6.14.2008

Life can change in a split second

I'm not sure what to say about what has been going on around here for the past week. So I guess I will just begin the story.....


Last weekend (6/7)We took a trip to the Oregon coast to visit Brandon's grandparents. Saturday morning me, Brandon, my father in law, Brandon's grandpa, Braydon, and Ellie all went out clam digging. We gathered our limit and headed home to do the dirty task of cleaning them.

After they were all clean Brandon's grandpa and the kids went out to the garage to grind the clams up for clam chowder. They were only out there a few minutes and Braydon ran into the house screaming that Ellie got her had cut off in the electric meat grinder.

Brandon and I ran out the door and sure enough there she stood over the meat grinder with no hand. I ran for the phone, Brandon ran for Ellie, and my father in law ran for towels.

The ambulance was there in 5 minutes and she was taken to the hospital where she was later airlifted to Portland Oregon's trauma center.

Brandon and I drove the hour and a half drive there, while The other two kids stayed with Brandon's mom (who was also there at the grandparents house with us)

We were only 30 minutes from the hospital and the airlift gal called to say they had made it there and Ellie wanted to talk to me.

I get on the phone and said, "Hi honey."

First things she says to me is, "Mommy that was so cool, I flew over the trees."

I was chalking it up to the drugs, but the airlift gal said she was like that the entire trip. I about lost it.....she was so brave.  She never cried one tear the entire time.

Brandon and I reached the emergency room in Portland in record time. There she was watching Mulan with nurses.

I called Carrie to tell her what had happened. When I told her, it didn't compute. How could it. It still wasn't computing with me. This is something you read about in the news or see in a movie. Nobody gets a hand cut off in a meat grinder.

The surgeon came in to talk to us about what they were going to do. We talked about moving her to Seattle so we could be closer to home. They said they would know more after they looked at it, but that would be the best plan since we live there.

At about 10p.m she was out of surgery and in her room. Still pretty groggy and sleepy, but in good spirits. As we were answering some questions for the 900th time, Carrie walked through the door. "Hi, I'm here for support, if you need me I'm here if not I'll go home."
 Remember she was at home in Washington 4 hours ago. She had thrown a few things in a bag, Brett drove her to the airport, and she took a taxi to the hospital to be with us. We were so shocked to see her. It was the best. 

The next day the plan was to move Ellie to Seattle via ambulance (about 3 hour drive) Brandon's mom left the coast with the other 2 kids to meet us in Portland and Carrie rode in the ambulance with Ellie to Seattle (Thank you from the bottom of my heart Carrie)

Finally we were in our home state. She was taken in to surgery again so the surgeon team here could assess, clean it again, and get a game plan together as to how to close it. 

They put a thing called a wound vac on it. It's a small pump that pulls all of the blood and fluid away from the wound so the dressings don't have to be opened and exposed to infection.

She will be going back in for day surgeries once a week for the next few weeks to clean the wound and to assess tissue (skin) growth. Once there is enough tissue to sew together they will close the wound and she will begin the healing process.

She is in good spirits, up moving around. She went to school on Friday for an hour to see her classmates. She is doing things for herself and learning her "New normal" with one hand.

Things will be better when we can get the wound vac off and she can stop caring around this cumbersome contraption and start using her arm for leverage.

She is an amazing little girl. The things she has endured in her little 8 years, would bring most to their knees. She continues to have a positive attitude an someday will inspire many with her story of bravery.

I will post her progress as we know more, but for now we are home and getting things back to "New Normal"