09 January 2009

IV of IV

{Recovery}
Those that spend an extended amount of time in the hospital know that it's like clock work there. You see the same people day after day. We knew who would be in the waiting room area each day and we knew their stories. We knew who would be working at the hospital cafeteria and we knew them by name. We knew the parking attendant, the security guard, the front desk worker.... we knew everyone. But we have never been more excited to leave a place where we felt like we knew so many people.

A few months after the accident, we were able to take my dad home. He left the hospital in a wheelchair and had a cane for support when he felt he could walk... but he was going home. He had a hospital bed set up in the foyer at my parents house and in-home medical care for several weeks, but he was going home. He was still unable to eat and had a feeding tube, but he was going home. After beating all the odds, my dad was going home.

Throughout the months and years that followed the accident, my dad continued with physical therapy and doctor's appointment after doctor's appointment. He learned how to walk again and is able to eat. To this day he is unable to work and scars from the accident can be seen if you know where to look. But he is a true miracle man. He is a fighter. He is an inspiration to many. He is my hero.

You may be wondering what happened to the guy that hit my dad. He was an 18-year-old illegal immigrant that was driving over 50mph in a 25mph zone. He was drunk and coming home from a party (yes, at 6am.) He also had traces of (several) drugs in his toxicology report. Did I see this kid? Yes. He was in the Jersey City Trauma ICU across the hall from my dad. He was released (to prison) just a few short days after the accident. He was then released on bail and fled the country. I didn't purposely leave him out of the story... the truth is, I just don't think about him. I only care that I have my dad and for that I am unconditionally grateful.

People often ask my dad what got him through it. Through the initial accident and then the bleed in his brain, the coma, all the broken bones, the broken neck, the surgeries, and the recovery. All of it. He always replies: "I wanted to walk my girls down the aisle."

Way to go dad, way to go. We're all so very proud of you.

33 comments:

Kristal said...

Very touching story Jenni. And you just had to put that last sentence in there, didn't you. I was doing fine until I read that...now I'm crying! :)

LKV said...

that was an incredible story! I literally have chills from reading that last sentence! Your pictures are beautiful, too. It is a testament to how strong your family is!

Yuliya A. said...

Jenni, I got chills reading your story. I have no idea how it must've felt going through all that, but your family is incredibly strong. Your dad truly is a hero! Thank you for sharing this with all your readers.

Tiffany said...

What an amazing story! I, too, am now crying at the end. Your Dad sounds like an incredible man.

danielle said...

Jenni, thanks for sharing your story.. I'm literally in tears and can not image what you and your family were going through. It's awesome to see the love you and your sisters have for your dad, and I can feel the love through your story. You're dad truly is a hero. What and awesome, awesome man.

PS. Do you remember during our soccer years.. I would call him "Jenni D's dad. And then he'd respond back, "Gary Rambo's daughter?" HEHE too funny!

tiffnh2002 said...

What an amazing story! Your family has such strength. Thanks for sharing.

Meghann said...

What an amazing story! Your father is an inspiration. I love the pic's of him with each of his daughters at their weddings. So special.

The Bozo's: said...

Oh my God. What a story! I'm so happy that your dad made it through that trauma! What an experience for you and your family to have to go through because of that kid. Carter has one strong grandpa to look up to. Wow! I was shocked reading your story, all up until the last line... then I broke into tears! Thanks for sharing your story Jenni! Your dad is amazing!

Molly said...

Wow, I am so glad everything came out okay. Your story made me cry. Isn't it strange how when the worst things happen it can bring out the best in people. I am so glad your Dad was able to walk you down the aisle!

jenni said...

Thank you so much everyone. We didn't think it was possible to become closer as a family, but we did. And, honestly, one of the many things that got us through this ordeal was a sense of humor. Still does :)

Danielle- I soooo remember that, lol. Tell your parents I said hi :)

Bridget said...

What an amazing story. And just like the first poster, I was fine till the last sentence. Even though I have never met you, the way you tell a story makes it seem like I "know" you.

Kristen said...

Amazing story... I am so happy that the ending is a good one. My mother just recently spent time at Jefferson, and we loved it there. The doctors, nurses, everyone...

Also, your wedding photos are beautiful :)

vm said...

So thankful to read that all turned out beautifully.

Emily said...

Wow. Just wow.

I love you Jenni. I really do. And I love your Dad too. How is that possible? I don't even know you? It's through these stories that we related to one another, that we connect as human beings.

Thank you for sharing. MUAH!

Em

PS I finally got my announcements in the mail!

Mary said...

wow - that's an amazing story. i am crying right now. my dad just passed away on christmas eve, just a few weeks ago, and it's been a really rough few weeks. i'm really happy for you and your family.

Carla said...

I got chills reading this story. I'm so glad your dad is okay now. I have tears in my eyes from reading this. Your dad is very blessed to have such a wonderful family!

Toni said...

I finally got to read this all the way through. I have tears in my eyes. I'm so glad your dad was able to recover and has such a great support system!

jenni said...

Thank you so much everyone. :)

jenni said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BabyMakes3 said...

Jenni,
Thank you for sharing your story about your dad. I had tears in my eyes while reading it. He seems like such an inspiration and he pulled through to walk his girls down the aisle...what an amazing dad you have!! You are very blessed!
Amy

Queen of Kings said...

I was good until the last comment! Very touching story, so glad that you shared it with all of us!

ugabrat said...

Wow Jenni, that was very touching and emotional. I am so glad that your hero was able to make it through and able to walk you down the aisle.

eva said...

Yeah. I was ok with controling the tears until the very end. Flood gates were opened!

I'm so glad that your dad was able to walk all girls down the aisle and meet the new adorable grandbabies.

rachel said...

OMG, what a miracle your dad is. thanks for sharing!

QB @ Tales from Domestic Obscurity said...

Wow...what an amazing man and family. The pictures and the "walking down the aisle" even made me cry and I don't even know you guys!

Mindi said...

What an amazing story. Thanks for sharing it. I'm crying big tears but happy that the outcome was better than ever imagined! As a Speech Pathologist I work with many adults and kids who go through horrible accidents and it's a long road to recovery for sure.

Sarah said...

wow, just wow! i read through the whole story. brought tears to my eyes. thank you for sharing and so glad he is here.

Anonymous said...

What an amazing story! Your family is so strong :) Glad to know that your Dad was able to walk you down the isle! You should be very proud of your Dad - he is definitley a trooper!!

Cari and Cortnee @ Two Sasters said...

This brought tears to my eyes! Amazing story!! I love that walking you down the aisle is what got him thru it all!!!

bipolarmomlife.com said...

I just had the chance to read through the accident posts. Oh my goodness, he is incredibly strong and I was teary at the end. To know that he got through it because he wanted to walk you and your sister down the aisle was so touching. He is such a special man. Thank you for sharing the story of such a terrifying and challenging time for your family.

Samantha said...

I am in tears, and I hate to say that I know what this feels like - June 1, 2010 (when I was 3 months pregnant with my first child) I got a text from my Mom at 6am saying to call her as soon as I got the message. It was about my (51 year old) dad - I'll make this short - he had bleeding in his brain. It began a steady progression of bleeding and brain damage that has left him unable to walk, talk or eat. I'm so glad that your Dad got through everything - you are unbelievably blessed!

Kat Biggie said...

What an amazing story! HUGS to you all! Ok,now I'm a mess!!

Suz said...

Amazing doesn't cut it. I'm so glad for y'all that you had the borrowed time. I'm so sorry for your loss. Your Dad & whole family were so strong & I know that horrible accident brought y'all even closer these past 10 years.

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