3 years ago 33 year old Elliott had finally gotten his dream job. Along with 2 of his friends ( 1 who also had a recent job change and the other recently passed his bar exam ) went out for an evening to celebrate.
It was on this night that he decided to try his hand on the mechanical bull. After only being on a hot second he was thrown from it and upon landing, he twisted his neck. He remembers the entire event, never losing consciousness, he said within seconds he began to sense all feeling leaving his body. Thankfully there were several other friends around who were nurses and they acted quickly waiting with him for the ambulance that would rush him to the hospital.
His diagnosis, an incomplete quadriplegic. Thank goodness he still has some gross movement of his upper extremities. He has also been blessed with an amazingly supportive family. The home where he grew up with his parents and older brother had an unfinished basement. His parents brought in an architect who not only designed and finished the basement to accommodate his needs but he was also able to put in an elevator. The elevator opens to the main floor as well as directly into the garage.
Now, back to his new dream job where he had only worked for a week, they have been very generous. They gave him a weekly paycheck for an entire year as well as health insurance. Since then he was able to begin working for them again on a part time basis and they have even come to his home to hold meetings on occasion. He recently was able to obtain his handicap driver’s license with the hope of driving himself to and from work.
Unfortunately he has begun to experience some uncontrollable pain. This has caused many trips to the emergency room. He now has an opportunity to be seen at Craig Hospital in Denver where they specialize in spinal cord injuries such as his. He will have a 3 day evaluation to determine if they may be able to help him.
We arrive at his beautiful home to meet him, his mom Karen and his older brother. His father Dennis left yesterday to drive to Denver since they do not know yet how long they may be staying.
Elliott is a handsome young man with a 5 o’clock shadow and black rimmed glasses. With the help of his brother we gently load him up, careful not to cause any increase in his pain. His mom will be flying with us. Knowing that they would have a lot to keep track of I went ahead and gave her the cross, bible and book “Answering the Call” that every patient gets. She decided that she would like to take the book with them.
al prays for Elliott as we prepare to load onto Nellie. We had great conversation with Elliott and Karen during our flight. She is a retired physical therapist and he has both a niece and a nephew that are crazy about him. He loves his family and it is evident how close they are.
We asked him how he did immediately after the accident. His reply, ” I was trying to decide if I should go on to my brothers house or ride the mechanical bull that evening. I made the wrong choice.” He went on to say, ” For a short time I felt sorry for myself and then I quickly moved past that, realizing this is now my life and I need to move forward.”
The time went quickly during our flight and we arrived in Denver where the ambulance was waiting. We went directly to Craig where Dennis was waiting for us in a small 2 bedroom suite provided by the hospital.
We prayed with the family and I promised to check on them to see how things were going.
A short 3 days later, on Thursday morning I called to speak with Karen. Great news they are going to do surgery on Tuesday the 18th in hope of alleviating the pain that Elliott is having. There is a 50/50 chance that it will help. He will need to stay for a few weeks afterward to be evaluated. Karen also said that Dennis has already read “Answering the Call” and she can’t wait to read it herself.
I asked her to please call on Tuesday after the surgery. If you would please remember to lift Elliott up in your prayers that this surgery would be a success I know he and his family would be grateful.
“HE WILL WIPE EVERY TEAR FROM THEIR EYES. THERE WILL BE NO MORE DEATH OR MOURNING OR CRYING OR PAIN, FOR THE OLD ORDER OF THINGS HAS PASSED AWAY.”
Thank you to Hal and Jason for sharing this mission with me.
Shelli Engle RN