My Dear Friends in Blogland,
I have been away for a long time. Let me explain. Last Friday evening on the way home from a playing date with their band, my dear friends, Bruce and Shelly, were involved in a serious automobile accident. They were hit head on by an intoxicated driver.
Bruce was driving and took the brunt of the hit. Shelly escaped with a lot of bruises and a cracked rib or two. Bruce, however, was severely injured. At first examination it appeared that he had a broken femur, wrist, elbow and shoulder. On top of that he had contusions and trauma to his lungs.
Shelly was, understandably, in shock and asked me to come to her house and stay with her. We decided to have dinner out and then go to the hospital about 8:30 PM. When we arrived at the hospital, two doctors were waiting in the hall for us. They took us into Bruce's empty room and told Shelly that during the afternoon Bruce had lost feeling in his legs. A subsequent CT scan showed a break in his spinal column that had, at that point, left him paralyzed from the waist down. The head spinal surgeon at Strong Memorial Hospital strongly urged Shelly to sign permission for emergency spinal surgery, which she did.
It was a long night. They took Bruce, broken as he was, to surgery to repair the damage to his spinal column. Prior to the surgery, and MRI, the (may I add wonderful and compassionate surgeon) said he suspected a possible severance of the spinal cord. At 3 A.M., he called Shelly in the waiting room to say the injury may have been less severe than he had at first suspected and that Bruce had weathered the surgery well, and the spinal cord was not severed.
As of today, Bruce still faces surgery to repair the bones in his arm, leg and shoulder and has had no perceptible improvement in his lower extremities. This is not to say that that won't happen. Whatever the outcome, he and Shelly have a long road ahead of them.
I am still staying with Shelly. My husband is a saint and says stay as long as she needs me to. The outpouring of love and support from people all over the country has been overwhelming. Bruce was a former Band Director and Shelly is a German teacher in our school system. They have influenced untold numbers of students and their parents.
Please pray for grace and mercy as Bruce faces this long road of recovery.