December 6th, 4 days ago at lunchtime, my 21 yr old son Evan Crocker was driving and saw the car in front of him spin out of control and off the road. He pulled over immediately to help this woman, it was raining hard. Details are unclear, but Evan was outside his vehicle when another car had a spinout in the same spot, plowing into Evan and crushing him in between the 2 cars.
His injuries coming in were extensive, he was not expected to make it to the hospital alive. His legs were crushed between the two cars, below the knees at the calves. Both legs have multiple compound breaks, the right femur also compound which caused him to essentially bleed out twice. The 1st Responders had trouble on-scene extricating him from the mud, which it turns out the mud may have helped slow down the bleeding. He was called in as an amputee, possible fatal. Somehow, he made it to the hospital and immediately went into emergency 7 hour surgery to stop his bleeding. They saved him. He took 9 litres of blood + 2 platelets, your body only holds 5-6 litres of blood.
Other injuries: small brain hematoma bleed (ok now), 3 fractures in his back at L1, L3 and T9, stitches, bruises and he found out when trying to eat that all of his teeth are loose and chipped. He also almost bit off his tongue during the accident.
Then during surgery today, he lost a tooth ☹. One of the lower middle ones that was loosened.
As a mom, I got that dreaded call, "We have your son, emergency room.. we think he was hit by a car.. broken bones.. blood.. he is alive but rough shape", horrible. I thought.. you think he got hit by a car but you don’t know..what??
Best case scenario at this point would be that Evan gets to keep both legs. The next few months will be the decider on that, if they can keep infection out. Being he was thrown into the mud, he had dirt in all his wounds which ups the infection factor. The left leg is in better shape than the right. Both have missing skin and missing muscle. I will spare you the grisly details. Evan us aware of how badly mangled his legs are, yet his attitude so far has been amazingly good. He is accepting his new reality, but I know he will have good days and bad.
Today, he just got out of surgery #3 to clean out areas of dead tissue and reset the vacuum drains. Tomorrow is surgery #4, they will fix the left leg tibia & fibula (shin bones) with metal and screws. Day after that they are doing same thing but to the right leg, the more damaged leg. They expect at least 30+ more surgeries in his journey to recover. I am losing track of the days.
Evan is a student and is EMT Certified. For those of you that know him, you know his personality is the protector and the helper. When I heard he pulled over to help a woman, I thought, “Of course he did.” From standing up for his elementary school buddies from being picked on or his offroad group that assists stranded drivers, this is just his personality. He even kind of joked saying that he has a full first aid kit with tourniquet’s in his truck behind the seat.. never thinking he might need it for himself one day.
So.. Evan has a long recovery ahead of him. He’s facing 8 weeks just in the hospital right now. Then he will be released with 2 broken legs (unless of course.. infection). How do I even get him in my car with 2 leg casts? So much to think about. Once released, more months of bone healing to then begin physical therapy. Then there’s the mental and emotional therapy. Overwhelming for me as his mom to see this long road he has. BUT.. he said today.. “I am determined to walk out of here and I will do whatever it takes to do that.” Proud mom here.
So we are looking at the positive, there is light here. The love and support he has felt from all of his friends, family and complete strangers is so heartwarming. Keep up with your prayers for Evan.
Funds raised will 100% go to Evan and his recovery needs over the next few years. He will need a stair lift, adjustable bed and modifications made to his vehicle to drive with a left leg or with hand controls. He will need a prosthetic leg. The average prosthetic leg lasts 3-5 years. So many things, still so many unknowns as he starts navigating his road to recover, he deserves to be whole again.
If you would like to send a note or card:
26741 Portola Pkwy, Ste 1E #515
Foothill Ranch CA 92610
Thank you, his mother