In July 2013, Kris proposed! We were so happy, and so excited but then as life does, it took a turn we weren’t expecting. September 6, 2013 my then-fiancé – was involved in a motorcycle accident. He had actually just left my office and was headed home. He was at the intersection before our neighborhood making a left hand turn. He had the green arrow, but someone driving an escalade went through the red light and hit him. A man happened to be walking across the other side of the intersection and saw everything. He saw the lady run the red, hit my husband, and watched him fly into the air, loosing his shoes, and eventually falling on the asphalt. By the time he landed, and she was able to stop her vehicle, her front tire was actually parked on top of his leg. The man ran to my husband telling him to stay calm, and the lady never got out of her car. Through the window she said “I was just trying to make the yellow” and didn’t actually move her vehicle off of him until the police arrived. It’s hard for me to believe people can be that crappy so I chalk it up to she was just in shock.
As I was driving home I couldn’t get through the intersection due to the police cars and fire truck. I saw a bunch of blue pieces all over the road but never once did it dawn on me I was looking at my husband’s bike. As I was turning to detour the intersection, I was calling my husband to let him know I was on my way home but would have to leave soon to go feed my friend’s dogs because she was out of town. He didn’t answer but seconds later my phone started ringing. When I answered the phone, it was Kris number but it wasn’t Kris. It was a man telling me he is an EMT at UMC and Kris had been involved in an accident, I suddenly realized I was looking at his bike all over the road. I guess I went into my own sort of shock because all I could think to say was “is this a joke? Are you Kris’s friend?”… but he ended up handing Kris the phone and Kris said “this is not a joke. They hit me”.. My heart dropped and I prayed like hell the whole way there. I went straight to the hospital having no clue what to expect but I kept reminding myself he is conscious and he knows who I am so that’s a good sign, right?
When I walked into the hospital, and went to the front desk and asked to see him… the look on her face was terrifying and she said “the motorcyclist?” in the most concerning voice. At this point all I could think was the absolute worst. If looks could kill, let me tell you… I literally had gotten to the hospital within 30 min of his accident and apparently phone calls aren’t normally made that quickly so they were shocked I was already there. When I got back to the room in the trauma unit, he wasn’t there. There were clothes cut up all over the floor and I could see blood. Someone walked by and told me they had taken him back for another MRI. I sat there by myself completely and utterly terrified but trying so hard to hold it together. After a little bit they wheeled him back in and I was able to see him. He was covered in road rash and complaining of arm and leg pain. BUT! He could speak, and he knew who I was so I tried to stay as positive as I could. He had to be okay. He just had to be. I had called his mom and when she got there with her husband – Kris kept asking him to go in the waiting room and find this guy. I can’t even remember now what he kept calling him but every time my mother-in-law’s husband (Matt) would go out there no one would be there with that name. We all started to think Kris had hit his head pretty hard and was making this person up.
He had asphalt in all of his cuts and the police officer who was with us would not allow the hospital to clean him until after someone showed up to take photos. It took hours but eventually they came to take their photos and get his statement. Every doctor, police officer, and nurse who spoke to me were all amazed he had survived the accident. Every single one of them gave credit to his helmet. We were told several times his helmet truly saved his life. Although his helmet did come off (and left a scar under his chin from where the strap had been), they were so shocked to see him walk away with only road rash, a broken femur, and a couple stitches in his other knee.
It was a long night. His accident was around 430 in the afternoon and it was almost 1 AM before he was moved from the trauma unit and into an actual room. When we got up there they had said he would need surgery at 7 AM but before that can happen they need to clean him up. When they started to clean him up – they had to move his leg, and the screaming was literally heart-wrenching. I couldn’t handle it and had to walk out of the room. One of Kris’s best friends – Jesse was there by this point and he just hugged me in the hallway and told me he was going to be okay. I pulled myself together and went back in there. I couldn’t sleep. Kris was in a neck brace incase he did have any other damage so they didn’t want him being able to move his neck/back/head/ sit up, etc. So every time he would say my name to see if I was still with him I would jump up. I think I may have slept 45 min total that night. When it came time for surgery they told me it would take a few hours and they took him back. I drove home to shower and get some things for him and I broke down. I couldn’t believe this happened, but more importantly I was just so damn thankful he survived. I knew we had a long road ahead of us and really had no idea what to expect, but I was just so grateful it wasn’t worse. I got back to the hospital before he was out of surgery and boy was it nerve-wracking waiting for him to be out. When he finally did come out of surgery, he didn’t have the neck brace anymore so he was already feeling better about that. While we were in the hospital room, a couple I had never seen before came in and I just looked at them like “you’re in the wrong room”… but the man asked me if this was Kris’s room… I moved out of the way and Kris could see him. He was THRILLED. The man I mentioned earlier Kris kept asking for, he was the man who had stayed by his side keeping him calm until the ambulance arrived! He did exist, and although Kris had his name wrong – it was incredible to see him at the hospital. All he could bring himself to say was “I thought for sure you would be hooked up to all sorts of tubes man! I can’t believe how good you look”.
Kris was involved in the accident on a Friday afternoon and was released from the hospital Monday afternoon – just in time for his birthday (Tuesday)! The next couple weeks were exhausting but he makes every sleepless moment absolutely worth it. Kris would sing “you can’t keep a K-No down no no no no” everyday & I would just grin from ear to ear every.single.time.
