Monday, April 19, 2010

A morning I'll never forget...

EDITED TO ADD: Yesterday evening I learned that the woman is in the hospital, still in and out of consciousness. Her kids are staying with their aunt, so sounds like everyone is being looked after... Here's hoping everything turns out OK!

Not sure where to start, only that my mind is on overdrive and I can't stop thinking about this morning. The first time in my life I called 911. Not sure I have ever been so scared or at a loss before either.

I took Kid #1 to school this morning and noticed an SUV parked near an intersection in my neighborhood. This is nothing new as this is a bus stop and parents often park on the curb to wait with their kids. Never saw this vehicle there before though, and as I drove past, I saw that the driver, a woman had her head down as though looking at something in her lap and there were kids in the back seat. I thought a cell phone or something. The way her head was bowed struck me as odd, but I kept driving, dropped off my daughter at school (2 miles away) and then drove back into the neighborhood.

The car was still there, and as I passed, I saw that the woman's head was still bowed. It wasn't right. I knew it. I stopped in the middle of the road and sat there for a second, looking in my rear view mirror. I'm not nosey. I mind my own business. I don't like to get involved. I mean, what if she was just texting or something? But I sat there thinking she might be in trouble. The way her head was bowed. It was too odd. Too...inanimate. What if she is in trouble? Then I thought, if that was me, I'd want someone to help me.

So, I put the car in reverse and parked on the curb in front of her car and got out, leaving my son in the car seat and telling him I'd be right back. As I walked up to the car, I started shaking. Her car was still running. There were two little girls I could see climbing around out of their seats. I unclip my cell. The way her head was bowed... Was. Not. Right. When I got to her window I saw she was out. Pale. Sweaty. It crossed my mind that she might be gone. I knocked on her window. Nothing. No response. I called 911.

For a second, I didn't know what to say to the operator, or where I was standing. I floundered, but then glanced up at the road signs and just repeated, told them there was a woman in a running vehicle passed out with two kids in the back.

Then I hung up. I kept thinking what if she is dying? What do I do? What do I do?! My legs were trembling so bad. I went around to the passenger side, took a deep breath, and tried the door. It opened. The woman looked the same from the other side -- no wounds or blood. The girls, I guess between 3-5 had been going through their mom's purse, putting on her make-up and had lipstick on. I put on my friendly Mommy voice, said hello to them, told them it was okay. I called out to the mom. Nothing. I asked them what had happened to their mom. They told me she was "sleeping."

I ran back to her side, opened her door, and shook her shoulder, calling out to her, and wondering why the police weren't there yet. Finally, she lifted her head just a fraction, her eyes came open, rolled, and then she passed out again. All I could think was THANK GOD, she is alive. Then, I started wondering what I should do keep her that way, but just then two police cars flew passed the intersection and didn't see us. I ran into the intersection, behind them waving my arms. I called 911 again (and I'll admit I was a tiny bit panicking at this point). The operator said she'd tell them to turn around.

I ran back to the car and told her and her kids that it would be okay, that someone was coming to help. I have no idea if she could hear me or not. I told the girls that Mommy was going to be okay, and then the police were there, like a swarm. Four of them. I have no idea what I said, but I stepped back, went to check on my son, got him out of the car and held him. And waited. Legs still shaking and trying not to cry.

They talked to her. She lifted her head once and then was out cold again. Two of the other officers got the girls back into their seats, gave them teddy bears, and the ambulance was on its way. One of the offcers ask me a few questions, took down my info, and then I left.

And now I'm home, and I keep tearing up. I keep wondering if she'll be okay. And I can't help but think about if I kept driving. If I'd passed by like a ton of other cars did (and as I did the first time by), what would have happened to her in that car? I think she knew she was in trouble, because she had the sense to pull against the curb and put the car in park.

Anyway, that was my morning. And I can't stop thinking about her, how precious life is, and how one single moment can change everything. :-/

16 comments:

Mike said...

WOW!

'Nuff said.

Mike

SJDuvall said...

