Emily’s wedding was absolutely gorgeous, and went SO well. She was a beautiful bride, and I had so much fun doing all the flowers and being a bridesmaid. I love my Rumley (and now Stauch) sisters!
We planned to return to GR after the wedding on Saturday so we could be at our church on Sunday. We were so exhausted when we got home around midnight and couldn’t wait to sleep in our own beds. But as soon as we opened the door, the phone rang. It was bad news.
This may be something that only deer hunters (or their children) can relate to, but my dad had been wanting to hunt from a certain spot on my grandparents’ property (across the street from my parents’ house). The only problem was that the trees there wouldn’t support a tree stand. So, on Saturday evening he and Karl (my brother-in-law) were working on setting a 35-foot telephone pole (in a hole in the ground), so he could mount a tree stand on that. My dad was on the tractor, and Karl was on the ground. Something happened, and the 300ish-pound telephone pole cracked in half and fell on my dad’s head. I am heartbroken that Karl had to experience that, but I praise God that Karl was there. He pulled my dad off the tractor and ran until he could get a signal on his cell phone to call 911.
My dad was taken to Mercy Hospital in Cadillac, and the ER doctor knew what needed to happen, but they didn’t have the equipment/facilities to do it. It was up in the air as to whether he’d even stay alive on the 20-minute helicopter flight from Cadillac to Traverse City. He did live, and they did immediate brain surgery because he had developed a massive hematoma (blood clot) that was pushing aside his brain and affecting his brain stem. Praise the Lord – the doctor pulled back his scalp and was able to just lift out a fragment of his skull and scoop out the hematoma, which was much quicker/easier than having to drill/cut to get in there.
Still, the phone calls we received told us to hurry up to Traverse City, because they didn’t think he’d make it. (Most patients with injuries this severe do not live, and if they do, it’s in a vegetative state.) So, we packed back up and left, thinking we’d be attending my dad’s funeral this week. It was devastating.
We were able to see him after we arrived at the hospital around 3:30am. He looks pretty bad. But this morning they did a CT scan, and were happy to find that he did not suffer a stroke like they feared. Also, his brain stem is back in place, his brain is working on getting back in place, and the swelling is going down. They tried to wake him, but he did not open his eyes (which is typical of head trauma patients). However, he did respond voluntarily to the doctors a little bit, which is incredibly promising.
It was so hard to be in the room and watch the doctor yell, “David, your family is here. David, open your eyes. Open your eyes, David.” And he didn’t. All I wanted in the world at that moment was for him to open his eyes, but he didn’t.
We are encouraged by his progress, and so blessed by the many people (family, friends, and people we don’t even know) who are praying for him. Praise the Lord for the progress we’ve seen. Please continue to keep him in your prayers, and pray for my mom and Karl (and the rest of us). I will be up in Manton/Traverse City this week, and Luke is coming back to GR. We’ll try to keep updating so you know how to pray.