Sunday, January 22, 2006

thump, thump, thump, thump

That's my heart, in a regular pattern again...thankgoodness. Yesterday afternoon we were on our way out of our condo complex to go to fil's birthday party. We backed up and I heard something that can't just be classified as screaming or shrieking. My first thought was that we just backed up and hit a kid, but wait - I didn't feel a thump. I looked around for the source of the noise, and saw L, a neighbor kid from a few units down, holding his little brother, S, and screaming his head off. "HELP. HELP. HELLLLLLLLLLP. Mommy!!!!!!" I jumped out of the van and ran over to see what was wrong. L, probably 8 or 9 years old, was holding S, 4 years old, in front of him. S was completely limp with eyes closed. I took him from L so I could lay S on the ground to see what was going on. His whole body was limp, except for his arm that was bent and stiff. I laid S down, pulled up his shirt, put my hand on his little chest to feel for a heart beat and breathing, and when I saw no chest movement, yelled for Nathan to call 911. I tilted S's head back to get ready to do mouth-to-mouth when he opened his eyes and looked really scared. I have never in my life been as happy to see a child's eyes. Never. Never been as relieved to see signs of breathing, feel a heartbeat under my hands. Never. I kept him still on the ground and just tried to make small talk while we got S's mom. I was surprised to fight back tears and feel my own heart racing, but I had to remind myself we had a terrified 4 year old, and my tears would only scare him more. After the police and firefighters and paramedics arrived (three police cars, two fire trucks and one ambulance), I told what I knew and backed out of the way. Watching as a nearby bystander, it took every single ounce of self control not to run to the car and get my camera. Every ounce and then some. It wasn't that I necessarily wanted pictures of S or his family, but the scene in general. What we figured happened, after talking to L, who watched the scene: S was on a scooter, whose tire got stuck in the groove of the sidewalk. He fell off the scooter, and head first into a tree-like bush, hitting his head and eye. He stood up, and then slumped over, which is when L went to try to hold him up and we heard the screaming. It took me at least an hour after all the trucks had gone to calm down, and then even after I was calm, I could still hear the screaming.

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