I’ve started to write this post about 50 times. It has actually been sitting in my draft folder for over 8 weeks. It is so difficult to put into words the rest of the accident. How do you sum up so much in one post?
It has been almost 4 months since the accident. Fifteen weeks. I still can’t believe it happened. I look at Tristyn’s scars and my heart breaks for the pain that she is in every single day. I also know that she is carrying around a deeper pain that no one can see. I’m so thankful that she is alive. The more that Mark shares with me about the accident, the more that I realize that Tristyn and Sara shouldn’t be here. They are walking miracles.
After my last post, I told you I would share with you the rest of Tristyn’s story. It’s weird that as I write this, there are things that I’ve already forgot….and others are sealed in my memory forever.
Tristyn spent 24 hours in ICU, then was moved to a regular room, where she spent nine days. When Tristyn was in the trauma room as soon as she was brought in from the Careflight, she immediately began asking questions. “Where’s Ally and Sarah?” The nurses would tell her that they were focused on her right now. We waited to tell Tristyn about her friends until we thought she was ready, if that is ever possible.
Saturday evening was our first night at the hospital. Taylor and Tori were on vacation in Colorado when they got the call that Tristyn was in an accident. Only by the grace of God did they make the only flight out of Durango. They arrived at the hospital while Tristyn was in surgery. When Tristyn woke up from surgery, her sisters were next to her, holding her hands. They didn’t leave her side except to go home and sleep. The first night, Mark stayed awake all night and watched Tristyn sleep.
Sunday was our first full day in the hospital. Tristyn slept most of the day. She’d wake up occasionally to see visitors. She doesn’t remember much about that day.
Most of the days felt like the same. The day would begin around 5:00 am when the doctors would start coming in. We would see visitors throughout the day and into the evening. At night, Mark and I would crawl into our little corner of her room and try to sleep. Sometimes the evenings would be the only time, we would be able to talk. It was in the quiet of the night, when things would hit us.
Tristyn started asking a lot of questions on Monday night. She was more alert and started piecing things together. She had no recollection of the accident. Her first memory was leaving the careflight. (Since we’ve been home, she has had a couple of flashbacks from the scene. Our prayer is that she will not remember anything else.)
Jan. 10th: I love this picture. She is Facetiming Sara for the first time.
On Wednesday, Tristyn started physical therapy and occupational therapy. She had to learn to walk on her broken legs. Sitting up and getting out of bed would make her sick. She also suffered a severe head injury. Half of her body was thrown from the vehicle and her body (with her head taking a lot of the impact) was drug for a few hundred feet. Her first time walking was a few feet. I’m sure that she felt like it was a mile. I’ve never seen so much determination in someone. She never complained. She would walk a few feet, climb back in bed and get sick and never crying or complaining.
Every day we watcher her get stronger. She is a gentle warrior. You rarely know what she is thinking. She is quiet, but so strong. She fought harder than I’ve ever watched anyone fight.
We let her Facetime Toby! Look at her smile!!!
I can’t say enough about our precious family. They were with us every single day. Our friends and family were our strength for us.
(The following are my Facebook posts from our stay in the hospital. I’m putting them here so I can remember what I was thinking during that time. It was raw and I don’t want to forget.)
Jan. 12th-“I haven’t updated lately because I can’t find the words to say. We are still at the hospital. I have no idea when we will go home.
Tristyn is the strongest person in the world! She never complains about the pain but she’s in constant pain. Her PT has been slow but she is a warrior. She’s been able to take a several steps today! She has taken in so much the last few days….more than I ever wanted her to. She spent a few hours with Emma Hooten yesterday and it was so healing for her.
I’m so thankful for my daughters, their men, our family and best friends….we couldn’t do this without them. The meals are amazing!!!! Watching our community come together inspires me to love others better! Thank you.
There are days when I think I can never cry another tear and days when I’m angry. Mostly I feel numb. I don’t understand why and I want to fix it. But no matter what, I know that He is a good, good God and this isn’t our home. I know that my baby will have a beautiful story….and that He will do good work in her.
One thing I’ve learned is that I need to let God write these pages. Not me. I like to be in control. When we were driving to Parkland, I remember thinking that she’s gone and I told the Lord that even if that happens I would love Him anyway. I had to really think about it, but I trust Him. I don’t agree with His plan, but I trust Him.
“God is within her, she will not fail.” Psalm 46:5″
Currently — Tristyn is now walking without crutches. She walks really well, except for a limp. Her legs are still broken but are healing well. She has a rod in her right leg from her knee to her ankle. The rod is stronger than her actual bone and can handle the weight of walking without crutches. Her left leg is still broken, also, but it is not a weight bearing bone so it can handle her weight when she walked. There are days she uses her crutches if we are going somewhere that she will have to walk far. We are working on weaning off of pain pills. Her right leg causes her pain every day. I think it is something that she is getting use to. Her right knee is causing her the most pain. She is convinced the doctor took half of her knee out when he put the rod through it. We are expecting about a nine month recovery.
Our main concern right now is her head. She has short-term memory loss. I won’t share details, but oh my word, I’ve never seen anything like it. You could talk to her and within minutes she doesn’t remember what you said. Her headaches are back and they are often. She is struggling getting back to her school work. Our prayer is for complete healing.
Another prayer is for emotional healing for our family, especially Mark and Tristyn. We also continue to ask for prayers for our friends, the Hooten family. Their grief is unimaginable.