Friday, August 18, 2006

The "D." in Samuel D Buck

So here's what happened:

Our wonderful little home here in NE Ohio has a finished, carpeted basement, complete with carpeted stairs going down. There is a door that leads to those stairs down to the basement. As Samuel has gotten more and more mobile and now has begun walking, we've been really careful about trying to child-proof as much as possible. We have a sliding latch that we use for that door that when closed prevents him from opening it even if he pulls on the handle and otherwise keeps the door pretty secure so that Samuel is safe. We've also done our best to communicate to everyone who comes over to be sure to keep the door closed, etc. Anyway, to make a very long story a bit shorter, the door got left open yesterday afternoon, and before we knew it Samuel, who was walking and pushing his rolling cart, went tumbling all the way down the stairs. I can only speak for myself (Robert), but I think I can accurately say that it was the most frightening thing I've ever been through as a parent, and given Samuel's history, that's saying something.

Kirsten and I were both there and both realized what had happened immediately. The good news is that after tumbling down he immediately began crying. Kirsten rushed down to get him, and I called 911. Kirsten brought him upstairs, and did her best to switch from rightfully freaking-out-Mommy-mode to pediatric nurse-mode. She did a quick assessment, and he seemed to be okay. He stopped crying and realized that Kirsten was crying loudly; so he started laughing at Kirsten for crying, which he has always thought is funny. He then squirmed away and started walking- all wonderful signs. The ambulance came and the EMT team was great. They assessed him, and also thought he was okay. However, given his history, age, size, and the distance of his fall, they rightly opted to take him in to the ER. The folks at Akron Children's Hospital, where Kirsten currently works, were great. They had a trauma team ready to go and efficiently and thoroughly did their assessment, and also thought he was fine. After talking it over with the doctor, though, we opted not do any scans, which the doctor did not think was necessary. He actually advised against any scans given all the other good signs and the fact that a CAT scan itself could be pretty harmful to Samuel. Given, this, we did decide with the doctor to go ahead and keep him overnight for observation, however, just to be safe. Samuel's been through so much, ya know?

So, Samuel, Kirsten, and I camped out at the hospital. Tim and Christy, our pastors, were wonderful about coming to the hospital to care for us and "hang" for a while. We all didn't sleep very much last night, but otherwise it was uneventful and Samuel was discharged late this morning. We'lll probably schedule a follow-up appointment with the Traumatic Brain Injury clinic at the hospital, though the doctors felt this was optional.

Needless to say, Kirsten and I are extremely grateful. We feel utterly horrible and are wracked with even more guilt about our job as parents so far. We know that "these things happen," etc., but we also know that it's our job as parents to do our best to keep Samuel safe, and I at least believe that I should have done better. Even so, this is yet another reminder that our lives individually and as a married couple are not our own- and this goes for Samuel too. Samuel belongs to God. I'd like to think that we know this already, perhaps better than most parents, given the way his life began, but yesterday was a stark reminder of the reality of this. So- let me say it again- I can't begin to tell you how grateful we are to God. We know that he is looking out for us and for Samuel and I am firmly convinced that God has some pretty big plans for Samuel, given all that God has brought him through in the past nineteen months. Almost every night since Samuel was born I've prayed, "God, please carry Samuel safely though this night as you have all his others." That prayer really means something to me because in it I recognize God's sovereignty and our dependence on Him, and likewise I show gratitude for his care for Samuel thus far. Well, "the incident" didn't happen at night, but I firmly believe that God literally carried Samuel down those stairs in such a way that he emerged with hardly a scrape and, so far as we know now, no long term ill effects, and for this, as I keep saying, our gratitude knows no bounds!

The "D." in Samuel D. Buck? It stands for "Daredevil," and though Samuel has shown himself to be the king of the stair slalom, God help me if there's ever a repeat performance.

In the meantime, as always, praise God!

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