The doctors said he needed to be flown by helicopter to the University of Virginia Hospital. It took a very long time, almost 3 hours for one to arrive. I asked one of the doctors why it was taking so long and he did not know. He called the helicopter service and was told that a mechanical problem was detected while it was being refueled.
The hospital then had to call in another helicopter from Fairfax to come and pick up Eric. It was at this time I called Fr. ___ and informed him of the situation we were in. Fr. ___ said he would pray.
A short while later Eric took a turn for the worse and had to be incubated because of difficulty breathing. The situation was becoming even more frantic. At one point I was starting to loose myself and I snapped at one of the doctors because of the amount of time it was taking for the helicopter to arrive.
Suddenly I felt the peace come over me and from that instant I was bombarded with sudden thoughts of Jesus and Mary. I prayed and begged Our Lady of Emmitsburg for assistance. At that point, while still waiting for the helicopter I frequently glanced at my watch and each time it said XX:XX:13 or 33.
I was pacing the emergency room and walking outside. I was unable to keep still. I prayed the entire time. I walked outside and off in the distance I could hear what sounded like a helicopter. A few seconds later I saw the helicopter off in the distance. I said “Thank You God” I then looked at my watch and the time was 8:33.
Eric was then flown to Charlottesville and we all drove to UVA. Erik was admitted to the ICU and his condition was critical. We all ended up spending the night in a waiting room next to the ICU.
Sunday April 25th
S.C.C., C.R.C. and myself drove back to "hometown" and I went to "Parish Church" to teach CCD. I mentioned to the kids how important it is to wear a helmet when skateboarding and was told that helmets are for sissies. We all then went to the 11 AM mass and Eric was included in the Prayers of the Faithful. When mass was over and we were leaving I noticed my watch and the time was 12:13.
We went home and tried to get a little rest before going back to Charlottesville. When we got there a doctor came in and told us that they had done another MRI and it showed more brain damage than the original CAT scan showed. We were originally told Eric had 2 places in the brain that were bleeding and were now being told his brain was bleeding in 5 places and that brain surgery may be needed.
This made matters much worse and everyone was frantic and tempers were nearing the breaking point. We were told that the lead brain surgeon would be coming shortly to reevaluate the situation. The top brain surgeon did come and took charge of Eric’s care. We were told that he would provide a full report when it was available.
Hours passed and we did not hear anything. Finally he showed up and took my sister and mother in a private room and gave his report. He arrived and the time was 8:33.
My mother was the first to come out of the room and she had a big smile on her face. She told us that the doctor said that despite the fact that there were more injuries than originally thought that they were in good locations in the brain and that the bleeding had stopped, surgery would most likely not be needed and that he expected Eric to make a full 100% recovery over a period of time.
The feeling of relief was wonderful and we were all filled with joy. I said to my mother that we will all sleep well tonight. She said “Yes we will”. We got in the car to leave and go home and the time was 9:13.
We drove back to "hometown" and it was raining pretty hard. When we got home S.C.C. and C.R.C. went straight to bed. I was extremely tired too but was not ready to go to bed. I sat down on the front porch and watched it rain. Suddenly I remembered that I had not yet prayed my daily rosary. At the very instant that thought crashed through my mind I glanced at my watch and the time was 11:33. I prayed the rosary and then went to bed.
Wednesday April 28, 2004
Eric’s recovery has been remarkable and today is his 14th birthday. He has been transferred to the rehab portion of the hospital. The doctors said we could have a party for him. We all drove back to Charlottesville for Eric’s party. We stopped at Our Lady of the Blue Ridge because it was Wednesday adoration. We prayed the rosary before the Blessed Sacrament . When we walked out of the church I glanced at my watch and the time was 6:13. We then continued our trip to Charlottesville. I was stunned at how good Eric looked. We had the birthday party and it was very nice. When the party was over and we left to go home the time was 9:13 and the odometer was 3.3.
May 12, 2004