4th of July Accident

On the morning of the fourth of July, the children participated in a neighborhood bike parade.  Elizabeth has recently discovered that she can now ride my (adult-sized) mountain bike and proudly decorated it and rode it in the parade.  Later that evening, she and Charlie decided to kill time waiting for fireworks by riding around the neighborhood… this time, however, without her helmet.

We have a neighbor who decided to grow a vine from their mailbox to the tree in their yard, training the vine to grow over the sidewalk.  As it’s now summertime, the vine has grown in considerably, crowding out half the sidewalk.  As Elizabeth was flying downhill and passed this spot, the vine wrapped itself around her front wheel (several times) and threw her from the bike.  According to Charlie, the bike landed on top of her and she was either stunned or knocked out temporarily.  She got up and walked herself home, telling us that she had “fallen off” her bike.  She wasn’t crying and was trying to keep herself composed.  She had a good-size “egg” starting on and around her eye and was pretty cut up and bruised.  Charlie brought his bike home and then went back for her bike.  He said he unwrapped “three meters” of vines from her tire and walked it home, cutting his knee in the process.  We are so grateful Charlie was with her.

A week later, her eye was finally open again (although half her eyeball was filled with blood), but she was complaining of blurred vision, getting worse, and dizziness.  This morning, she even ran into the refrigerator.  We took her to the doctor, who sent us to the ER, where they did a CT scan and some other tests.  He was concerned she could have fractured her occipital bone and/or had internal bleeding on the brain.  He told us about a child he remembered from his days in residency, who had had a similar injury that had bled internally, killing the child a week later.  Thankfully, her CT scan showed no fractures or internal bleeding.  She has to see an eye specialist, but is otherwise on the mend.  When I think of how much worse this could have been, my heart surges with thanks.  She could have been blind, paralyzed, had broken bones, or even died.

She was not alone when it happened.  Clearly, she was not alone.  Not only was Charlie with her, God was with her.  She’s going to be fine.  Charlie’s fine.  The bike is fine.  She got to enjoy fireworks with the family.  She has good doctors looking out for her–and health insurance to help with the costs.  We had ice packs and were able to afford the extra bandages she needed.  We have a car to take her to her doctor’s office, the ER, and the eye doctor’s office.  We didn’t even have a wait when we went to the ER (which is pretty much a miracle, in my experience).  She got extra TLC, a ride in a wheelchair, and got out of chores for a while.  There’s been a lot of good in this.  And… we doubt she’ll neglect to wear her helmet in the near future, so win-win.

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