Our gratitude begins with thanking our 17-year-old son whose quick reaction, to yell for help from the edge of our property, alerted our neighbors to dial 911 and assist a frantic father and son with a very injured toddler. This toddler was injured in an accident that could have happened in any one of hundreds or thousands of backyards in Ohio and beyond. The story is that a boy was riding with his brother on a tractor, while mowing the lawn, the same as countless other landscaping ventures over the summer. The difference was that this time the toddler leaned the wrong way, at the wrong time, at the wrong angle, while the tractor was moving in a particular direction. Then, a tragedy was avoided. The swift response time of an Erie county sheriff, followed by Sandusky police officers, and then the skilled and reassuring Sandusky firefighters, brought focus to a desperate situation. A neighborhood, literally, of volunteers appeared to take care of kids, dogs, cars, houses, and several other insignificant but impeding tasks that allowed a mother, brother, and sister to feel safe and reach the torn toddler at Firelands Regional Medical Center. From this point a beautifully executed intake, triage, and course of action was completed to result in a mother and small son being flown by helicopter, with a crew of compassionate individuals, to a pediatric trauma center at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital. Upon landing, mother and son were reunited with father and an army of hospital personnel who embraced us, our fears, our hopes, and our families, as they put our boy back together again. During this time we were supported through prayer, encouraging notes, and calls from our family, friends, acquaintances, and then some. Our hometown community of Sandusky and our work and school community of Huron made us feel like a priority for everyone who heard about our misfortune. We were in absolute need of this type of love and positive reinforcement to help our teenager stop retracing his actions to see how he could have changed the course of time; to support our daughter in her efforts to understand something that a five-year-old should not have to fathom; and to assuage the unimaginable pain a three-year-old body should not feel. This boy who says to me, "I am strong, I am brave," which is clearly unquestionable.
Prognosis: Toddler will recover from his non-life threatening injuries, and regain full use of his left arm, while healing the many deep lacerations he sustained. Big brother will also recover from his emotional lacerations by being reassured that accidents are exactly that. Sister will continue to be the healing cheerleader and mini nurse for her brothers. Parents will never be able to thank every person and return every kindness and good deed that has served us during this frightening time. They will also never be examined so harshly as they will examine themselves for every moment leading up to what could have been a tragedy, that our hero family members, neighbors, friends, and communities saved us from facing. We thank you in advance for the unconditional and continued support while we recover.
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