So, as we grow up we go through various level of thinking with regards being "invincible"! let me explain. "That wont happen to me". "I'm not one of those guys".
So, what am I talking about. Let's take riding a motorbike. As a young man I believed that I was in complete control of the machine, I thought that if anything happened I would be able to react fast enough to avoid a collision, falling, whatever. Speed at time of incident became irrelevant - I mean, what's the worst thing that can happen? Then a friend will be in an accident, and for a while I would ride more carefully, for a short while. But then confidence kicks in, and you back to riding it like you stole it.
As you get older, and wiser, you learn to properly read the traffic around you, and to better anticipate the possible / probable actions of them who are driving the chicken coops on our roads. White line up the right side of a row of slow moving / stopped cars, and you watch to see if a) One of them is going to come out into your lane, b) maybe turn off. I keep an eye on the wing mirrors, and watch to see if they see me! I keep an eye on the indicators, in case one of them actually decides to use them. And, I keep a speed that will allow me to stop very suddenly if one of them decides to come out in front of me.
But that's after years, and years of experience. So whats the point of this?
Saturday, 5.30 pm. The Princess and I are on our way to meet with some friends to go out for dinner. On the way I get a frantic call from LuckyL. BA (his best friend, and fellow biker,) has been involved in an accident!! Where I ask? Down Hendrick Potgieter (LIU). Ok, it's kind of on our way. Switch on hazard lights, and instruct the Princess to GO - take no prisoners! We get to the accident in about 4 minutes! But LuckyL overtook us on the way there! he was in his car. As we approached the accident scene, I spot the bike, shoved under through the armco barrier (LIU), and without waiting for the Princess to stop and park, I'm out of the car and running hard to the scene. Two things go through my mind - a) I hope this kid is not dead!1 b) get to him before LuckyL, in case he's badly bust up - don't want LuckyL to suffer any trauma here!!!
So with a quick glance I can see the bike is fucked. Look left, and I see BA lying on the road, paramedics working on him. I drop onto my knees next to him, and start to talk to him. He recognizes my voice, and try's to sit up. Hold him down, and ask him just to respond, and he does. A quick assessment of his lay, and I see serious trauma with his left thumb and pointing finger. The last digit on each is basically gone. They are there, but crushed, and hanging on a thin strip of skin. I cover his hand with mine, so LuckyL does not get a view of this. Holding his other hand, to keep his arm still, I start to talk to the paramedics. What's up here? He has a hole in his side. We want to stop the bleeding. OK. Who took his helmet off? We did, after appropriate checks. OK. How old r u ? asks one of the para's? 17 he says. 18 I say. Are you allergic to anything? No... his responses are good, he is breathing well, but obviously in pain. And getting paler by the minute. I look at the left arm? Funny angle there? Point it out to the para. Quick look - yup, broken. They cut his jacket off before I got there. While we talking to him they cut off his t-shirt, and start to work on the hole in his abdomen - left side. Another para is cutting off his jeans. Quick check on feet, ankles, knees, rhs knee has some road damage, quite deep to. Upper legs, thighs, no further damage, no broken bones. Now the para asks me to let her work on his left hand - with the fucked up fingers. I call out to LuckyL to find out what the fuck happened here!! He's already chatting to the owner of the car that was involved in the accident! Now go find me some witnesses.... He couldn't seem to find anyone who had seen what had happened, except the young guy who was riding with BA, (on his own bike) and who was seriously shaken.
Now they getting ready to load him onto the board. All together, they lift, I keep the board from sliding / moving. Onto the board, quick lift, onto the stretcher, into the ambulance.
The friend gets in too. LuckyL takes his bike and follows the paramedics to the hospital. I take his car for him. In the meantime, the Princess has been onto the phone, to BA's mom and dad. Tell them to meet us at the hospital I shout....
Somewhere during all this, the paramedics asked me if I was BA's dad. No I said, but close enough! Didn't want to explain the relationship, but they appreciated the fact I kept talking to him, keeping him calm (as much as I could). I think the shock he suffered also helped to mask a lot of the pain.
