Comatose

BE ADVISED: NOBODY HAS SEEN THESE PICTURES OUTSIDE OF IMMEDIATE FAMILY. THEY ARE NOT PRETTY AND THEY MAY BE GRAPHIC FOR SOME PEOPLE.

In an effort to not hide the truth and reality of what drinking and driving can do to people’s lives, I need to tell my story unedited.

It’s remarkable, how one bad decision can completely devastate the rhythm of a happy family and a person’s life, changing it forever.

By the time we arrived on the roof of the hospital my body had begun to shut down. It had suffered so much trauma already, it was done. My prognoses was grave, they didn’t know if I had internal damages yet, but they could see the bruising and my ravaged legs, along with the finger that only seemed to be hanging on by a piece of skin.  My blood pressure was uncontrollable and my pulse was fluttering. They immediately took me into surgery to stop the bleeding and stitch up the lacerations on my face and hand and, they had to reinflate one lung and drain the blood. They put in a chest tube to keep it from filling back up, while pumping me full of fluids to try and combat my out of control heart, blood pressure and get me stable.   Since my heart stopped three times while in transit, it was also struggling to get a grip.  I suffered a closed head injury, so they put something that looks similar to a bolt on the top of my head to measure the pressure caused by my swelling brain. arm

At first they couldn’t worry about what seemed like the small things, like my bloody, matted hair and a smashed nose; they had more urgent things to concern themselves with, like any internal damages that I might have received.

My left leg suffered a tremendous amount of trauma; not only had my femur had been broken in two places, I was missing six inches of my shin bone and they would later discover that all the bones in my foot had also been crushed from the car engine. Within thirty days my family would be faced with yet another difficult decision, the amputation of my leg.leg

The purse that the police gave to the paramedics, was, in actuality the bag I brought with me to the beach that day.  The hospital had no way of identifying me, so I became a Jane Doe. Surprisingly I wasn’t the only female to be admitted without identification that warm night. I was in fact the eighth Jane Doe to be brought in, and so, we were all given middle names according to the order in which we arrived and so, I became Jane Hydro Doe.

My wallet had slipped down and was wedged under my broken seat; it wasn’t until a few hours later that the police found it. They now knew who I was but, they didn’t know who to call. I had a list of phone numbers for work in my wallet but none looked promising so they started at the top of the list and eventually got in touch with my boss, she gave the police my parent’s number. It wasn’t until three in the morning when they called my parents’ house. All they would say is you need to get here as soon as you can, they wouldn’t tell them more than I was involved in a car accident and they needed come right away. Despite my mom’s pleas to know more, all they would say is, “it’s serious, get here as soon you can”.  The hospital was around ten miles from their house but I’m sure it seemed like it was in another state.

The crash happened around 10:30 pm and my parents got to the hospital around 3:30 am due to the purse mix up. When my parents finally got to the hospital I was still in surgery.  At 6:30 am they were finally able to go in and see me.  Shortly after they walked into the room I started to crash again, my blood pressure dropping suddenly, so they were asked to leave. My mom would later tell me that when she walked into the room I was barely recognizable; I had a breathing tube in my mouth, IVs in my arm and a heart monitor but the most shocking sight was how swollen my body was from all the fluids they were giving me. My eyes had become just slits in my face and my ears just holes in the sides of my head.

headshot

Even though by this time I was probably comatose, I still feel like my subconscious was still able to hear and when I heard my parents come in, I could hear the fear in their voices and the incredible pain this was causing them.

hospital picts

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7 thoughts on “Comatose

  1. joantav

    Jen, I hope it isn’t too disturbing to you to relive all of this. Your parents must have been devastated when they got that call and finally got to see you. I saw that you speak to school groups. That is great because they take life so casually and never think about what can happen. I have a cousin whose two daughters were hit by a drunk driver and were in comas for a long time. One of them recovered well, but the other one is in a wheelchair, can’t speak, and has other problems. Like you, she is a fighter and has a great spirit.

    Reply
  2. Linda Simao

    No parent can be prepared to see their child in this condition. I can only imagine the heart ace they felt. You are truly a miracle! God Bless you. Want to hear more.

    Reply
  3. Rick Kimler

    Hi Jen…You are truly a remarkable woman!
    I don’t know if you remember me, I’m Rick Kimler, Michelles dad, she told me about your blogs and how you were telling your story to help Stop Drunk Driving! It takes a lot of courage on your part to relive that horrible night. I’m so happy that you are still with us!!

    Bless You Jen!!
    Rick Kimler

    Reply

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