It seemed like an eternity before they returned to talk to us, and much to our surprise they were pushing Jessica on her bed along with them.
Charley and I rushed over to meet them. In very broken English, the one doctor who seemed to be in charge was able to communicate enough with us to let us know that there was no bleeding in her brain, and she could return to the other hospital. I cannot adequately convey to you the weight that lifted hearing this news. We still didn’t know where the blood (that she was throwing up ) was coming from; but she had stopped that as well, so relief is an understatement for what we were feeling.
We headed back to the other “hospital,” where I couldn’t wait to put everyone’s mind at ease. It was probably about 2:00 in the afternoon by now. They told us both Mike and Jess needed to stay in the hospital for awhile; and they were adamant that Jess was not “out of the woods,” so a different reality check was upon us 🙂
For those who may not remember, we were on a cruise and ALL of our things (including passports) were still on the ship…that was leaving at 5:30pm. We had nothing but the swim suits we were wearing.
Charley and Ruth decided they would take a taxi to the ship and pack up everything and bring it back. They had about 45 min on the ship to do all of this, and I’m still in awe of how they managed. We have always said that Ruth and Charley really came through like champs, unlike many typical 20 year-olds.
They managed to pack up the belongings of 7 people plus Caleb’s guitar, get them off the ship and meet with some of those in charge to explain the circumstances surrounding us not making it back.
Meanwhile, Jess had begun to become more aware of her surroundings and started trying to communicate. I remember one of the first things she asked was, “What time is it?”
I told her it was about 4:00 and she said,”Mom, what about the ship; can we make it back there in time?” I tried to explain to her the seriousness of what had happened and that we couldn’t risk it…..I’ll never forget the silent tears rolling down her cheeks as she realized the cruise, for us, was over 😦
She had no way of understanding how insignificant that was compared to her being OK; but of course she couldn’t, since she had been mostly out of it for several hours.
The staff in the hospital began to admit Mike and Jess into a room, (which thankfully did have air conditioning). They charged my credit card 5,000.00 dollars, and of course I would have given everything I owned to have Jess and Mike OK and whole.
So many times I had to practice my faith, for so many reasons. One of the things that was so difficult was watching them (nurses?) put medicine into Jessica and Mikes IV and have no idea what they were giving them. Due to the language barrier, they were not able to tell me. I wanted to say “STOP” but was terrified to do that in case it really was what they needed.
The emotion of the day began to take over for all of us (except Mike and Jess who were floating in the clouds with whatever was in their IVs).
Late that night I remember Ruth just sobbing with emotion and exhaustion. I returned from the restroom at one point to find Caleb at the foot of Jessica’s bed playing his guitar and singing to her, and then I proceeded to have my own melt down.
During the night Mike was able to help with some planning, and we decided all the kids (Charley,Ruth,Caleb,Steph) would take a taxi to the Cancun Airport where a representative from the ship had helped to book flights for them. They left at around 4:00 am the next morning, flew to Houston, then took a taxi (Charley was too young to legally rent a car) to Galveston where we had parked our suburban, then drove 9 hours home.
Meanwhile, the doctors were overly cautious about Jessica, not letting her watch TV or sit up or anything except bathroom trips where I practically carried her.
They continued to give her SO many vials of medicine into her IV and Mike as well. We were in touch with family members and friends, and everyone began to mention that a hurricane was headed for the area and was a Category 4 at the time and expected to make landfall in 48 hours. Hurricane Emily…..now what would we do? We felt very vulnerable, so unsure, and so we called a family friend and doctor (ENT) who said, “You have to get out of there and soon!” The risk of flying were less than the possibility of being in Mexico during and in the aftermath of a major hurricane. The doctors in Mexico were saying we couldn’t leave because she could die. They wouldn’t release Jessica; they said she wasn’t well enough. Now what?

These are the lyrics to the song Caleb sang to Jessica that night in the hospital.

“Storm” by Lifehouse

How long have I been in this storm
So overwhelmed by the ocean’s shapeless form
Water is getting hard to tread
With these waves crashing over my head

If I could just see you
Everything would be alright
If I see you
This darkness would turn to light

And I will walk on water
And you will catch me if I fall
And I will get lost into your eyes
And everything will be alright
And everything will be alright

I know you didn’t bring me out here to drown
So why am I ten feet under and upside down
Barely surviving has become my purpose
Cause I’m so used to living underneath the surface

If I could just see you
Everything would be alright
If I see you
This darkness would turn to light

And I will walk on water
And you will catch me if I fall
And I will get lost into your eyes
And everything will be alright

And I will walk on water
You will catch me if I fall
And I will get lost into your eyes
And everything will be alright

Now everything is alright
Everything’s alright

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