I think the point is that you did stop. And you did all in your power to get her help. No matter what was wrong with her or what happens to her, you did what you could. I know it's hard to see people in trouble and in pain. But I really think you should be happy that you are the one that stopped when no one else did.

Sara McClung ♥ said...

Wow, Kelly. I'm so happy you stopped and checked, you really could have saved her life this morning!! I feel a little shaky after reading this, so I can only imagine how you're feeling right now.

Is there any way to call and find out how she's doing?

Kelly Gay said...

I'd like to think that if other people driving by had actually looked over at her, they would've stopped, too. A lot of lucky factors came into play. I left my house later than normal, if she made made a right and parked instead of a left, etc...

I have no idea how to find out if she's okay or what was happening to her. I'm guessing no one would release info to me?? I'm just glad it all unfolded as it did, and the timing worked out for someone to find her. I just hope now she'll be all right.

Can tell you all I was SCARED. Being a creative minded person, all sorts of things were firing in my brain within the span of a second. I can only imagine how scared she must've been, knowing her two kids were there with her and not being able to stay conscious enough to even call for help.

Melissa Carmichael said...

She and her children are blessed that you did stop. You did what you could. You should feel good about that. You just may have saved a life this morning.

Kasey Mackenzie said...

Oh my goodness, thank God for good Samaritans like you! I've had to call 911 a couple times before and it's always a nerve-wracking experience. *hugs* You did good! You really really did.

Susan Adrian said...

ACK.

Well done, Kelly. You may have saved her life by intervening.

((((HUGS))))

Kelly Gay said...

Well, thanks. I know I did the right thing, but feel kind of guilty b/c I almost talked myself out of checking. One thing not to underestimate is your gut feeling. This was one of those cases where it was SHOUTING at me. I think this has really taught me not to second guess myself all the time like I usually do...

John said...

Did you get the name of any of the officers that were there? I'm sure if you contacted one of them they would give you some update, or at the very least let you know if she's okay.

This definitely shows how important it is that we slow down and observe the world around is.

Zia said...

Oh how incredibly traumatic for all involved. You did an amazing thing stopping to help her. I hope all turns out well for her.

jacabur1 said...

Kelly chalk this day up to one good deed that will stay with you for the rest of your life!!! Thank you for stopping, thank you for listening to your instinct that something was wrong!! 2 small children would have been in the vehicle with maybe a passed away Mom if you had passed on by again and not stopped. Like John said in his comment there should be a way you can find out her status through the officers who responded, at least something surely so you can relax and stop worrying. Take a deep breath and know that you are one of our "unsung heroes", just an everyday person who managed to help someone in dire need just for the sake of helping!! I am proud of you as are all your fans and thanks for sharing this poignant happening with us..

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Demon Hunter said...

Wow, glad you stopped to help, Kelly. Imagine if no one did. You're a hero. ;-) Really.

Mardel said...

Wow. I keep thinking, the car was running. What if the kids had climbed in the fron and shifted the car into drive after getting bored with playing in mom's purse. The other thing that amazes me is that they could be so calm and just play. Kids are great like that.

It's good you stopped. A lot of us would have hesitated the first pass and even the second, but you did the right thing and stopped. Good for you.

I wonder if she was a diabetic. Cold, clammy, pale, and out of it. Sounds like too much insulin. of course there's so many things it could have been, but the fact that she was trying to open her eyes is a good sign.

Moonsanity said...

Wow, I cannot imagine. I agree that diabetes could have been the problem. It's amazing that she was able to pull over. You have to love kids though-- mommy's sleeping, let's put on her make-up:) It kept them busy and they didn't try getting out of the car, which is such a good thing.

I would have been shaking just like you. You know, it's good to be cautious and not jump into a situation too quickly. You DID notice and did make a difference:) {{{HUGS}}}

jlynch said...

Kelly, I don't know if diabetes was a factor in this woman's collapse but as a person with several diabetics in my family, I applaud your decision to stop and investigate. You add grace to our community.

jacabur1 said...

Thanks for the "Update" Kelly hope that makes your mind rest easier!!!

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