Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Free Falling

We have 3 grown children. The oldest and youngest are following their dreams with scholastic endeavors at the University of Idaho. Our middle child (and oldest son) lives near us with his wife and 18 month old son. He got out of the Navy this summer and started working in construction, roofing to be exact, the Monday after he was discharged.

While I grew up my dad was self employed as a carpenter. It's hard work. I know there is satisfaction from doing a hard day of labor and do not begrudge Matt's employment. As a parent you always hope your children will be successful AND enjoy their work. However, the combination of Matthew and this particular job caused me inner panic at times.

As a little boy, Matt was always the one to fall of his bike, the day before pictures, and have a huge road rash on his cheek or the goose egg on his forehead. There was the 'turtle lip' and chipped teeth, from a header over the bike handle bars (but it was near Halloween and he was going to be a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle so it added to his costume). Yet for all the blood shed, he never had stitches.

Matt is a creative soul. Right brained. Whether he's drawing up pictures of wildlife, designs for new tattoos or cars, he's got a plan. Well, what he needed last week was a parachute!

Matt was working on a rooftop which had two levels. He was climbing from the lower roof to the upper roof and instead of securing a foot on top of a solid surface he hit air and dropped 18' to the lower roof. One foot landed hard into a nearby wheelbarrow and the other hit the ground. His head met with an edge sharp enough to give him a gash and his hand, still in the glove, was cut on a piece of sheet metal.

Matt is 6'4 and just under 200 lbs. Not someone who can be easily 'fireman carried' down a ladder. Actually I'd pay to see that... but I digress. Three fire engines arrived with the paramedics. They ended up repelling Matt down off the rooftop with their basket and ropes.

Once again our family needs to drop to our knees and thank the Lord for looking out for one of us. Matt never lost consciousness. No bones were broken. The doctor referred to his finger as partially amputated though he didn't lose it. The muscle and tissue is twisted and mangled. Matt has 3 stitches in the end of the finger where it was actually cut. The finger was eased back together and wrapped for healing. Both legs were black and blue and badly swollen. The left foot is in an air brace and wrapped. The right foot wrapped and in a boot. He is unable to put any pressure on the legs so is confined to scooting around in a wheelchair.

He went to the Orthopedic surgeon this week for second x-rays. They confirmed no broken bones. He will have an MRI later this week to determine if there is any ligament or muscle damage and to what extend.

While housebound we will be teaching Matthew the lessons of Sir Isaac Newton and the not so recent discovery of gravity!

Seriously, we realize how very blessed we are the damage wasn't more serious or permanent. My prayers of thanks are becoming repetitive. We know that he will heal and be back up to his full frame in a few weeks.

In all this there had to be a lesson learned... Matthew - you'll have to stick the dismount if you strive for the gold medal! Love you Papi!

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