You see this family? From left to right there's Colum, Kelly, Ryan, and Finn Pack. Last Christmas Eve they were in a car crash. The driver in the other car was high on methamphetamine, crossed the median taking out multiple trees, and crashed head-on into the Pack family's car. It was not too long ago that I came across their story on another blog. I clicked and visited the Pack family blog (Pack of Fixations). My heart broke for this family and their story of losing a child. I could see how their life was before the accident. Never suspecting that soon life would change forever. And then on Christmas Eve, 2011...pure brokenness. Bones were shattered, a baby boy lost his life, and it would take months to recover from the wreckage caused by a man on drugs.
Here is an excerpt from Kelly's blog. This is her memory of how it happened:
I'm writing this down from my hospital bed, typing with one finger. I want to write everything down while it's still fresh (or as fresh as it can be since all the anesthesia & other drugs). I presume this is gonna be a long, sad, and gruesome story since I plan on naming all of our injuries. It's my worst nightmare, that I'm still living.
Every Christmas Eve my side of the family throws a party and I always look forward to it. This year it was at my Brother's, and we got there at 330pm. This Christmas was especially exciting because Finn is 3, & starting to understand what Christmas was all about. After, the party I planned on drinking mulled cider & putting cookies out for Santa.
I yelled to Finn with excitement that Santa was coming tonight from my brothers front porch as Ryan put the kids in their carseats & finished saying anxious-to-get-home-goodbyes (why didn't I take 10 seconds longer). We were leaving South Jordan and turned on 90th South. I was looking at instagram on my phone when Ryan said "what the hell", I looked up & saw the lights of a huge Subarbun jumping over a raised median (which was landscaped w/boulders & trees (& he took out 2-4 trees I later was told)). I believe the speedlimit is 50 mph, he was going 60 mph, Ryan said some one had just cut him off so he's positive we were goinG 45. I blinked and we were hit, head on.
I was in shock I guess because my phone hit the floor & I knew I couldn't reach it to call my Mom. I tried to undo my seatbelt & open the door to 'yell' for help. Airbags must have gone off because the one thing we have going for us is no brain or spinal injuries. Ryan & I both had the same red marks on the left sides of our noses. Then the I can't breathe happened. So many people whom I don't know their names came to our aid. Ryan and I both had people holding our necks/heads up. I now know why but didnt know then and it really irritated me but, people ask you the same questions over & over again.
The shock wore off as soon as help came. Then I couldn't feel my right leg, then my left. The numbness going up my fingers and creeping up my arms. I screamed. "what's your name, how old are you?". A few minutes had gone by. The numbness turned to excruciating pain. Something that would stay with me for weeks to come. I couldn't breathe. "what's your name, how old are you?".
A few more minutes of pain, trying to breathe, and "what's your name? How old are you?" went by, then I heard the worst thing my heart could take. One of our aids was assessing us, "no pulse on this one, & blood coming out of his nose. Let's take him."
I screamed. I couldn't breathe. I screamed. They took my baby. I heard them. I knew. "what's your name? How old are you?". I couldn't breathe. Pain was growing more and more excruciating. But, not being able to breathe was worse. I felt like I was drowning. Maybe they will save Colum. Must breathe to stay alive. "what's your name? How old are you?". Different people, same questions. It's hard to talk when you're drowning. 'I can't breathe please don't ask me questions', i politely asked for the 20th time. "what's your name? How old are you?", what was wrong with these people.
Minutes felt like hours. I ignored their ignorant questions. I could only concentrate on breathing which was getting harder & harder to do. By the time the next ambulance was ready, it was determined i would be next to go. All I could think about was the oxygen mask I longed for. The echo of Ryan yelling my name & how I couldn't respond. Being pulled out of the car was my first indication of how broken up I was. I could feel that every inch of my body was broken. My entire left arm was left painfully hanging as the stretcher was rolled towards the ambulance... Ohhh my left arm!
I got my oxygen mask, but to my despair I still couldn't breathe. I don't know if the blood pressure machine wasn't working or they just couldn't believe the reading. "what's your name? How old are you?", they kept asking me that. I told them I won't answer those questions I couldn't breathe. To be continued....
After arriving to the hospital and after coming to post surgeries:
As the nurse handed me the phone my mom picked up almost immediately. "what's wrong with Colum?". My mom said it was a big debate on whether or not to tell me but she thought I should know. His spine was severed & he was on life support. They were waiting on Ryan & I to get stable enough so we could say our goodbyes. I quickly found out that Ryan had no idea about this situation so I called him to tell him the devastating news.
I was told that it was the first time in the history of this hospital that they've ever approved for a baby on life support to be wheeled over to he U of U hospital so the parents could say goodbye. They wheeled him into my room where we were all waiting. He looked so beautiful & peaceful. I held him in my arms unable to get him in our old snuggle position due to so many broken bones. It was the last time I'd get to hold my Colum. Saying goodbye was the hardest thing I've ever done. Nearly every bone in my body is broken & it's been excruciatingly painful but losing Colum feels like something's been amputated... Something that hurts so deep, that will always be with me. A piece of me died that day.
|Last moments holding Colum.|
This story brings tears to my eyes, but this family has come so far since the death of their beloved boy. Kelly recently posted a song that reminds her of her boy. It was so sweet and I had to cry. A song by the Dixie Chicks: Godspeed.
If you have a chance, visit her blog and show her some love and support for the progression her family has made and the changes that are taking place. Pack of Fixations
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