My son Trammell was paralyzed from the waist down at age of 14. Only a year and 5 weeks after his Dad developed server brain damage from being dead for an hour and twenty minutes due to Cardiac Arrest at the young age of 49.
We were just beginning to get a grip on our new life when our world was turned upside down again.
It was Super Bowl Sunday of 08, around 4pm when Trammell ran up the stairs of our Summerville townhouse to straighten up his game room. Getting it ready for his friends to come over and watch the game.
I was in the next room changing his Dad’s diaper.
Trammell stepped into the bathroom, which was across the hall from where his Did and I were.
As I was finishing with the diaper change, Trammell yelled out, “Mom, I can’t feel my legs!”
Having no idea what was actually happening to our precious son, I yelled back, “Are they asleep?”
“No!” He said as I could now hear panic in his voice. Then he said, “My Back!! My Back Hurts!”
I yelled, “Wait a minute and I’ll get you some Tylenol.” Still not having a clue of what was going on.
I quickly finished changing David’s diaper and cleaned up when I stepped into the hallway where Trammell was now laying in the floor.
It was at that second that I knew something was horribly wrong.
As I looked up I could see through the window at the end of the hall, our neighbors walking to their car. They were heading to a family Super Bowl party. I ran and raised the window and yelled, “Help!! I Need Help! Something’s wrong with Trammell!!”
I then ran down stairs to unlocked the door. I ran back upstairs as they followed.
Poor Trammell had literally dragged himself down the hall and was trying to get down the stairs.
Our friends helped him as I ran up to get David dressed and out of bed, down the stairs and to the car where they had put Trammell in the front seat.
When I look back on all this I keep asking myself WHY Did I not call 911? Was it because of the chaos they and caused months earlier when we had called the for David when he passed out in the shower and busted his head? Was it the outrageous bill they had sent us after that? Or was it the fact that I got all this done quicker than having to wait for them to get there? Or was I just not thinking clearly?
Never the less, all this took a matter of only about 10 minutes. I drove to the nearest hospital which was only 5 minutes away. It was a small local hospital. I pulled up in front, jumped out and ran in the door and up to the desk.
I know the lady heard the panic in my voice as I said, “I Need Help! Something it wrong with my son. He can’t walk!”
She yelled for help and in a second 3 people came running up to me with a wheelchair. They followed me out to our Lincoln Navigator parked at the front door.
They quickly realized that a wheelchair was not going to work as one of them ran back inside to grab a gurney.
They got Trammell out and rushed him inside as I got David out, took him in and sat him down. I asked the lady at the desk if she’d watch him while I went to park our car.
As I ran back inside the hospital a nurse was looking for me. As we quickly walked back to the ER she was telling me they had an ambulance coming to rush Trammell to The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC).
I still remember the numb, disbelief feeling I had as she said, your son is paralyzed and we need to get him to MUSC as soon as possible.
As she and I entered the area where they had taken Trammell, the doctor was standing there beside him. He was saying the same thing to me as the nurse had just told me but at the same time he was rolling Trammell to him side to reveal something that made the nurse and me both gasp.
Something neither of us had ever seen.
Trammell’s skin on his hips looked like it had melted. Everything was just hanging limp.
We could literally see the muscles inside his body.
Everything from his waist down was paralyzed.
I’ll never forget the fear in Trammell’s voice as he was asking, “What is it?”
What would make us react like that.
I didn’t know what to say. I just said calmly, “It’s OK Trammell. Everything’s going to be OK.”
The ambulance was there in no time and began getting him ready for transfer.
I ran to the front and out to the parking lot, got our SUV, pulled back up to the door, ran back inside and got David, thanking the lady at the front desk for watching him, as we walked by then got him outside and loaded up.
We drove towards downtown Charleston.
Keep in mind that this was before we had anything like GPS or Google maps. It was just me trying to figure out where in the world MUSC was. I found myself sitting at a red light, lost with the sun going down.
I looked over at David, his blank stare leading me to believe he had no idea of the tragedy our family was facing at that moment.
I then noticed out David’s window, a lady in the car beside us. I hit the button and rolled his window down as I honked the horn. To my relief the woman rolled down her window.
I shouted, “Our son’s just been paralyzed and is being rushed to MUSC! I am so lost! Can you tell me which way to go?”
She then said the two most precious words.
Even now, as I write this, tears begin to flow.
She lead us straight to the Emergency Room Door. I don’t know who that lady was but I know one thing, she was one of those people I call an “Angel on Earth.”