” I tried taking three deep breaths but was unable to. ‘Matt, I can’t breathe! You gotta call 911…the car is filling up with smoke! ‘… It didn’t dawn on me that Matt was already out of the car, making his way around the vehicle to get me out. I heard him yell, “Push! You gotta push the door open!” He was standing on a rock wedged between two large tree limbs…
It seems like almost instantly he had made his way back around the vehicle and was inside the car trying to help me out…. the next thing I remember, I was in an ambulance with an EMT who was cutting my pant leg. I began to panic again even more this time. I began screaming for Matt, not knowing what was going on, where he was, or if he was okay. …
I wouldn’t be alive today if it weren’t for the grace of God and Matt’s braveheart, courage, determination, and love for me, risking his own life to save mine. I am forever blessed and grateful for Matt and is powerful, valiant act of love.
Excerpt from my piece ” A Valiant Act of Love ” published in the book “Goodness Abounds: 365 True Stories of Loving Kindness” (DandiLove, 2017)
I was rudely awakened to just how bad our healthcare system is failing us here in the United States after surviving what should have been a fatal car accident for me two years ago today, December 27th 2016. I hadn’t had to rely on allopathic doctors or medicine for years until the car accident.
Michael, the ER nurse who brought me down for xrays at the first hospital I was transported to was kind, caring, gentle and understanding of the critical condition I was in. I was in and out of consciousness fighting for my life from the life threatening injuries, and major body trauma my body sustained in the car accident.
Initial xrays revealed my aorta had collapsed in one place, one of my lungs had collapsed, had four broken ribs, fractured my shoulder, broke my humerus and my elbow.
As I lay unconscious fighting for my life on the emergency room table of the first hospital I was transported to, I had to fight to bring myself to consciousness to speak up for the way the ER nurse was roughly handling me. I may have been unconscious but I could feel the roughness of the way she was treating my body. As she continued to be uncompassionate, uncaring and rough I said to her, “I pray to God you or one of your loved is never in a car accident and treated the way you are treating me right now. ”
It is a misconception that because a person is unconscious their body and subconscious mind aren’t aware of what is going on. In my experience of survival from the car accident I have come to learn there are at least three levels of consciousness; fully awake and aware, unconscious but aware of what is going on and being said around you yet not able to respond and complete unconsciousness when you are completely unaware of what is going on around you. Even at this level though, I know that the body and some part of the brain knows what is going on as I remember fighting to come to full consciousness to advocate for myself and the way I was being mistreated physically and at times to request my cervical collar be adjusted because it was uncomfortable and I couldn’t breathe.
I had to be transported to another hospital that could handle the extent of my life threatening injuries, broken bones and body trauma. I continued to go in and out of consciousness on the ambulance ride to the next hospital and remember waking up on a cold metal table with a bright light over my head and a team of medical doctors surrounding me, performing tests and asking me questions before I went unconscious again. That team of doctors left and another came in. It was like an alien, laying on that cold, metal table with the bright light over head, being poked and prodded at by people in white coats.
I came to, hours later when my mother and sister arrived to see me in the ICU room I was in. Although, I already had a Healthcare Proxy and told them that, I had to assign someone else to be my proxy because the information about my Healthcare Proxy along with my health insurance cards were in my wallet, which were in the vehicle at the car accident scene. The hospital staff would not let me sign a DNR, Do Not Resuscitate form so I made it perfectly clear my wishes to everyone in that room I did not want to be resuscitated should anything happen to me while in heart surgery to fix my aorta. If it was time to go, it was my time to go but I knew that I was safe and protected from above. When I had begun to panic when I realized I couldn’t breathe at first after impact, the thought “Remember your Angels ” popped into my mind. It was then I knew, I was safe and protected and everything would be ok.
I remember look of the fear on my mother’s face as the hospital staff was getting ready to take me down to the operating room. Over 12 hours after the discovery of my aorta collapsing and a having a blood clot in my heart, I was taken down to the operating room to have a mesh tag placed in my aorta, it was then it was discovered that my aorta had collapsed in several places not one… to be continued
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