Monday, July 7, 2008

Andrew's Bunk Bed Accident Story

Dear Family and Friends,

I wanted to let you all know what happened with our little 2 year old Andrew yesterday. This is very hard for me to relive, so I hope it makes sense.

Sunday night I put Andrew down in Jessica's room. He said he wanted to sleep on her top bunk. He goes up and down the ladder all the time just fine, so I thought it would be fine since the side rails are very high. He had been keeping Jessica awake lately, so I put her in the boy's room. Later that night I heard him crying softly around 3:00 a.m. while I was feeding the baby. I thought maybe he was having a bad dream and even went to his door to listen. He was quiet so I went back to bed. I got up around 5:30 a.m. with the baby and did my devotions and took a shower around 7:00. I thought it was odd that Andrew hadn't gotten up yet, he is usually up around 6:00.

I was in the shower when Jessica came in and said "Andrew's stuck." Asked her what she meant thinking he just didn't want to come down the ladder. She said, "No, Andrew's stuck, he's hanging." I immediately yelled at Josh to go get him thinking he tried to climb over the rail or something. As I started to get out of the shower, Josh came running in with Andrew and started telling me Andrew's head had been stuck and he had to get it out. I then saw the horrible red and purple mark across his jaw and cheek. His ear was red and swollen and had blisters on it. I ran and got the cell phone and called Steve at work. I asked him to come home and check Andrew, as I was talking to him, Andrew wasn't crying and I was getting even more worried about that. Then Andrew turned his head and I saw that his face was deformed. Not only was his jaw flattened, but his left eye was in the wrong place and his mouth looked like a stroke victim. I started crying and told Steve he needed to bring the ambulance. I silently thanked God he was breathing and told Steve that Andrew could hold his head up on his own. Steve came quickly with two other paramedics. When he came in he said that it didn't look as bad as he thought (he was expecting elephant man), but then as they started strapping him to the pediatric C-spine board Andrew started to cry. Steve saw his eye and mouth and was very concerned. From what Joshua told us, we figured he had been hanging by his head with his little legs dangling free on the outside of the rail. It was horrible. The worst thing was that he had been like that for at least 4 hours-could have been up to 6, we just don't know. He couldn't cry loudly because his jaw was stuck shut. Oh, how horribly I felt. I just didn't know. The guilt came bombarding me, making me sick. God is getting me through it though. Accidents happen and I know that I am still a good mom. It is just hard when you know that all it took was opening the door and checking on him.

As I was driving up to the hospital I just kept crying out to God that we needed Him right now. I prayed that he would heal him. It looked so bad, I thought maybe he had a brain injury and had a stroke. I was preparing myself for the worst. The children were back at home with a friend and then their Nana came and took over. They were crying (they could see for themselves how bad it was, so it was no use pretending that it wasn't). I told them to pray, pray, pray. I told them that this is when our faith comes in and we have to trust God to take care of our little Andrew. They were so scared that his brain had been hurt. I hated leaving them, but I needed to be up there with Andrew and with Steve. As I was driving a song came on KLOVE, the words went something like this, "I will lift my eyes to the Maker, of the mountains I can climb." It went on and said, "God, I need you, you are the healer". It was just what I needed to hear.

When I saw Andrew, God had already been working. His eye was looking better and his mouth a little less droopy. The right side of his face where his jaw had been compressed, was starting to swell up and get really red. The circulation was coming back. He wasn't even crying, he was tired from not sleeping for so long. The doctor said everything looked good and that his brain was fine. The only thing that we could do is wait for him to get better. They didn't even do a scan! We were out of the ER in less than 2 1/2 hours. Dr. Grimsley said that he was very blessed that he didn't cut off the air in his windpipe. He could have died. He also said that it would take awhile for the nerves in Andrew's face to heal.

Please pray that Andrew will heal quickly. The nerves in his face are still not working right. When he laughs or cries is when his face gets droopy. He is also having a little trouble chewing. His jaw is very swollen right now and his ear as well. The pressure blisters should go away in a few days as well. It is very hard to look at him and not cry.

God is a big God, he can do anything. I know that he can touch my little Andrew's face and heal it instantly. I'm praying that He will do so. Pray also that God will heal my heart. I am having trouble with thinking about it all the time, then feeling sick knowing how easily I could have lost him.

The bunk bed had a gap in the rail that was just too big. We found out that if you can fit a 12 oz pop can standing upright through the rails, it's too wide. So if you have bunk beds, check, please! We took it down that day and are throwing it in the dump. If you know someone that has children in bunk beds, forward this to them, that way they can be warned.

If you have children, give them a hug. Don't yell at them. Don't stress when they make messes. Your time with them is precious. It is a gift from God. I don't know what I would do without my little buddy, Andrew. God graciously spared him and I thank God that I am able to write to you knowing that I could have lost him so easily and didn't. Thank you, God, for your mercies.

To celebrate God's goodness and the heroism of my children, the fire department had us come down and have a little pizza party with ice cream and pop for our family. Even the grandparents were invited and our friend Margaret and her children. It was a wonderful celebration where Jessica and Joshua got to go up in front of everyone and the Fire Chief honored them with a little speech and a plaque that told of their life-saving efforts. What a way to celebrate! We are so thankful for the amazing support system we have. The phone continually rang the whole day and visitors came even after 9:00 pm. We have even been offered meals. I know that Andrew is on at least 3 prayer chains, and that God is going to be faithful to answer those prayers. Our six year old Marcus, was a little prayer warrior, and I will be making him a special plaque in regards to his part as well. The poor little guy had slept in and woke up to seeing his brother look like that. He kept praying and praying for him. I told him, that is just as important as Josh getting his head unstuck and bringing him to me.

So that’s my story, I hope I didn't leave anything out. I am very tired and I hope it makes sense. My mom is here now, so I am hoping to get a nap in while since Steve has to go back to work today.

Love to all,


Jen@Scrapingirl said...

WOW!!! That is super scary. I hate bunk beds. I won't put ours together. They sleep on each of the beds, but they aren't on top of each other. I don't like the idea of someone falling out or getting stuck, or worse. I'm glad he's ok. I hope he's 100% now.

Anonymous said...

I cant imagine how you felt, you must have beaten yourself up for weeks over not looking in. Thankyou for teaching me not to be complacent. And thankyou for your insight into these death traps. Welldone both your little heroes

Tim Maceyko said...

We actually lost our five year old, Seth James Maceyko, due to strangulation on his bunk bed. It happened on the first day of spring - March 20, 2013 and life has not been the same since. I hope your child has recovered and things are better for your family. The Consumer Product Safety Commission considers bunk bed incidents insignificant due to the low numbers of serious injuries and/or deaths associated with them. So we have to spread the message about them as our leaders won't. Sigh. Thanks for sharing and God Bless.

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I am so sorry for your loss. I shudder to think what our lives would be like without our Andrew. I am praying Gods comfort upon you right now. I agree, we need to spread the word. Nobody thinks about these things.

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