Turned Upside Down

By Merlin Lockett

Imagine speeding down a wet slippery street at 60 miles per hour and the car spinning out of control, crashing head-on into a tree.

Imagine being pulled out of the car by a stranger who lays you in the snow while your cousin who is your best friend has to be cut out with the jaws of life.

Imagine you’re in the hospital, eyes closed because you’re in a coma and can’t wake up, a tube is in your throat because you can’t breathe on your own, a tube in your head to relieve the swelling of your brain, a tube in your stomach so you can be fed, tubes in your arm, hands, feet to administer different meds to keep you somewhat comfortable from the excruciating pain you are feeling.

Imagine the voices that you hear from a mother who is crying, sister who is screaming, brother who is yelling, “why mama why?” and other family members and you can’t move to give them a hug.

Imagine your cousin and best friend dying while you lie comatose from Traumatic Brain Injury and you can’t go to the funeral.

Imagine surgery after surgery after surgery to have a trach put in your throat so you can breathe without the ventilator, then having it removed so you won’t have to have a trach sticking out of your neck but in the end having it replaced again just because you scarred over and couldn’t breathe without it.

Imagine having rehab come to your room day after day to give you physical therapy to keep your muscles from tightening up, putting splints on your hand and feet; you can’t even respond to the pain they’re causing because you’re still in a coma.

Imagine doctors telling your parents you are in a semi -coma but you’re still not responding to anything, so they have the option of putting you in a nursing home or they can learn how to take care of you at home with the support of nurses coming to the home to help out.

Imagine your eyes half-way open, you hear your two year old baby brother reading and talking to you, you feel him kissing and hugging on you, but you can’t respond – you just lay there.

Imagine after three months of being in a coma and finally waking up with no remembrance of what happened, you’re tied down to a bed so you won’t pull out these tubes that are keeping you alive, you can’t talk, you can’t walk, you shake uncontrollably because you have this movement called ataxia, and you have this tube people continue to stick in your neck to keep mucous from building up and blocking your airway so you can breath, but you don’t understand why.

Imagine not knowing your mother, big sister, little brother, father, grandmothers, your uncles and aunties, all of your cousins and all you can whisper is where is Victor but know one understoods what you said because your vocal cords are damaged and they can’t read your lips.

Imagine being just like a baby, someone has to change your diaper because you can’t go to the bathroom, someone has to feed you because you have no coordination and you can’t eat by mouth yet, someone has to carry you because you can’t walk on your own, someone must clean your trach because that is the only way you can breath.

Imagine having to use a wheelchair now because you can’t walk and you will never be able to walk.

Imagine taking medicine for the rest of your life because you can’t sleep, you are depressed, you have behavior problems and you shake uncontrollably.

Now stop! Stop imaging because a kid’s life has just been turned upside down by a drunk driver.


The contents of this Families Together, Inc.'s website were developed under grants from the US Department of Education (#H328M150027) and the Department of Health and Human Services (H84MC09487). However, the contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the US Departments of Education or Health and Human Services, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government Project Officers, Kristen Rhoads or LaQuanta Smalley.