D-Day for the Hudson Clan

, June sixth was yet another D-Day for the Hudson Clan. On wednesday Alice had taken Dave, Amber and several neighborhood kids to Utah Park pool to celebrate their last day of school. When she returned at about 4:30, she found the parking lot full of ambulances, Aurora Police cruisers, and Fire and Rescue trucks. She immediately prayed, “Dear Lord, please don’t let it be one of our children.” Of course it was, it always is. When she entered the pool building, she found many paramedics hovering around Amber who was strapped to a back board and was at the center of much chaotic attention. Alice’s first reaction was to yell at Amber to get up from there and get in the car and quit wasting the time of all these people who had much better things to do than be annoyed by Amber’s usual hysterics. While Alice was thinking of how embarrassing the whole thing was, the paramedics told her that Amber would be transported to Swedish Medical Center by the Flight for Life helicopter. We learned later that Amber had lost all feeling and movement from the shoulder level down instantly when her head had struck the bottom of the pool where she had been playing on the slide. Alice did not take this all too seriously at the time since Amber had an extensive history of exaggerating numerous ills and hurts. I had arrived home just as Alice was dropping the other kids off, and we immediately zoomed off to Swedish. On the way, we prayed rather light-heartedly, and joked morbidly about what it would be like to have another child in a wheelchair. We got to the emergency room just as the Flight for Life helicopter was taking off over our heads. When we went in, we had to search for someone to talk to, but we were not allowed to see Amber. Alice was competent and composed as she gave all of the information and history to the young admissions associate who appeared to someone of our advanced years to be no older than fifteen. We calmly waited for some time in the semi- deserted ER waiting room. When someone did call for us, we still were not allowed to see Amber, but we were taken instead to the “Family Waiting Room” aka the “Bad News” room. We prayed with more urgency for a time when Rick, a friend from church, was passing by and recognized us. By “coincidence” it was his once a month stint as the volunteer chaplain. He said that he had been paged to come to the emergency room to talk to a family there. He checked and found out that it was us. (oh yeah... another “coincidence”) We prayed and talked for what seemed a LOOOOONG time when the tv prototype saintly looking trauma specialist bustled in to the “Bad News” room to give us the “bad news”. He bluntly stated that the x-rays confirmed that Amber had indeed broken her neck and was now in MRI. We were to be informed when she was out of there. We learned later that the O.R. was ready and the neuro- surgeons were alerted and available to save Amber’s life. In the case of severe neck trauma, the severed spinal cord would swell upward, doing further damage to the point that the nerves controlling the heart and lungs would be permanently damaged as well. As a part of Alice regaining her composure, she called everyone m Denver and a few out-of- towners to pray right then. The first of many to arrive were Kim and Scott Schroeder, some other friends from church. They led us in even deeper prayer and gave us much comfort as we waited for the final verdict. We were somewhat numb as we waited in the “Bad News” room for some one to come and tell us what was happening. After what seemed like an even LOOOOONGER time two neuro-surgeons showed up. The senior of the two circled the room like a dog looking for a spot to light. He seemed confused as he made several false starts, “I don’t know how to say this... I’ve never seen anything... We can’t explain... The second set of MRI’s show that there is no damage to the spinal cord and all of the feeling and movement have returned.” OH THANK GOD!!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!! PRAISE JESUS! ! ! ! We had just gotten into the ER room where Amber was, when Louie, Ginger and several more friends arrived. Ginger had driven across town to the Life group picnic (where we were supposed to have been) and had breathlessly told them of the urgent need for prayer. They were all thunderstruck (none more than Louie!) to find us all celebrating and Amber complaining of being hungry. We tried to give her sympathy when Amber blurted that she really hated having her swim suit cut off and that the MRI had been noisy. The group continued to celebrate for some time, and as the first ones left a whole new wave of friends arrived. Alice was happy to go through the whole episode for a new audience as only she can do (with voices and sound effects). Alice stayed with Amber through the night in CCU. They had to keep her there to observe her reaction to the very strong steroids that she had been given to control any spinal cord swelling; although one surgeon had said that he didn’t know what she was being medicated for. The following morning the neuro-surgeon said that the initial x-rays, and physical signs showed that Amber had a subluxation of C-5 and paraplegia. In English this means she broke her neck and would have been Christopher Reeves’ book end. He was completely bemused by the outcome as were the more than forty other doctors (mostly specialists from Craig Rehab). The bottom line is that Amber broke her neck and at that time she was facing a lifetime in a wheel chair with no use of arms or legs. In a short time between the sets of MRI’s, all neck spinal cord and spinal column damage was miraculously healed. I know that in the short time of hearing this story the tendency will be to “normalize” or even “rationalize” this miracle. That’s the problem with miracles: they are not rational and cannot be explained. But I have the complete files of x-rays and MRI’s and many of the doctors’ diagnoses, and this one is completely documented and unexplainable by medical science. This one is the real deal. You have my solemn word on it.