About Me

My photo
Denver, Colorado, United States

Monday, December 26, 2011

Cowgirl Takes A Tumble

"You better believe there will be times in your life when you'll be feeling like a stumbling fool.  So take it from me: you'll learn more from your accident than anything that you could ever learn in school." --- Billy Joel

It's been quite a while since I've done any posting, and for that I apologize...but I have a really good excuse this time.  On Saturday, November 19th, this cowgirl took a pretty serious tumble (see my car above/below) and learned some lessons "the hard way" which I will share with you through a letter I wrote to the Cheyenne Tribune Eagle shortly after my accident.


  I felt compelled to write this letter to thank those who, I am sure, saved my life on Saturday November 19th
  I was driving eastbound on the I80 Frontage road, about 1-2 miles south of TA, when I received an incoming text message.    I, as I’m sure many others do, took just a moment to check the incoming message.  It was just a moment but during that time my SUV began to veer off the road.  Once I noticed what was happening I panicked, overcorrected, and my vehicle tipped and slid, the driver’s side window broke, my left arm dragged approximately 30ft across the pavement before I hit the end of the road and began to roll.  When the vehicle finally stopped it was face up and my waist was stuck between the front seats with my head resting in the back seat (I was not wearing my seatbelt).    I looked over at the blood coming from my left arm and thought to myself “someone better get here soon, or I may not make it”.  Moments later I heard a woman’s voice and she said she used to be an EMT.  She kept me talking and conscious the whole time, and when a male witness approached, she asked him to cut a scarf I had in the vehicle and to tie around my arm to slow the bleeding,   I didn’t see either of their faces or learn their names but they were both with me until the ambulance arrived.  The woman always talking to calm and comfort me and the man holding my right hand, at that moment I felt safe.
  When the ambulance arrived I was removed from the vehicle. The woman briefed them on what she had witnessed and what she had done while we waited.  I was then whisked to Cheyenne Medical Center’s ER before being sent by Life Flight to Swedish Medical Center in Denver.  Upon arriving in Denver I was told that they would do what they could to save my left arm but that the chances of saving it were slim.  As I expected (after all, I had seen my arm for a few brief moments in the vehicle, screamed…and turned my head) the arm could not be saved and had to be amputated just below the shoulder.  The surgeon said I was very lucky, is spite of the severity of the accident I had no other injuries, no head trauma, no back or neck injuries and no internal injuries…just some bruises and road rash.
  I do feel lucky, in spite of losing my arm, and I have learned some very valuable lessons that I would like to pass on. 
     #1  NEVER think that checking/sending a text will just take a moment and won’t hurt anyone.  All I can say is “Thank God”, in my case, no other vehicles were involved and no one else was hurt.
     #2 Always wear a seatbelt.  I was very lucky!  My injuries could have been much more severe, or worse, I could have lost my life.
     #3  There are still kind and selfless people in this world that will do what it takes to help others.  To these people I am eternally grateful.  Thank you for taking time out of your Saturday to help someone else and possibly saving a life.  I can’t thank you enough!
 If either of the people mentioned in this letter would like to contact me, I would be honored to thank you personally. 


A local news station (CBS Channel 5, Cheyenne) saw my letter and asked if I would mind telling my story on January 5th.  My reply was "yes, of course"...if that story results in saving even one life I will consider it a success AND most importantly (to me) I hope that those who stopped to help will finally get their personal "thank you".

7 comments:

  1. So great of you to take your lesson and try to help others, but that is just sooooo like you. <3

    P.S. Thanks for your FB manicure story. I will be sharing that one for a long time. I hope people will actually be able to "snopes" it in the future, because it sounds like an urban legend. ;) Sheri

    ReplyDelete
  2. Christine I had no idea even from your text and Facebook post that you had no seatbelt! The Angels must of been with you the whole time:)
    It is so great your taking your lesson learned and helping others:)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have to say...one of the most humiliating parts of the whole ordeal was having to explain to those fighting to save me (and my arm) how the accident occured. The whole thing could have been prevented with a little self control. Waiting the 10 minutes until I returned home to check my message.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I know I have learned from your "mistake" and definitely think twice before I reach for my phone in the car. I ask myself this simple question...Is my life worth that message/call? I must say, that I always wear my seat belt, once again it's that simple question...Is it worth my life, or my child growing up without his mom? NO!
    Lesson Learned!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Is it ok if I text and fly? I keep telling myself its safer than when driving cause I have three dimensions to work with. Obviously I need a little self honesty too.

    I still can't believe the parallels from the story I witnessed.

    You are an amazing woman

    ReplyDelete
  6. Christine, thank you for sharing your story. I am sure this will help remind so many of us who do the exact same thing. I have said it before and I will say it again....you absolutely amaze me. Love ya, Lisa

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow,I am glad you are ok and survived that. Thank you for posting this, I too am guilty of check a text and then calling the person back. I will now start the habit of phone in car dock and ear bud in to prevent checking texts while driving.

    ReplyDelete