The doctor there in Mexico did not speak English with the exception of a very few words. He motioned me into a hall and I followed. I could see the concern in his eyes as he conveyed to me in a few words that he thought my husband would be OK, but then he paused and said, “Your daughter…..not sure,” and sort of shook his head. I quickly asked, “Will she be OK?”
Again shaking his head, he said, “Not good, not sure she will make it.” I choked back tears and panic and thought to myself, it’s probably the language barrier, maybe he just means long recovery. Before I knew it, perhaps thinking this would cut to the chase, I heard myself just coming right out and asking,”Is she going to die?” I’ll never forget the look on his face as he searched for the right words in English to convey to me that he thought that was a big possibility. I know his broken English came through loud and clear and brought me to my knees. He said she needed to be taken to another hospital in town that had a machine to check her brain (I believe it was a CT-scan) to see how bad her bleeding was.
As they loaded up my sweet Jessie back into the ambulance, I knew I needed to warn the others about the seriousness of her condition. I walked into the waiting room where I was met with questioning eyes from the others except for Caleb who could barely make eye contact with me. I explained where we were going and that there was a chance Jess wouldn’t make it (I was only repeating the message the doctor had so seriously given me). I said it without tears or panic just matter of fact which sort of still surprises me. Steph was only 13, but she looked even younger in that moment. I wanted to stay and comfort her and wrap my warms around her, but I didn’t have time; I had to hurry and get in the ambulance with Jessica. I watched Steph go over to a small couch there in the waiting area and lie down as I was walking out. What I would find out later is that she almost immediately fell asleep. Now, this is my child who never ever took a nap, ever! I believe her angels comforted her in restful sleep on my behalf.
I stopped by Mike’s cot of a bed and also let him know of the seriousness and that we were leaving. He was still not fully himself, but he did make sure Charley was going with me and told me to call our friend, an ENT back in Tulsa.
We crawled back into that ambulance (the one with no air conditioning or working siren), flies buzzing everywhere and headed to the other hospital. Jess was 10 years old and much taller than most 10 year old girls but also very tiny in weight, only weighing around 85-90 lbs even though she was already around 5’5″. I looked at her lying there, my baby, the one who just a few hours ago was begging to ride the jet skis and insisting she be the one that rode with Mike on his…..I couldn’t help but think if it had been Steph (who was also begging to ride with Mike), she would have been killed probably instantly because of her height and the way the jet ski was hit. Of course in that moment I thought I was loosing my Jess, and my heart filled with fear and helplessness. I had no faith in the doctors there; there wasn’t even any soap in the hospital bathroom. I wanted an American hospital that could give her what she needed, but I didn’t have a choice since we were in Mexico and at the mercy of what was available.
We arrived at the other hospital within 5-10 min and were met by several men dressed like doctors, but we were not sure what they were. They quickly pulled out her stretcher and started halfway running with her into the hospital. This hospital seemed a bit more modern, but still had that distinct smell of a bad sewer system. They began to motion Charley and me that we could not follow them and pointed us to another area. My heart was in my throat as I thought a million thoughts such as, “What if they let her go to sleep?” Charley and I had worked feverishly to keep her awake and from slipping back into unconsciousness. They had definitely gotten that point across loud and clear that if she fell asleep she might not wake up.
It was probably one of the hardest things as a mom to let these “doctors” take my little girl and tell me I couldn’t follow. I was about to make a scene and insist, but Charley sweetly grabbed my arm and said, “Come on mom let’s go sit down.” I was shaking as we sat there. I know Charley had to have been scared as well, but he was taking over the Mike’s role now and was being so strong for me. It’s a moment special to me and Charley as we sat down and he sort of took over and said, “Mom, we always talk about faith, but now it’s time to practice it.” Then he took my hands and prayed a beautiful prayer of faith. It was a time when all we had was our faith; our trust was not in the hospital or the doctors I can promise!! ALL we had was our faith in God…..that’s when faith is in it’s purest form but also in its most terrifying form. We needed a miracle, and we needed it quickly.
These are pictures of the engagement (two nights before the accident) and some from the hospital.