Passionate About the West Valley
and the Moms Who Live Here

How Fire Changed Our Lives: Part 2

To read Part 1, go here.

“Molly, this is Brian. Todd uh, he’s been in an accident at work and he got burned. They are taking him to the hospital in Trenton, and he’s in the ambulance now.”

Ummmm, what? By this time, my phone was at 2% battery and I still couldn’t get my car out. Brian came and picked up Beeson and I. Someone had offered to watch Beeson but I knew that if Todd was ok and Beeson wasn’t there, he would be really upset. He loves his little boy. We drove to the hospital and the only person I had told was Todd’s mom. I still had no idea what had happened so I couldn’t give her much information. I hadn’t seen Todd or anyone else from the office yet. Beeson and I walked into the hospital to wait and see if we could find out what happened and if we could see Todd. Todd’s mom and boss from the Arizona office were flying in on the next flight, which was the red eye, because the airport was down because of the hurricane. 

As soon as we got to the hospital in Trenton, Beeson and I were taken to a room where Brad, Todd’s boss, was waiting.  I still had no idea what had happened.  Brad was obviously very shaken and didn’t want to talk much about what happened, which was totally understandable.  I called and talked to Todd’s dad, who was going to try and fly out the next day after work.  The nurses finally came in and got some information from me and gave me Todd’s belongings. 

His clothes were pretty much burned to shreds, so all I received were his shoes, wallet, and his wedding ring. 

The nurse then told me that Beeson and I could go and see Todd; he would have a tube down his throat to help him breathe.  They did this in case any of the ashes or soot from the fire had gone into his lungs.  She said that he wouldn’t be able to talk and probably wouldn’t be able to hear me but I was allowed to talk to him and see him.  When I got there, he was on a gurney. (I still had no idea what had happened or how bad it was.  I didn’t know what I was going to see when I walked into the room.)

His legs were covered and they were in the process of covering his stomach, which was burned, with some blankets.  His arms were wrapped up and his face had medication on it so it was all goopy.  He also had some medicine that was yellowish in color around his mouth because of the breathing tube.  The doctor from the ER told me that he was going to be taken in an ambulance to the burn unit at Saint Barnibus hospital, near Newark. 

He had already told them that Todd was coming and he explained to me that Todd was burned on 25% of his body, 2nd and 3rd degree burns. 

I walked over to look at Todd and Beeson was charming the nurses with his cheesy smile.  The nurses started talking to me and asking me if I had people I could call or anyone in the area.  That was the first time I almost lost it.  Struggling to hold back tears I told them that we had just moved from Arizona, and that we had no family in the area.  I could tell that they were shocked and concerned all at the same time. We said goodbye to Todd as best we could and then left to go back to the waiting area.  The nurses were super sweet and kept Beeson occupied and brought him lots of crackers and milk.  They were so great.  Brad was being so helpful and was going to drive Beeson and I to the hospital near Newark, which was about an hour and a half away.

Because of the hurricane, the roads were terrible.  Half of the traffic lights weren’t working, there were trees everywhere, and hardly anything was open.  Not to mention the gas lines that had 2 hour waits.  We finally found a Subway that was open and grabbed some food, and I called my mom and told her what happened.  I also got a call from the hospital in Trenton.  Because of the road conditions they decided that it would be best to take Todd by helicopter.  I laughed to myself because the last time Todd rode in a helicopter he barfed everywhere! We continued our drive to the hospital and got there about a half hour before the helicopter arrived.

They took him from the helicopter into and ambulance and into the hospital.  Todd was in the BICU (burn intensive care unit) and wasn’t allowed to have many visitors.  We had to gown up like we were going to surgery to go in and see him.  When I got there, it was the first time that he was semi-awake and able to see me.  He looked miserable. 

I told him that his mom and boss were coming from AZ and he didn’t understand it.  He said “I’m fine, why are they coming all the way out here?” They were trying to get Todd to eat but wouldn’t allow him to have water and that was driving him crazy! He received a blessing and then Brad took Beeson and I home to get some rest.  When we got back to our apartment our power was finally back on.  Our friend that I had called from church had offered to stay with Todd and read to him until he fell asleep. Beeson and I went out and got something to eat and then the next morning we ventured back to the hospital.  When we got there, Todd’s mom (Robin) was there as well as Preston, Todd’s boss from Arizona.  Robin and I went in to see Todd and check on him.
 
He was talking more and was happy to see us. The nurses were still trying to get him to eat and keep his protein levels up so that he would be able to work on healing.  If he didn’t have the proper nutrients, he wouldn’t be able to heal.  At this time, the nurse said that he would be in the hospital for at least two weeks, but would probably be out of the BICU by Sunday. I took Robin and Beeson home later that day and came back to the hospital… 

The conclusion to our story is coming…

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