If I would have known that this was going to happen, I would have never let my son play with the bow and arrow set that his uncle got him last Christmas.
My son, Michael Todd, is 12 years old. He is currently in the hospital, where he is fighting for life. The other day, he and his older (bigger and stronger) cousin, Henry, who is fifteen, were shooting at rotting apples with the bow and arrow set that my brother had sent last year for Christmas. Well, one of the arrows deflected off the tree stump, and it struck my son in the chest.
I will never forget the hysteria-ridden screams of Henry, who was calling me; when I got to the doorway, I was shocked to see Michael lying on the ground. Between tears and sobs, Henry elaborated what had happened. He had shot his cousin; he was scared that he was dead because Michael was not moving. He was just lying there, as still as death. It truly frightened me.
I had Henry calm down a little and call for the paramedics while I ran to my son's side. I gently turned Michael over onto his back. There was the telltale arrow sticking out from his chest. The sight of it sickened me. Michael's eyes were closed, and his face was drained of all color, plus his lips were turning blue. He was in dire straits. He needed an ambulance as fast as possible.
I knew that I wasn't supposed to pull the arrow out; I could possibly cause more in the way of damage. I got some rags and wrapped it around the arrow, to anchor it in place, and I regularly monitored my son's breathing. I prayed a desperate prayer to Heaven, asking for the ambulance to hurry, before the last of my son's life ebbed from his body.
Thankfully, a few minutes later, the ambulance arrived, its siren dying in mid wail. Paramedics jumped out, where they started tending to Michael; the driver of the ambulance peppered me with questions. I tried my best to answer, but the truth of the matter was, I couldn't think clearly. I was too distraught; I was so scared that Michael was going to die before they even got him to the hospital.
After seeing Michael in the emergency room, the attending ER physician ordered my son to surgery, so they could remove the arrow. Apparently, the arrow had penetrated Michael's heart; it needed to be removed as quickly as possible, or he could very easily bleed to death. Time was of the essence for Michael.
Thankfully, Michael survived the surgery, but he now rests in Intensive Care, where sure-footed nurses (and machinery) monitor his life signs. The doctors have put him into a drug-induced coma, so he can rest and not pull out the lines and wires invading his young body. They (the medical staff) know what they are doing, but as for me, I'm not so sure. Michael looks so vulnerable and helpless, it's all I can do to keep from crying and imagining the worst.
To be continued.