It was the 12th of August 1997 roughly around 6:30pm that I was involved in a major motor vehicle accident. I was 11 years old, semi-conscious and frightened. They rushed me to the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital where we were told that an emergency operation could not yet be performed as I had eaten recently. This would cause complications with the anesthesia.
In my moments of consciousness, I remember nursing staff providing emotional support to my parents who were praying nervous wrecks, holding my hand as a catheter and drip were inserted and with tangible empathy and care, convince me that all will be okay.
I woke up the next morning in the ICU to find one of the nurses, gently removing shards of glass from my scalp while rubbing my head despite there being remnants of blood in between each strand of hair. I was distraught at the sight of a stainless steel pin through my right shin. I was in pain. I was in disbelief. I was scared.
While at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital before being transferred to Maitland Cottage, my somewhat vague memories are not so much of actual events that transpired, names of specific individuals or medical jargon to explain treatment but more the FEELINGS which surface when I reflect on that experience.
Despite having pain in one half of my body, I felt safe. Despite being away from my family and friends-away from school and all that was familiar, I felt protected.