Saturday, November 15, 2008

Please Pray for Ashley

Today, I got up early (as I said I would last night) and wrote my sermon. We were getting ready to go to Charlotesville when through my window I saw a couple on horses riding down the road, followed by a little dog. I took a peek, because I always like to watch people on horses. Not a minute after I looked away, I saw through my window that one of the horses was galloping back the opposite direction--with an empty saddle!

I bolted out the door, in time to see a friend who had happened to be driving behind the couple on horseback, who had stopped her car in the road and was running up my sidewalk to get me. Fifty yards away, on the road, was the couple. He was cradling her in his arms, and blood from her head was already everywhere. Her horse had gotten spooked, and thrown her. She landed head first on the pavement, suffering a horrible gash in her head, along with cuts to her face and hands.

I arrived maybe thirty seconds after it happened. Jed (the young man--one of our neighbors) told me that as soon as he looked up to call for help, there we were. Ashley (the young woman) was already in shock. I called to my kids, who brought a blanket and pillows to elevate her feet. (They were so fast--I'm very proud of the good job they did.) Nobody had any rubber gloves, so they went to the neighbors' houses to hunt some down.

We called 911 and waited for them to arrive. Drivers began to stop and offer assistance. Jed's brother arrived with a first-aid kit. We put a dressing on the major wound on her head. Thankfully, the bleeding did stop after a while. We tried to keep her immoble, and kept her in the road while my kids and other motorists who stopped directed traffic around us. One of the drivers who happened to be passing by was an EMT. He stopped and helped while we waited for the rescue unit to arrive.

After a while, we heard the siren. I mused later that we hate to hear that annoying sound in everyday life. Sometimes it makes us nervous if it's behind us. But today, it was a sound of wonderful hope! While we were waiting, Ashley was drifting in and out of clarity. We had to keep talking to her, keep asking her questions, to try to keep her awake. There were several times when it looked like she was not going to remain awake (That's the most I'll say, without any professional expertise.)

When the EMTs got there, I stayed to help as much as I could. They got her on a backboard stretcher and took her to UVA hospital.

I wanted to check on her. We arrived at the hospital ER some time later, and they told us that her head wound had closed up pretty quickly. She had no spinal injuries that they could find, after multiple MRIs. She did have a concussion, but they said they would probably be sending her home tonight. As soon as we got there, the plastic surgeon arrived, and we were ushered out. We stayed with Jed and his dad for awhile, and left with their promise to call us later to update us. I'm sure they've been very busy today, and haven't called. I'll check up with them tomorrow.

I'm writing this to ask you to pray for Ashley. She's 23 years old, and she and Jed were on their 3rd date. Please pray for her healing--body, soul, and spirit. Please pray for Jed, too, as he deals with all of this.

I thank God for the quick response and skill of the EMTs and fire & rescue people, for the good work of all the doctors, nurses, medical and support staff at the hospital, and for the neighbors who cared enough to help.

(It's been a pretty full day for me, between this, sermon prep, and a Sunday school dinner tonight. No writing today.)

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