This morning, I cried as I watched Good Morning America. The story was about a little boy, just two years old, who had been in a terrible car accident. Click the link if you missed the story. Though mostly the tears were out of happiness because the story has a happy ending, they were also tears of understanding for the parents of that little guy and for some of what they had to endure in the hours immediately after the accident. And one thing that Dr. Richard Besser said, which prompted this post, was that two things (besides the obvious pain-staking work by incredible doctors) saved that boy's life: his car seat and the rescue workers who kept his head and neck secure.
In 2004, my husband, my two daughters and I had just experienced a fun-filled day at an outdoor concert.
Later that day, we were in a fatal car accident. A driver with a blood alcohol content of over twice the legal limit smashed into our Jeep. That driver and two of his three passengers were killed.
My girls were 7 and 4 years old. According to Michigan law at the time, Lilienne was still required to be in a car seat, but Genevieve no longer needed one. But guidelines suggested otherwise, and so we still used one for her as well. Aside from Genevieve's broken arm, the girls did not suffer serious injuries. Police officers at the scene said the car seats made a difference.
Rescue workers arrived at the scene within minutes. They were efficient, calm, and caring. They were also cautious and thorough. Both Genevieve and I ended up strapped to boards. Poor G was on hers for nearly 7 hours, but I appreciate the concern that the paramedics took to make sure she did not suffer a neck or spinal injury. The 7 hours were very long for her, but short compared to a lifetime of paralysis.
So sometimes, I get a little mushy and dramatic. But I know that it is thanks to car seats and rescue workers that I have two beautiful and wonderful reasons to be thankful and joyous this holiday season.