In mid-May 20 year old Caitlyn traveled down to the Galveston area to visit a friend. The timing seemed perfect as she drove down in her jeep and they also planned to attend the “Topless Jeep Weekend” on Crystal Beach just a ferry ride away. Billed as a giant family and friends weekend where thousands of jeeps and their owners gather together for several days of fun on this 27 mile stretch of beach.
In an instant her life would forever change…..
While standing behind her jeep and getting something out of the back another jeep rolled up behind her. The person behind her put their jeep in park and proceeded to get out.
Once out, their jeep began to roll forward and they quickly jumped in to apply the brakes. They inadvertently hit the accelerator. Unable to stop it from rolling it pinned Caitlyn between the two vehicles.
She suffered many injuries, one being a crushed pelvis which resulted in the loss of her left leg above her knee. She also required a tracheostomy and was ventilator dependent until recently. She has been in the hospital for over 60 plus days with her mom at her bedside. She has also had her 21st birthday during this time.
We were contacted by the case manager about getting her home to Cleveland. The team at the hospital worked very hard to make this happen.
We arrive at her room today and she is surrounded by the staff who have been caring for and loving on her. Her mom Cathy and her aunt Laura are there as well. Laura has flown down to drive back with Cathy. Caitlyn is visibly anxious, she has not been off of the vent very long and and she has to be reminded to focus on her breathing through her trach.
We all do our best to reassure her that she will soon be back home in Cleveland near family and friends. She is holding a bear with a picture of herself that someone has placed in the bear’s arms. Caitlyn is beautiful, with long wavy brown hair, her skin is flawless and her eyes are a gorgeous deep piercing blue, framed by her dark brown rectangular shape glasses.
Cathy and Laura kiss her goodbye and promise to see her soon as we head to the airport. Our ambulance ride is short and exceptionally smooth. We are at the airport in no time. Hal prays for Caitlyn and we gently place her on board Nellie.
As we taxi down the runway I quickly send a picture and a message to her mom that we are Cleveland bound. We do our best to keep her comfortable and calm during her flight as she is still quite anxious. We listened to country music per her request.
As we arrive in Cleveland the sky is overcast and we are on the tail end of the rain as it is passing through. Thankfully, the facility we are going to is only 4 miles away. I once again let her mom and aunt know that we have safely arrived.
I called her Aunt Renee to let her know we are here, she will be meeting us on this end. As we enter her new room we are cheerfully greeted by her nurse Cheryl as she tells Caitlyn, “we have been waiting for you.” She was very upbeat and genuinely happy to be caring for Caitlyn. I told Cheryl that we would like to pray with Caitlyn and she said, “absolutely”.
After I prayed Caitlyn looked up at me with her beautiful eyes and moved her lips saying, “thank-you.”
We proceeded on to the waiting area to meet her family. We were greeted by her grandmother who embraced me and began crying.
She has not seen Caitlyn since before her accident. We also meet her aunt Renee and one of her cousins. These are a group of strong ladies each one with tears streaming down their cheeks as we hug and they thank us for getting their Caitlyn home. I assured them it was our privilege and we thanked them for entrusting her with us for this short time.
Thank you all for prayers in getting her back home to her family where they can be an encouragement to her. Please continue to keep Caitlyn and her family in your regular prayer time. This is a lot for anyone to experience especially a 21 year old young lady. I know her family would appreciate prayers specifically for not only her physical recovery, but for her mental and emotional recovery as well. I did speak with Cathy today to make sure that both she and Laura returned home safely and they did.
BUT NOW, LORD, WHAT DO I LOOK FOR? MY HOPE IS IN YOU
Thank you to Hal and Jason for sharing this mission with me.
May the God of peace and mercy bless each one of you.
Shelli Engle RN