The Accident (Part Two)
For two days, I prayed heavily for Eddie to be okay and make it through his next surgery. Before he went in, my dad rolled me in my wheelchair to Eddie’s room. I was overwhelmed when I looked at him. Tubes were everywhere, a ventilator was keeping him breathing, and he had so many cuts on his face. I hadn’t noticed them when we were in the car, but it looked like the doctor stitched him up nicely. I held his hand for a while, and our parents gave us a few minutes alone.
I whispered to Eddie, “I love you, and you are going to make it through this because I need you.”
When our parents came back into the room, a doctor and his team followed. They were getting ready to bring him into surgery. All I could do now was pray and have faith that Eddie would be okay. I gave him a quick kiss on his hand, and they took him out. Dad brought me back to my room and helped me into the bed. The nurses had shown him everything he had to do to help me, and he had been amazing these past few days in adjusting to this new lifestyle. I was bummed about my legs, and it was hard to do even the simplest task without them or the use of my arm. I decided I’d pass the time by reading a book, and dad took a little nap.
Eight hours later the doctors came into the room. Dad must’ve heard them because he woke up and was ready to hear whatever they had to say.
“Hello Maria, Mr. Henderson. Eddie’s mom told me I could give you an update. He is out of surgery and doing much better now. He is awake, but he may be a little out of it for a bit today. He should regain full brain function now that the swelling in his brain from the accident has gone down. Most of his injuries were internal and were fixed between the two surgeries. You guys can go in and see him; he’s been out of surgery for almost two hours now.”
“Thank you, doctor,” my dad responded, shaking the doctor’s hand.
I was elated. He was okay! I was even more excited to go see him again now that he was awake. Dad wasted no time after the doctor left and helped me into my wheelchair and rolled me back to Eddie’s room. When we got there, his eyes were open, and he was just looking around. When he saw me, he smiled.
“Eddie!” I said excitedly. I was crying now — tears of joy that my best friend was okay.
“Maria!” He said groggily, “You’re okay!”
“I’m okay,” I smiled. “How are you?”
“I guess I am good now, thanks to these doctors. And now that I got to see you, I am even better.”
Our parents sat next to each other and talked while Eddie and I caught up.
He was a little out of it, as the doctor had mentioned, but he really seemed okay. He told me the doctors would set him free from the hospital in about a week. I would be going home in three days. We both had a lot of follow-up appointments to make with different specialists. This accident was life-altering, and I had a feeling that the loss of my legs would hit me hard eventually, but right now I was just thankful that we were alive.
* * *
Eddie and I have been dating since the accident and have moved in together in an apartment complex not too far from either of our parents. I have adjusted to life in a wheelchair. Physical therapy and rehab have been tough on my body and mind, but we are getting through it. Eddie has some issues with pain in his back and neck, but overall, he is doing much better. He has been a great support in this process, and our parents were elated to hear that we were dating “finally,” as they both said.
We’ve been taking the transport van everywhere since the accident as they have room for me and my wheelchair. My dad is working on getting a van that is adapted for a wheelchair. I’ve been working for a doctor’s office as a receptionist, dipping my feet into the water of the medical field. Eddie keeps pushing for me to go to med school, but I am just not sure I am ready for such a big change yet. He has gone back to work at the computer shop, and everyone seems excited for him to be back.
This accident has been a learning experience for us. We learned that we had such love for each other and created a relationship. We have learned to adapt to our new lives with pain and disability, and we have learned to grow stronger in our faith and trust that God has a plan. But what challenges do we face in the future? When I got a call that Eddie had been sent to the ER from work due to memory and speech issues, I knew the challenges were growing.