10 Years ago this week we were invited to our friend's family cabin in Montana. We were so excited as we had never been to Montana as a family. It is SOOOO beautiful there.
The first 3 days was amazing! Hiking, 4-wheeling, visiting and laughing so hard you hurt (which is my favorite kind of laughter).
Between all of our families we had a total of something like 18 kiddos. Which was awesome because everyone had a friend to hang out with.
On the 3rd day however tragedy struck. The guys were out on the quads 4-wheeling and one of the guys accidentally drove in front of the milkman as he was coming down the mountain. It happened so fast that he pulled the front brake instead of the back brake to keep from hitting the other quad. That action made the quad flip over and fall on top of him.
The guys brought him to the cabin and we knew he was hurt very seriously. The guys helped load him up in the van (all the while he would yell out in pain). Then Jeff, Kris and I drove him 11 miles down the mountain which took FOREVER because we had to drive so slow because any little bump he would scream! Once on the highway we drove the 30 miles to the hospital.
When we finally arrived at the hospital they wheeled him away and we didn't see him for about 3 hours. It was the longest 3 hours of my life or it seemed at the time. When the doctor came and found us he informed us that he had a lacerated liver and spleen. The milkman was told that he would have to lay flat for a couple of days to see if it would heal enough so that he wouldn't have to have surgery.
We spent a total of 5 days in the Butte Montana hospital at which time we were told that if we wanted to get him home he had to lay him flat in the van. Since there would be no seats for our kiddos to get home we called a friend of ours that is a pilot and asked him if he would be willing to fly up and get the kiddos to get them back home. Thankfully, Steve had no reservations and set a plan into place. He also brought with him a good friend of our, Chris who was a RN. I needed him because the doctor told me that the only way he would release the milkman from the hospital was if we stopped and took his vitals every hour to make sure he was staying stable. NO PRESSURE!!
There was a storm rolling in so the pilot told me that I would have to meet him at the Bozeman airport which was 3 hours from where I was so that he could load the kids up and fly out safely. I kissed all of my babies good-bye and watched them fly out as the rain started coming down and my prayers went up! They were to arrive back in Kansas at our little airport at 5:30AM. At 7:00AM nobody not even the pilot's wife had heard from them. Finally at 7:30 nearly 2 hours after they were to have arrived, they landed. The pilot told us later that the storm was so bad that they had to fly almost to the Canadian border to get around the storm. They were running VERY low on fuel so the pilot had to basically do a "mayday" to find gas for the plane. He said someone over the radio told him of a grass strip that had a card key pump where he was able to land and fuel the plane. So, my husband is hurt very badly in a hospital and I don't know where my kids are. I still, as I'm typing this have that feeling in my stomach of how surreal everything was! Finally we received the news that they had landed safe and sound in which I cried and cried for a very long time!
The next day we carefully loaded up the milkman, all of his medical files, a map which the doctor mapped out for us showing us the route to take that would keep us within a close range of hospitals on the way home. The doctor also told us of all the signs to watch for that would show that he wasn't doing well. One being his blood pressure if it changed at all we were suppose to immediately go to a hospital. Again no stress! Thank goodness Chris was with us because he was so calm and he helped me drive the 3 days it took to get him home safely. Which we still to this day are SO grateful for him and the gifts God gave him to help us get home. As I look back and think about how close I came to losing everyone I am SO thankful that God allowed me to keep my family. It made/makes me realize that you can NOT take life for granted because you never know in a instance how your world can change. So make sure today that you take time to let the ones around you know how much you love them because tomorrow your world might not be the same.