Our First Christmas In The ICU. Finding God, Grace and The True Meaning Of Christmas

One moment can change a life, or at least a Christmas break. This moment put life and the holidays into perspective. Many people asked exactly what happened to Jacob and with his permission I decided to post this. Now everyone has the full story about the miraculous recovery of my dear husband.

It started Monday when Jacob, Debbi, Mark(my in-laws) and I all decided to go skiing at Sundance Resort. I hadn’t been for  many years . To make it easy on me, we stopped in the middle to sip hot chocolate at the top of the ski-runs. We had a glorious day. Five minutes before our pass expired I begged Jacob to go on one more run down the hill with me.

Jacob, the amazing husband, of course said yes. He warned me on the ski-lift up that it was usually on the last run people get injured. He said to be careful and listen to my body. As he had done many times before, he decided to go off a jump at the board park. He forgot to take into account the ice that day.

I went down before him so I could get the perfect view of his jump. (Oh my goodness, even writing this is making me tear up.) He skied down the jump and I was amazed at the 10+ feet of air beneath him. Even his last thought while up in the air was, “Man, I am really high!”

After he landed things became a little unclear. His body appeared to crumble. His skies and poles flew everywhere. His body skidded down the hill.

I quickly skied to where he was, laughing at him on the ground. I thought he was being over dramatic until I saw him face down on the ground, his blood staining the white snow to crimson. A snowboarder was already at his side. I dropped to my knees five feet from him crying and calling out his name. I plead for him to be okay. My emotions froze my body just as Jacob’s injuries froze his. Suddenly his body began convulsing and making gurgling sounds.

Two minutes later he attempted to stand. At this point I finally approached him and told him, “Don’t move. Help was on the way.” Unhearing, he continued his attempt. Fortunately, the ski-patrol arrived and stabilized him. They first asked who he was, which he answered. Then they asked who I was. He responded, “My wife.”

I watched as they put him on a stretcher, overwhelmed with relief yet hysterical. The ski-patrol requested that I ski down and inform his parents. I made them explain three times where they were taking my husband before I was lucid enough to ski down. I remained light headed. I condemned myself ceaselessly for what had just occurred.

“Why did I make you go on the last run with me!?” I cried inwardly. “Please God, forgive me. Oh please let him be okay, oh please let him be okay.” My self-accusatory misery continued strongly throughout the night, but eventually began to ebb.

Jacob was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance and I rode down with him. His parents followed behind in their car. When we arrived at the emergency room we were amazed to find out nothing was broken. His medically professional parents believed he had broken his cheek. This was due to his severely swollen lower eye area. The CAT scan results revealed that he had minor bleeding in three parts of his brain. He would have to be kept for four days for observation and undergo two more CAT scans.

What proceeded was an overwhelming amount of support and prayers from family, friends and strangers. People we didn’t even know sent words of encouragement and comfort. Other people I hadn’t talked to for months sent heartfelt e-mails. The e-mails expressed their concern and extended their good energy and prayers.

Each subsequent CAT scan showed the best possible results of the bleeding. The swelling was kept to a minimum and the bleeding remained contained. Our first Christmas together was spent in the ICU. It ended up quiet and sacred because he wasn’t able to watch TV or leave. We read Christmas stories and ate Sushi (Debbie, Mark and I. Jacob slept and couldn’t eat.) Most importantly we felt the peace of our Savior from the prayers and love of visiting family members.

Jacob expressed his gratitude in church yesterday for the hand of the Lord in his life. He discovered that God has a plan for everyone including him.

What did Jacob learned from this experience?

“O be wise, what can I say more?

Don’t take unnecessary risk.”

One final note for those who are wondering, the long term consequences are minimal. Jacob won’t be able to work for the next month and his mind may be a little foggy. The doctors said there should be no long term effects.

Thank you for your love, support, positive energy and prayers! We love you and wish you Happy Holidays.

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This is Jacob and I two days before the accident at our family Christmas partyImage

Jacob in the ER right after being rushed in from the ambulance.

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Jacob 12:30 AM Christmas day wanting to open his present. It was wonderful just to see him up!

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Jacob and I upside down the following Saturday as he gives the camera his very evil eye.

ImageJacob’s eye now that he is able to open it. It took about three days before he could. Again they say it will heal completely and for now he’ll just have to enjoy his evil eye. Isn’t he a handsome devil?

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