I had an accident riding my standup jetski Sunday July 31st, 2011. It was just a normal fall in rough waves but the handlebar went into my neck when I fell. After the wreck I started swimming back to my jetski to get back on it. My 17 year old daughter that was riding her own sit down jetski came to check on me and saw the blood coming out of my neck, and calmly called 911.
The fire department was there in minutes and got me to the hospital.
The water police (not sure if that is the correct term) got my jetski off the water and loaded both mine and my daughters jetskis onto my trailer while I was at the hospital.
Both the fire and police departments were so very helpful.
The doctor at the hospital did a CT scan before doing anything with my injury because of where it was. The handlebar went into my neck right between the carotid artery and my jugular vein. After reviewing the CT scan the doctor told me that a millimeter either way and I would have died on the lake.
They kept me overnight where my daughter slept on a cot with me and watched movies to keep me company. They sent me home from the hospital the next day.
On Thursday August 3rd, two days after going home, I collapsed. My son and daughter luckily were there and brought me to the hospital where they did an MRI and found that the carotid artery had been damaged in the accident and had ballooned up with a blood clot. Two pieces of the blood clot had broken loose and caused me to have a stroke.
They immediately put me in an ambulance and rushed me to a larger hospital where two surgeons were standing outside in full prep waiting for the ambulance to arrive. The surgeons were putting vital sign patches on me as they wheeled me down the hallway for emergency surgery. The surgeons would not stop for me to hug and kiss my kids who were just arriving, or anything else. That is when the reality really hit me on how bad my situation was.
In the surgery, which was a success, they put a stent in the damaged area of my carotid artery.
The surgeon talked to me after and explained to me why they had to rush me to surgery. He told me that I shouldn’t be here and I am very lucky to be alive.
The doctor from the first hospital that did the CT scan and released me called to apologize for missing the damage to my carotid artery and said he was happy that I was still here. I respect him immensely for that call. In a world where most people worry about covering there own butt, making excuses and passing blame, here was a man only interested in me and doing the right thing.
Life is great, I have no effects from the accident or stroke.
Thank you to all the people that helped me… My amazing daughter, the fire and police departments, and the doctors and nurses at all three hospitals. People are at their best and amazing when you need them. I am here today against the odds, because of them and the grace of God.