Sunday, January 5, 2014

Ileen Wardle: My Mother and Her Broken Neck

In late 2007 my mom fell and broke her neck,C2.  She almost died, but her spinal cord did not shift enough to cause permanent damage.  She was told 1/8 of an inch more and she would have been paralyzed, or dead.  Here is the story in my mom's words:
Saturday was such a nice day I decided to walk and pick up the songbooks (Songbook for Jeremy and Joshua she needed to pick up at Book Table).  On the way back , on the corner of 2nd East and 2nd North I fell and it knocked me out.  As I was falling I remember  thinking,  "Please don't let me fall, please don't let me fall."  I didn't regain consciousness until the ambulance was there and the EMT's started loading me on a board.  I don't know who called the ambulance, but there were two couples there who had been to the temple.  The paramedics kept asking me if I was hit by a car and I told them I just fell.  As I was falling I could see a grate where water goes under the road.  I was taken to Logan Hospital and had a cat scan and a number of stitches in my forehead.  Connie and Kelly were there and both crying.  They told me I had broken my neck.  It is fortunate is was unconscious after the fall.  If not I would have likely moved and completed the break in my neck and damaged my spinal cord. 
I was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Murray for a spine doctor to operate.  When I got to the hospital Weldon and Charles were there and gave me a priesthood blessing.  I wish I could remember what they said.  I am so grateful for the blessing I am still alive and no one thought I would live.  They had to wait until Sunday as my neck was too swollen.  On Sunday morning Dr. McDonald performed the surgery.  I was in the operating room a number of hours.  They put a screw in my second vertebrae as it was holding by 1/8 of an inch.  If it had broken all the way I would have died or been paralyzed for life.  When I woke up after surgery I had on a neck brace.
All the children were there except Bill.  I stayed in the hospital in Murray until Thursday and was then sent to Logan Transition Center Rehab until the first of January.  I was there 21 days.  I had good care and a lot of physical therapy.  I had to go to the hospital to have a tube put in my nose for eating as I couldn't swallow well.  It started plugging up and I had to go back to the hospital for another one.  It was real painful.  It was an uncomfortable thing and I was glad to finally have it out and I could start to eat.  I was able to walk in my walker after they took the feeding tube out.
I spent Christmas there as Kathy had put up my little tree during the Holidays.  Travis was home from the Marines and he and his family came to visit.  The children all came when they could and Connie and Kathy and Connie's boys came real often.  I had a lot of visitors from the temple and from Hyrum.  My Bishop cam and visited with me and I really appreciated it.  President Haslam came and gave me my release from the temple.  It made me sad.  I was able to walk around with my walker and on Sunday I went to sacrament meeting.  It was good to take the sacrament again.
I went on New Years with Dianna.  Mark and family (who were at Mark's folks for Christmas) to California.  It was a long trip but Mark would stop and I would get out and walk around.  I stayed with them for two and a half months.  I had wonderful care and Dianna would take me for physical therapy twice a week. 
In January Bill flew with me and I went to see Dr. McDonald.  Weldon met us at the airport and took us to Murray to the doctor.  Charles met us at the hospital.  The doctor said everything looked good and the screw was hold but because of my age the bone mass was thin. 
I feel better everyday and have less pain.  Night is the hardest trying to lie on my neck without pain.  Some days I get upset because I can't get my strength back and have to rest a lot.  I still have pain in my neck when the weather is cold. 
This link is a blog with pictures of the screw in my mom's neck.

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