A Near Death Experience, No. 263.

We Missed the Bridge.

After drinking half a bottle of Tequila, and half a bottle of some cheap wine, by myself, (I forget the proof now, but a high alcohol content) and smoking a few joints of pot, on an empty stomach, three young men and I (I had a crush on one of them) got into another guy's car (one of the three I was with) to drive me home.

I was already very late for dinner. I had turned 15-years-old the month before, and had been hanging out at the local shopping center with "friends." We were driving on an old country road, speed limit was 45 mph, but we were going 75mph. Coming around a curve at that speed, there was a one-lane bridge we didn't know about. We missed the bridge completely, flew off the road and bounced off three trees. One on each side, and came to a stop at one front and center, down in a deep ditch.

The three boys walked away, supposedly dazed, I guess they went home. (I was told a few different stories at this point, I was unconscience at the time). The driver of the car, went home and told his mom that he killed a girl (me) and to call the police. That's only one version I've heard, maybe I'll never know, anyway, back to the story!

I was left in the car, on the back floor, they thought I was dead, for approximately 20 minutes, (that's what I heard), before any rescue personnel found me. I went in and out of conscienceness in the ambulance. (There is another story behind that -- nightmares that lasted 6 months to a year after the accident). I "saw" the doctors and nurses trying to save my life, from above the operating table. My dad had instinctively followed the ambulance from the highway to the hospital (he wasn't sure if it was me, but, knew it).

They wouldn't let my parents see me, there wasn't time, then, they had to rush me in another ambulance to a different hospital because the first one didn't have the right equipment to keep me alive. That's the first time my parents saw it was me, only briefly. I was in Intensive Care for three weeks, fighting for my life, I suppose.

At what point I died, I'm not really sure. I went down a long dark tunnel, faster than the speed of light, though it seemed to take a long time. I saw a light at the end of the tunnel and when I got there, as I passed through the golden gates. (I'm shaking now as I write). There were people, relatives I had never met and others, beckoning me to come in, smiling, happy, loving. (I'm about to cry, but, I'll go on). Just as I was going through the gates, A HUGE hand came out of the blackness to swoop me up, I was as tiny in this gigantic palm as a dot, to bring me lovingly, gently, back to my hospital bed. I guess it was then that I awoke from my coma, with my parents by my bed.

The first question I asked, as best I could, was "What time is it?" My parents were overjoyed, and they told me it was July 31st -- six weeks I was unconscience! My dad asked if they could get me ANYTHING at all... I answered "ice-cream," my mouth was so dry! They couldn't understand me yet, so, they said to try to name something similar (or, something like that) and I thought, then said, "freezer." I was SO happy that they could understand that, and they put it all together and finally guessed what it was that I wanted!!

Then, I had three weeks of intensive therapy, occupational and physical, to learn how to read, write, walk, talk, everything, all over again. (I'm shivering now)! Okay, back to my story. I had to have two months of home-teaching my 10th grade year, as I couldn't get on a school bus with a full-length leg-cast. I broke my right leg, left thumb at the base, and one of my collar bones. I had a mid-brain concussion, and came close to being permanently brain-damaged. My left arm had covered my heart and stayed like that, until a therapist gradually worked it down so that I could use my arm and hand again.

Wow!! That didn't take TOO long, did it? I'm breathing a sigh of relief, now...I'm drained.



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