid to put my arms around her because she had oxygen hoses in her nose, IV tubes in her hand and other wires attached to her fingers and chest. She gave me a ragged whisper, “Mom, I cut off two of my toes.”
My own voice echoed in my head. That morning as I was leaving, I had said, “Emily, you need to get some of your mowing done today.”
When they unwrapped her foot and I saw the damage, pictures of her floated through my mind: I remembered the 16 or 17 years of dance recitals and how we watched her tap and stomp, do jazz leaps and ballet arabesques and spins en pointe. Tears came to my eyes again and I swallowed hard.
As the afternoon unfolded, so did the story. She was pushing the mower up a slope and it hit a bump and bounced back down, landing on her left foot. Jack just happened to be home and he just happened to be working on a weed chopping project down by the barn, and he heard her cries for help. He carried her to the car and drove her to the ER.
There are so many ways this could have been way worse, I’m convinced that God answered prayers before they were even spoken.
Emily was using the mower that has an automatic shutoff feature when you let go of the handle. We have a bigger one that would not have turned itself off and probably would have chewed her leg off up to the knee had she been using that one.
The fact that Jack was not only home, but outside where he could hear her, is a miracle in itself. Our house is very well insulated. We don’t hear cars coming down the driveway, or the dog barking or other noises until someone is knocking on the door – and sometimes, it’s hard to hear the knocking! He kept his head and was able to carry her to the car. After he got her to the ER, he paused long enough to call our church, explained what had happened and asked for prayers. Those are the prayers that had already been answered in so many ways.
Emily’s great toe and its neighbor were mutilated. After surgery, and stitches, she has about two thirds of each of the toes left. Her balance or ability to walk will not be affected, but she is in a great deal of pain. They kept her overnight in the hospital, but she came home yesterday and will be on crutches for quite a while. She had a pretty bad night, but got some sleep this morning.
Thank you to everyone who has already prayed – continued prayer for pain relief will be appreciated.