Tuesday, December 22, 2009
The last two years have been varied and challenging, and we have had to make many changes in our lives. In 2008, I lived in our home for just eight days before leaving for a temple installation in St. George Utah. On the trip back to Salt Lake, about half way home, our driver fell asleep on the freeway and rolled our van. I was taken by ambulance to Fillmore, Utah and then flown by Life Flight to the new IMC hospital in Murray, Utah where I spent nine days in a coma.
When they woke me up, I was informed that they were going to amputate my leg. I said "No you’re not," to which they replied "You can keep your leg and be laid in the grave with it in two days, or lose your leg and save your life." Due to some divine intervention, I allowed them to take my left leg above the knee which saved my life. I spent a total of five months in 2 hospitals, and finally got to be reunited with my family. I could not return to our 2 story home, so we moved to an apartment in downtown Salt Lake where we lived for seven months. In late July, I started physical therapy and the process of getting back to work. I started working 10 hours a week, and going to physical therapy three times a week to see if I’d be able to walk again. After 10 months of physical therapy, it became very obvious that walking would probably not be an option for me. I had severe nerve damage in my right leg, which means that not all the muscles fire. I do not have sensation in most my foot and ½ my leg, which makes it very hard to walk and I don’t have the strength. I now get around in a wheelchair.
When I was getting ready to leave the rehab hospital, we realized our two story home of 16 years would not work anymore. In June 2008, we started the process of getting it ready for sell. By late July we listed it. Unfortunately, it was a terrible real estate market. After 7 months and greatly lowering our price, we sold our home. We had found a really nice one story home in Lehi, Utah. It is quiet and peaceful and I can get around with wide doorways and halls. I commute on the Express Bus to Salt Lake about 30 miles away.
Our youngest daughter Mary has just a finished her 2 year degree from BYU-Idaho and will be with us for a little while. Shawn our oldest boy is living here with us and is a great help to me. Barbara still struggles with her migraines’ but is getting out and doing things around the home. She loves to go to Thanksgiving Point Gardens which we live next to. Our daughter Nicole moved back to Utah recently, and we love to see her, Taylor and our granddaughter Rosie. Our son Jacob lives in Sandy and is going to school full time in Mechanical Engineering.Here’s wishing you a Merry Christmas, which to me this is correct thing to say this holiday season, and a happy New Year in 2010.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
The whole family together.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Recent News! We've sold our home in Murray, Bought our Lehi digs and am weeks away from going back to work Full time.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Hi there...David's daughter Nicole checking in. I just wanted to share the post I put on my blog today. What an amazing year it's been.
One Year Since The Gaping Jaws of Death
Some people's heroes are religious, political, historical, or celebrity. But some of the most influential heroes are those that directly impact your life. In my life, my hero is my father, David Eugene Watson.Dad and I have always been very close. He is full of love, guidance, humor, and spirituality. I love to spend time with my parents, and it's been hard to move further than 20 minutes away from Murray. This picture of us was taken in April 2007 at the SLC airport. He was kind enough to bring my beloved Cafe Rio pork barbacoa salad to the airport on my 2 hour layover so we could chat. It was really hard on him when I moved away from Utah. Little did I know that when I moved to Michigan, I'd be seeing him more than ever...
On January 11, 2008, my dad was returning to Salt Lake from St. George in a van with some of his coworkers in the LDS Church Audiovisual Engineering Department. In central Utah, near Fillmore, the driver of the van fell asleep, was startled awake then over corrected. The van tumbled off I-15 and rolled several times through a field. The driver sustained a shoulder injury and needed some plastic surgery from the shattered glass. The front passenger had minor cuts and bruises. My father was nearly killed from the impact of the crash and subsequent rolling. He had a giant abdominal gash from the seat belt, a lung injury, major contusions all over his body, and his legs were crushed under the weight of his body, particularly his left leg. He was briefly taken to Fillmore Hospital, and soon Life Flighted to Salt Lake City and rushed by ambulance to Intermountain Medical Center in Murray. My mom alerted me of the accident that evening, less than a week after arriving in Michigan. Rosie and I packed up our bags and took the earliest available flight to SLC. Once I arrived, I was appointed as the family representative to talk to all the surgeons, doctors, nurses, respiratory techs, and hospital workers...and then relay the information to my family.
His first surgery was overnight with an orthopedic surgeon, vascular surgeon, and general surgeon. They did a saphenous vein graft from his other leg to restore bloodflow to his crushed leg. After nine hours, they were able to restore bloodflow to the left leg. However, his body was in shock and had endured so much trauma that he was medicated into a chemically-induced coma.
Over the next few days, several more surgeries were required. Unfortunately, the trauma of the crush wound and the extended hours without blood supply was too severe and his left leg was amputated. It was originally expected to be amputated just below the knee, but the necrosis had spread further up, and the amputation was done just above the knee.
In order to keep friends and family informed, I started a blog for his health updates. News of my dad's accident spread like wildfire, even internationally. We were the recipient of thousands of prayers, hundreds of service hours, and dozens of meals and cards.
Throughout the next two weeks after the surgery, his condition improved. He was doted on by many loving people, in addition to the wonderful staff at IMC. On my 28th birthday, February 5th, dad "graduated" from IMC and was transferred to Aspen Ridge Transitional Rehab. This would become his home for the next four months.
Rosie and I traveled back and forth from Detroit as much as possible to encourage him through his recovery. It was difficult to be away from him all the time, but a blessing to have our pass benefits to travel to SLC for free whenever we needed to.
Dad made incredible progress at Aspen Ridge. He had hundreds of hours of physical and occupational therapy.
Taylor loved to fly out to SLC as often as possible to be my dad's right hand man. There's a saying about girls wanting to marry men like their fathers...let's just say they get along amazingly.
Dad was fitted with a prosthetic C-Leg, and spent the majority of his physical therapy time adjusting to the function of the prosthetic. Unfortunately, his right leg had sustained more damage from the accident than originally anticipated, so he spends the majority of time getting around in his wheelchair.
In June, Dad graduated from Aspen Ridge, and my family moved an apartment in downtown Salt Lake. It became their home for the next six months. Dad was fitted with hand controls on the van, and was able to start driving and returning to work.
This picture was taken on my last trip at Christmas at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, just one week before they moved out of the apartment and into a new home in Lehi. It was a great night, going around to see the lights at Temple Square as a family. It amazed me that I was able to visit him 9 times in 2008, when I'd originally expected to see him every 3-4 months. Hopefully his recovery will continue, and he'll be up for a visit to our new home in Atlanta!
He still has a hard road ahead of him, but I am amazed at the progress he's made in the last year. He has kept his sweet soul and has not allowed the tragedy that he faced to ruin his spirit. He was been an inspiration to many, and I'm so lucky that I can claim him as my own father.