I've never been in a motor vehicle accident; until now.

Sure, I've had my share of scrapes and near misses – I'm a country boy. I've been hit four times by vehicles while rollerblading. I've wiped out on motorbikes, three-wheelers, and quads. I've given myself road-rash from falling off bikes and horses. As a young man, the endless list of bruises, cuts, and concussions, were caused from a lifetime of taking chances, and pushing the envelope in the pursuit of “a good time”.

I can now add being T-Boned by another vehicle to my list of injuries.

On May 23rd, 2014, I was riding shotgun with my life-long, best friend, Diane. We were heading South, in the city of St. Thomas, checking out my new surroundings, and enjoying a relaxing conversation. I have recently moved to London, Ontario, and I am fascinated by the positive energy, the rich history, and the magnitude of opportunities, my new home offers.

What happened next, is something I will remember for the rest of my life.

As we approached the intersection, Diane came to a stop at the red light. She picked up a small slip of paper, looked at the address of the person we were on our way to see, replaced the slip of paper in the console, and turned her attention back to the road. That's when I seen a Ford Flex, approaching the intersection on the right – 90 degrees, on the outside lane. The vehicle is exactly the same as the one my mother owns, and I turned to Diane and said, That looks like my mom's car. I think those mini-hearses are ugly”. I turned my attention back to the road, and our traffic-light turned green, and Diane began to proceed through the intersection. Out of the corner of my eye, I seen the silver and white vehicle, barrel through the red light, and I yelled out, “Whoa!!!”, as I braced myself.

The next thing I remember, was the Paramedics talking to me. They helped me out of the vehicle, and strapped me to a back-board, with a neck restraint. I barely remember the Ambulance ride to the St. Thomas hospital. I was in shock. Every bump, sent jolts of flashing pain up my spine. My head throbbed from the impact of hitting the door frame, and I could feel my pulse behind my eyes; light, and sound caused me pain. I was scared, and alone in a city I've never been in.

I heard the Paramedics on the radio, “Dispatch, we're inbound with one, forty-year old male. ETA five minutes. BP 138 over 82, patient is conscious, with head and neck injuries.  Possible concussion.” He stands over me, and I barely hear him explain, “Joseph, I'm going to try and insert an IV. Joseph, can you hear me?”

I faded.

He repeats my name, and through the fog, I try not to shake or cry, “I'm ok. I'm sorry”. I can't stop shaking. Every bump is like a hammer to my skull. I can't help but cry out in pain.

“It's ok, Joseph. We're almost there”, he keeps reassuring me. I can barely feel the needle being stabbed into my hand, as he curses, “Shit. I'm sorry Joseph, but your vein just collapsed on me”. I hear him back on the radio, “Dispatch, I've got a problem. Patient's BP is dropping, and I can't start IV”.  He stands back over me, “OK Joseph, we're going to wait until we're out of the Ambulance to start your IV”. He keeps flashing a light in my eyes, checking to see if they dilate.

I swear the driver is hitting as many potholes as possible. I feel like I'm falling backwards. My mind swims from pain.

I have a hard time remembering being admitted to the hospital. I didn't bring my wallet, and my Health Card. My records are not on file; administration struggles to figure out who I am. They push me into emergency, and I'm surrounded by all sorts of medical personnel.  They finally get an IV inserted into my arm, and administer a dose of Gravol, and Morphine. They cut off my shirt, and stick all sorts of electrode pads on my chest, and hook me up to some sort of machine that beeps and chirps. The Morphine begins to take effect.

I relax.

Within minutes, I'm in the X-ray room, and a very attractive technician talks me through several poses. She frowns, “We can't seem to get a good picture of your neck, Joseph. Have you ever had a CT scan before?”

“No”, I mumble. “A CT scan? What for?”, I ask.

She smiles; I remember thinking to myself, that were I not flat on my back, I needed to get this woman's phone number. “We really need to check and see if there is any nerve damage”, she explains. I nod, unsure of what this entails.

The machine is something out of the movies. In my drug-induced stupor, I giggle, “Guess we get to find out the truth”.

She raises an eyebrow inquisitively, “Find out what?”

“If I have a brain”, I smile. She doesn't seem amused. Not sure why, I added, “Is it possible to get a copy of my brain scan for Facebook?” She is still not amused.

“No”, she says flatly.

The CT scan is pretty neat. I want to close my eyes so badly, but, instead keep them open to watch, as I move back and forth in this giant circular machine, as it whirs and swirls. Quickly, it's over, and I'm ushered back to Emergency.

A Police officer comes in, and tries to ask me if I could provide a statement. I told him I would, but, I really needed to see how Diane was. I kept asking to see her, and kept getting denied. I'm told she is fine, but, was getting frustrated that she wasn't being allowed in my room. I suddenly realized why; only family is allowed in Emergency. So, when the next nurse comes in, I ask for another dose of pain medication, and to see Diane.

The nurse looks at me, “There's a woman in the waiting room asking to see you. Is that your wife?”, she asks.

“Yes”, I blurt out, “Can she come see me, please?” Within minutes, Diane enters the room. I immediately feel better, to see a friendly face. We talk; the accident, our condition, and the cute X-Ray technician. “Come on wing-man, get her number for me, please?”

Diane throws her head back and laughs, “Well, at least we know you're alright!” Then she begins to ask me what I remember, and that's when I realized I had lost conscientiousness when I slammed into the door-frame. She explains that as soon as our vehicle skidded to a stop after crossing three lanes of traffic, she rushed over to my side of the vehicle, “Do you remember me asking if you were injured?”


“Do you remember asking me if it was our fault?”


Diane assured me, “We had the right-of-way. The light was still green when I opened your door”.

I had to ask, “How was the other driver?”

“He's fine”.

Sighing in relief, I queried, “How bad is the van?”

Diane winced, “Pretty sure it's a write-off”, she concluded.

Soon after, the Doctor entered the room. “Well Joseph, the good news is, there is no broken bones or nerve damage, however, you have serious soft tissue damage”, he explained.

Four hours after the accident, I was released from the hospital.

I can walk; slowly. I can't lift anything of significant mass. Many of the plans I've made are going to have to wait, until I recover a bit more.

I realize things could have been much worse; one second would have made a difference – The door would have been pushed in on me, with catastrophic consequences. The two lanes of on-coming traffic were empty; had another vehicle been in the intersection, it would have caused a major accident, resulting in others being injured, or worse.

I also know that I had a couple of Guardian Angels watching over me.............


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Anonymous said…
"I also know that I had a couple of Guardian Angels watching over me" well said


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