The recovery process seemed endless – and took much MUCH longer than the surgeon anticipated – but still – he is alive today! I just want to take a minute and thank each and every one of you who were there for us thru that rough time. We have always been SO thankful for God saving his life that day but I know God was not the only one who was looking out for Kristopher. Thank you to everyone who came to visit at the hospital, and came to see him when we got home. Thank you for all of the texts, phone calls, and cards. Thank you to all of Kris’s friends who not only checked in on him, but also checked on me. Thank you Jesse for keeping me calm the first night in the hospital and helping me stay strong for Kris. And also for being there when I finally did break down. Thank you Danielle & Matt for going above and beyond to take care of Kris when I had to work. I honestly don’t know what we would have done without you guys. You were such a huge support, and huge help and we can’t thank you enough. You made it easier for me to go to work each day knowing he was going to be okay. You made everything easier, thank you! Thank you Carol for trying so hard to be there for all of us while still trying to balance your new job at the same time. You guys took such a huge weight off our shoulders getting the motorcycle figured out & helping with the follow up doctor appointments. I know it wasn’t easy, but we just want you to know – we appreciate everything you did for us and we love you! Thank you to my mom and dad for stepping up and taking care of Cameron so I could stay at the hospital. Thank you for building the railing so Kris was able to get inside of our home, letting us use your shower so he wouldn’t fall in ours, and for all the gifts that turned out to be extremely useful for us. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for being there for us emotionally and physically, I love you! Thank you Aunt Tina, Grandma Audrey, and Amber for not only staying with Kris while I had to work but also bringing us dinner! Thank you Rachel for not only going out of your way to bring Kris some of his favorite things, helping us financially, & being so understanding when I had to bail on dog sitting at the last minute. Thank you Uncle Steve for making a trip to Arizona to show your support and also help out with the financial hardship we were up against. Thank you Ashley for being there through everything even though you were dealing with struggles of your own and being so understanding we had to miss such an important day in your life. Thank you Dylan & Kristen for making the trip down here to see us, and for the awesome sign still have hanging in our home – “luck of the irish” – so perfect and fitting! Thank you to MEB for being so understanding during such a difficult situation and making sure Kris had a job to come back to. Not many companies would do such an awesome thing for someone and we are very blessed. Thank you to my entire family for all of your calls of concern and support through everything. Thank you to everyone in Kris’s family for each of your texts and calls. It meant the world to both of us to see and feel the outpour of love. It still means the world to us to be able to look back on a negative situation but be able to focus on so much positive thanks to all of you. Thank you to the attorney for taking care of all the chaos that comes from car accidents like this & trying to get us the best deal you could! Last but definitely not least – thank you to the entire hospital staff for being so great.
When Kris had to go to UMC – it was not only terrifying & heart wrenching, it was an eye opener. Not the eye opener you are probably thinking though, it wasn’t one of those “oh my gosh just goes to show life’s too short” – because to be completely honest having Cameron when I was 18 and loosing one of my best friends when I was 20 (in a motorcycle accident, go figure..) – was plenty for me to try to start living as though everyday is my last. That doesn’t mean I am sailing the seas, traveling the world, and spending money on crazy fun vacations – it just means, I am not oblivious that bad things can happen and we can’t prepare, but we have to learn to accept it. We have to own our strength through the rough times, and help others who aren’t feeling as strong. The idea of how much worse the accident could have been done, or how differently things could have turned out is unbearable to even think about – but I know God was watching out for him. And on top of that, so was everyone at UMC. Being at UMC opened another world for me – it made me see just how important doctors and nurses truly are. How much they do for us, complete strangers – in the times we need them most. The doctors and especially the nurses Kris had were absolutely incredible. They were so good to him, and even me. The hospital itself was awesome. Every time I had to leave his room or go back to his room – I had to walk through the Children’s section of the hospital – it was just amazing. We have made it a point to donate to all of the children every Christmas since his accident, and it’s one of mine & Cameron’s absolute favorite parts about the holiday season. As for all of you who are in the medical field, helping others day in and day out – thank you.
Leave it to Kris to be the .001% of people who don’t heal “like normal”. Normally the surgery performed after you break your femur – should heal within 6 weeks for a young and healthy person. His doctor told us normally the only time that isn’t the case is in smokers or diabetics (which Kris is neither). Basically with the surgery they put in a rod from his hip to his knee with pins/bolts. Unfortunately, after 15 LONG months of not healing – Kris’s surgeon decided another surgery would be needed. He had another surgery to basically have more pins put in place to try to force the bone to fuse together in November 2014. Thankfully, he felt immediate relief and was able to walk with crutches within a couple of hours after surgery. Since then, he still feels pain with weather change, or if he over -does it some days, but he has come SO far. I have to admit, every time he feels pain – it brings back those memories from when the accident happened, and as much as we have worked on forgiving the driver of the other vehicle and understanding accidents happen.. It’s so difficult realizing she walked away with not even the slightest of injuries, but Kris’s life changed. Things most of us take for granted like running, jumping, or even getting dressed without holding onto a wall while putting each leg in your pants – these things took a lot of work and a long road for Kris to be able do again. He will need to have another surgery in the future to remove the rod and pins but for now, he is finally healed and we couldn’t be more thankful for that.
We were able to have our wedding and finally made it on our Disneyland trip in 2015! 🙂
One of Kris’s best friends (and our officiant) got into a motorcycle accident and also broke his femur roughly 9 months after Kris’s accident so it was only fitting they show off their healing progress by skipping down the aisle at our wedding. haha! 😉