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8/10/2017 Latest post:
One never anticipates having to write something like this for their beloved child. One also never anticipates how quickly one split second can change your entire life. Thankfully, I am able to write this story because our son Drake is a true miracle. This has been spoken by every staff member at the Bay County Sacred Heart Hospital in Panama City, Florida. We departed Round Rock on Friday August 4th, 2017, as captured on one of my rare Facebook photos. (A bad selfie at that). We loaded up a GMC Yukon, complete with the four of us and two of our best family friends, Kylie and Mike. We arrived safely the next day to greet our best friends, the Lambert Family, anticipating a week of sun, sand, laughs and memories. As I reflect back there are many of God's hand prints on this vacation. Our annual family pictures (displayed on the cover page) were scheduled for the first day on the beach. We would normally not do this, however it was the only day available by the photographer so we took it. We shut our first perfect beach day down early to get ready for the family photos. We finished those up and then headed to Stinky's so that our kiddos could have their annual favorite crab fest. Note these crabs must be the best in all of the world, because all five children were willing to wait a full hour until 9:00 pm to be seated. We enjoyed dinner and headed back to Rosemary. The next day started off as normal. Erica, Brad and Wil and I taking our morning bike rides up 30 A. (The last picture captured on my Facebook page). We spent a perfect day at the beach and all the boys cooked our annual competition dinner. This included Brad, Wil, Drake, Big Mike, Jake and Dylan. We enjoyed a big family dinner and spent time with the kids playing 4000 questions to get to know you. This was the end to a perfect evening. The next memory I have is Dylan waking Wil and I up at 12:30 saying we needed to get Drake to the hospital. For those of you who don't know Drake, he is the perfect big brother. As big brothers do, he and Mike took the kids out for a late football game on the beach with their new lighted football. When they came in from the beach, he made the decision to dive into the pool head first to wash off the sand. Unfortunately, he had not yet been in the pool and did not realize it was 4 feet deep. If you heard of a 23 year old diving into a pool head first at midnight, you would assume it was some drunk college kid. In this case, it was just a really bad decision after doing a really great deed. I know that those of you who know Drake know him to be just that, always thinking of others and very level headed. It never occurred to him this could happen. I share this story for two reasons. The first reason is that we have been overwhelmed by the number of people who have sent letters, emails, texts, phone calls and most importantly prayers. It is virtually impossible to reply to keep everyone updated and I want to make sure that we do that. It is also our only hope of expressing the indescribable gratitude we have to each person who has vigilantly prayed for Drake. The second reason is that I know God has a purpose for bringing Drake through what could have been the biggest tragedy of our lives. I know that he wants him to tell this story, so that we will all think differently about our back yard pools and those who swim in them. This accident could have just as easily happened at our own home during an innocent pool party, without rules very visibly posted and enforced that say. ABSOLUTELY no DIVING EVER. So please share this with anyone you know who has a pool. Teach your children that no pool is deep enough to dive in and in some cases neither is the shallow ocean. Secondly any time you are faced with a head trauma, call 911. In our normal state of mind, we knew this to be the right thing to do Thankfully Drake is on the road to recovery. He has a long way to go and I will update this in the attached journal for those of you who want more details. His recovery will be long, but it will be 100% which is just statistically impossible. The ER doctor was quoted as saying. "Most people who have this type of injury die on impact, almost all the rest of the lucky ones end up paralyzed from the neck down". After his successful emergency surgery and an almost successful recovery (which I will detail in the journal), the trauma surgeon, visibly shaken, came out to inform Wil, Erica and I that they had to do an emergency tracheotomy after his throat closed off. His quote "We almost lost him, and his brain was a 40% oxygen for a short period of time, we'll know tomorrow if there is any permanent neurological damage or whether his mobility was impacted, but he is alive. He is one of the lucky ones." Lucky?? No.. GREAT BIG GOD with a different plan for Drake. YES. The rest of the journal will be about his medical journey and milestones. If you stop reading here, I have two asks: Please keep praying for Drake until he is 100% recovered. He has been a warrior, beating all odds, never complaining and even providing us smiles and fist bumps. The second ask, is please write him some encouraging notes on the guestbook and spread the word to anyone who would provide him some comfort and love. He is going to have a hard road to recovery with a lot of physical therapy, months in a neck brace 24/7 and permanent loss of his neck mobility. I know he will not complain because he never does, but I want him to have all the encouragement possible to face the road ahead. We all know how precious our own children are. I know how precious Drake is and while Wil and I knew he was strong, we had no idea what the depth of his strength was. It is no doubt rooted in his deep love for God. We have used one word to describe Drake in the last four days. Warrior... The Doctor's actually deemed him "The Walking Miracle"