By the time I get to the hospital, they already have him inside, checking him out, and prepping him for X-Rays. get on with it I say, fuck the paperwork. I'll sign if I have to. His mom and dad are on their way. And so they carry on with whatever they needed to do. When his parents arrive, I am outside, and LuckyL comes running out - "Dad, come quick, his mom has gone ballistic!!"
Seems she walked in, down the row of casualty beds, ripping open curtains and shouting "where's my son?" As expected - a Mom in shock with the news she received. I get to her as they are giving her the paperwork to complete, and she rips into me - man, all I could do was absorb the tirade that she threw out there - I fully knew where she was coming from, and accepted it.
Turning to BA's dad, I quickly gave him the update I had. I had spoken to the para outside.
Hole in the side. 2 fucked up finger tips. Broken left arm. Possible internal bleeding (he was very pale - sign of bleeding) and possible cracked, fractured pelvis. Otherwise he's fine......
he was clam, (I know him like that) and apologised for his wife ripping into me (no problem I said).
Then I left, the Princess had arrived with our friends whom she had gone back for, and we went to dinner.
Here is a summary of the events since Saturday - 6.30pm......
Doctors were looking him over, x-rays didn't show up much. At some point the doctor told his dad that he was now critical, they were not sure he would make it. They didn't know what was causing the deterioration in his condition. Then they went in! And found that his spleen was shattered! They removed it, sorted out the hole in his left side, and moved him into ICU. During the op they had to give him 4 units of blood, that was how much he had bled out!
ICU was not an easy trip for him or his parents. Sunday came and went, with him regaining consciousness every now and then, asking confuse, where he was and what had happened, his dad explaining it all to him, him getting agitated, blood pressure and pulse rate going through the roof, and then passing out again. His dad says he had to repeat the story of the accident probably 15 times between Sunday evening and Monday night! During this time they had him heavily sedated, and on morphine, probably explains his situation.
Tuesday evening the Princess calls his mom to ask if the boys (LuckyL and DK - the boy who was riding with BA) can go and visit BA. Initially she said no, as he was still very confused, easily agitated, and they needed him to stay calm so as to get well enough to have the second operation - this to fix his broken arm, and sort out the fingers. Then, about 5 minutes later she called and said, "Stuff it, let them come - if he gets agitated they just need to leave". So I took the boys through. We met BA's mom and dad at the hospital. At 7.30pm they went in to see him, told him the boys were there, and wanted to see him. When his dad came out, I could see that there was good news. He told us that he could not believe the improvement in BA from that morning, and said he was very keen to see the boys. So LuckyL went in first, then BA's mom came out, and DK went in too. A while later, me and BA's dad went in. I didn't want to, but BA's mom said "You have to go in! You are his biker DAD, and he sees you as his biking mentor!" OK, so I went in. Had a chat with him, and saw that he's definitely looking much better than expected. He was looking a bit sheepish when he saw me, maybe a bit embarrassed, but hey, he's alive, and I told him that was all that mattered.
Out side again, and his mom asked that as soon as he's out of hospital, I must come and fetch him to go for a ride on the bike!!! On the back with me that is. She wants to make sure he does not have a fear of riding, as loss of confidence in this, can have an extended affect on him. Makes sense. If you fall off a horse, get straight back on again! So I agreed. No problem. His dad did add that he wont be comfortable to get him another biuke again immediately, as if something else had to happen, he would not be able to live with himself, but he also acknowledged that BA will, one day, get another bike. He knows the boy loves riding, but hopes he will wait a few years till he's a bit more grown up, and mature.
Anyway, apart from all this, he is going to miss his matric final exams. He will have to write them next year when the others write their supplementary exams. A big pity, as he's a straight A student - 7 A's!!!! In fact, his Grade 11 final marks were so good that when he applied to Pretoria University to study Chemical Engineering, thay accepted him without him having to sit their "compulsory capability" exam!!! Oh well, it means he will have a gap year. Probably not a bad thing.
So, spleen removed, hole in his side repaired, broken left shoulder blade, cracked pelvis, broken left arm, hole in right knee, left thumb and pointing fingers, first digits to be amputated, left lung bruised, and has a light infection... some few scratches here and there, and some bruises...... But he's alive, and will recover.
I will post some photos later tonight. I have them on my personal laptop.
Cheers for now