Friday, July 21, 2006

I am remiss in updating my blog. This has been a challenging, yet inspiring week. I'm behind on my bible study, but will catch up tomorrow morning and give my thoughts on the balance of Ephesians, for those that come here for those insights.

On Saturday of this past week my 16 year old niece Sarah had a serious accident on an all terrain vehicle (ATV). While this is supposed to be a really fun sport, there are many accidents and even deaths on them. In this case, the ATV landed on her left arm and did severe damage to the bone, also severing a nerve. She had been camping on a mountain with her older sister's family in Wyoming. Fortunately a family friend was along that was an RN. They were able to get her airlifted to a hospital in Billings, Montana.

I found out early Sunday morning before I left for Chicago. While I wanted to go to be with my sister, I had a previous commitment at an industry conference. I spoke with my oldest sister, who agreed to drive up on Monday with her husband, so that made me feel a little better about not being able to go. On Monday, one by one, things started falling into place in such a way that let me know that I was really supposed to be there with my family. Priorities have a way of calling to you.

On Tuesday I arrived in Billings and went immediately to the hospital. By that time I had sent out a prayer request to my church, the Tres Dias team and friends. When I saw Sarah she was awake and talking. Since I hadn't really known what to expect it was great to see her at least attempting to smile. Her lips were still puffy (she broke her two front teeth) and her face was swollen and terribly scratched up on the right side. Her left arm was stabilized and bandaged. Her left foot was also broken, but not in a cast, as the bone was only slightly fractured on the top of the foot. By Tuesday afternoon, they had her up and walking. By nightfall she asked for her favorite meal from Taco Bell. Wednesday showed remarkable improvement in the healing of the skin on her face and she was able to move the fingers of her left hand more and more. The evening treat was a Blizzard from Dairy Queen, which lit her face up when she saw it!

Yesterday morning, we put Sarah and my sister Buff on a non-stop flight back to Seattle and they drove back to Bellingham Washington (near the Canadian border), where they live. The big treat when they got home was going to the dentist to see about getting her teeth fixed! On Monday she will go back down to Seattle to see the orthopedic surgeon to find out when he wants to begin the work on her upper arm. She will need muscle and tissue grafts to repair the loss of 1/3 of her bicep. She will need a alot of physical therapy, but after seeing how determined she is to get better, I know she will beat the odds.

It was inspiring to see her courage and also to observe how quickly her young body was regenerating itself. In just two days, the scars on her face were so much better.

Keep Sarah in your prayers!

Chicke Fitzgerald

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