Sunday: This cloudy morning we wake up after sleeping on Kailani which is sitting on the hydraulic trailer. There’s some slight rocking so it’s almost like being in the water, but not exactly. Anyway, we have a nice breakfast, then when the propeller shop opens at 10:00am I go over and meet John Fuderer who runs Kawartha Propeller. He reviews our options and reports that he has also found two replacement blades in his consignment warehouse. He can install the two replacements right away but for thousands of dollars, or he can repair and rebalance the existing propellers for much less. We decide to go with the repair and rebalancing of the existing for now. Then I take advantage of the boat being out of the water and wash the water level ring around the hull to make it look
The Emergency begins – We get a call from our daughter-in-law, Dede who tells us she is in an ambulance with our adult son Nick on the way to Hartford Hospital because he fell from a bouncy house today and was in and out of consciousness and complaining of a sore back. Ten minutes later we got a another call that Hartford Hospital had done a CT scan of his brain and he had a bad bleed in his brain, its very serious and they were prepping him for immediate brain surgery. We needed to make arrangements to rent a car and get home asap. I called Enterprise in Peterborough (50 minutes away by car) while Tracy ran up and down the docks of the marina trying to find us a ride to Enterprise. Tracy got us a ride from Steve and Karen who were on vacation on their boat, but had not left the dock yet because of the dreary weather and I had gotten Enterprise to have a car ready for us and they normally close at 2pm on Sunday, but Ashleigh would stay until we got there so we could get out of Canada today.
Steve and Karen are boaters from Montreal who just started their two week holidays this weekend and were on their boat waiting for some nicer weather to head out. They are planning on cruising south to Trenton, then over to Thousand Islands area where Steve’s brother will take over on the boat that they co-own and cruise her back to the marina during his vacation. They were so gracious to take us to Peterborough and would not take even a loonie for fuel when we offered. As promised, Ashleigh waited at the Peterborough office of Enterprise Rental Cars and we were off to Connecticut by 2:30pm.
During our nearly nine hour drive, Nick received a crainiotomy for a major epidural hematoma that was still actively bleeding- performed by the chief of neurosurgery, went to the recovery room and was in the neurosurgical intensive care unit by the time we got there. The big questions were all unknowns, ie: what would be the motor skill loss, what would be the cognitive loss, what would be the memory loss, etc., we had no way of knowing as did everyone back home. Would he die? Would he be paralyzed? -tc
Customs and Border Patrol in Alexandria Bay was no issue and we were able to get to Hartford Hospital by 10:50pm, just eight hours and twenty minutes after leaving Peterborough, Ontario.
Nick was heavily sedated in the ICU, but we spent the night at the hospital, Tracy stayed on watch with Nick all night while we tried to get a few winks in the ICU Family Waiting Room.
Monday: Nick’s recovery is our entire focus for the foreseeable future and we soon realize that Nick has a boatload of angels working overtime on this one as he is able to put together short stints of comprehension and motor skills during a few times he is awake and alert today, just twenty four hours past his emergency craniotomy. Before the day is over, he is actually moved from the Intensive Care Unit to the Neurosurgical step down area. This is quite remarkable. Vic and I go over to Bouncetown to see if we can determine exactly how Nick’s accident occurred. We were not successful, but the bounce toy is eight feet off the ground so he fell at least ten feet to get over the top wall of the toy. Nicky had been with his family at a children’s birthday party and was bouncing with the kids. Somehow he feel out of the TOP. A little girl saw him go over and went for help. The neuro surgeon said 20 minutes more he would have died. Angels come in the shape of little girls sometimes. -tc
Tracy spends another night with Dede in Nick’s room and I get some sleep at home.
Tuesday: Again the angels are putting in some time and Nick is moved again from the step down area to a regular room is making spectacular progress in the healing process. He has some minor short term memory loss, and he can not remember any part of Sunday at all including a fire call he went on early Sunday morning before the accident. But his motor and cognitive skills are showing no signs of trauma. He is certainly dealing with a tremendous amount of soreness and pain due to the six fractured bones and one separated clavicle. He has the main skull fracture, two fractures around his right eye, the TMJ bone (connects the skull to the jawbone) and two ribs to thank for the soreness and the separated clavicle is starting to aggravate itself. So pain management is becoming the number one priority now that he’s out of the woods neurologically.
Wednesday: Another day of pain management and healing and the doctors are starting to hint at discharging him possibly tomorrow. That’s just four days after a palm-sized hole was cut out of Nick’s skull to stop the severe brain bleeding! Thank you angels.
Thursday: Nick does make it home today after getting cleared by the neurosurgical team, the trauma team, the orthopedic team and the speech therapist. Tracy, Dede and I were present during the speech therapists testing and quite frankly, the tests would be a bit difficult for even an uninjured brain! I was lost at the last one! – tc By six pm Nick is resting comfortably in his own home and an outpouring of meals and prayers continue to present themselves during this healing process. We have been blessed and appreciate every move being made by family and friends to help us along this path.
Tracy and I go over to Mike and Sue-Ann’s house for dinner and its good to catch up with good friends over a home cooked meal.
Friday: We take it slow with Nick today and try to give him lots of rest and relaxation. I also speak with Peter at Buckhorn Yacht Harbor and he says that the repairs are done, Kailani is going into the water today and he will have Ralph sea trial the repairs, so everything is coming out well at both fronts.
The girls want to swim today, so I go over and spend time with them in their pool while Tracy and Dede watch Nick. Meals are aplenty from friends and fellow firefighters as there’s a seemingly non-stop delivery of dinners for the family.
Saturday: We really want to say hello to our friends at the marina so we take a ride down to Chester Marina and chat with lots of friends that are there for the weekend. Some are relieved to see me because they thought that I was the Nick Civitillo that fell out of a bouncy house and had the emergency craniotomy last Sunday, so it’s good that we are able to dispel that rumor. Before leaving I spent some time with the marina owner, Tyler and we have a good time talking about the trip and the upgrades to the marina.