Thank You Coronado Community & Helmet Reminder to Everyone

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Submitted by Juli Lindquist

Photo of Kyle before his accident – age 14. (Submitted photo)

Standing at the stove …one year ago today… and my youngest of three sons came running in the house yelling “Kyle fell off his skateboard and …is convulsing”….. my world stopped and I ran down the street to see my child laying in a pool of blood where he had ended the three minute ride …after jumping on a friend’s skateboard with no helmet.

I cannot even attempt to tell you what happened from there … sirens … life flight …coming …too much marine layer the helicopter can’t launch … we are losing your son … we need to operate immediately…standing in the Emergency Room all alone… wondering who was shooting this movie and why was I in it …wanting to wake up .. losing my son ? Why was he saying this … it was just a fall off a skateboard … multiple fractures all in the worst places … his brain is swelling … don’t let him go to sleep.

Photo of Kyle after emergency surgery. (Submitted photo)

The team of Neurosurgeons was being assembled coming in one by one as the minutes ticked away… they took him behind the large white doors and I said goodbye – not knowing if I’d see my precious son again. All alone in a dark waiting room … some healthcare “specialist” kept asking me … “Is there anyone else you’re expecting” …. God, I thought, if she asks me that one more time I’m gonna lose it.

I talked with a friend on the phone who is a former CIA agent and was supposed to be in Tennessee …and he said, I see people posting on Facebook saying that their “prayers are with you” but what you need is SOMEONE TO BE THERE WITH YOU. Sitting silently alone wondering what it would be like if Kyle died … telling people I have TWO SONS instead of Three. Numb and silent I sat there barely able to mutter a prayer, God ..don’t take my son.

Forty minutes later after hanging up the phone with my CIA my friend who was in “Tennessee” I looked down the hallwall and because of the forced perspective effect of the long hallway, it looked like a huge male angel figure descending from heaven. I can’t believe my eyes and I turn in that moment to see the Neurosurgeon coming out of the white doors and speaking to me .. am I dreaming this .. GOD what is happening to me … this is NOT MY LIFE .. someone wake me up ….

I can feel the presence of my gigantic friend on the other side of me, still not knowing if he was real or an angel but not having time to deal with that thought ….. I look to see the doctor on the other side of me – his white coat and his green scrubs peeking out … his voice, low and caring began … “we’ve saved your son and he’s going to be okay.”

We transported him at 3 am to Rady Children’s Hospital and spent what seemed an eternity in Pediatric ICU.  I stood for three days straight next to my son’s bed without sitting down in the same blood stained clothes and not eating … but not even realizing this until someone pointed it out.

I’m so grateful for the Coronado Moms that came to bring us things in the hospital. Clothes and food and soft warm blankets and toys. I cannot explain how that made a world of difference for us.

Photo taken of Kyle running track for Coronado High School (before accident).

I won’t attempt to tell you all that we’ve been through… his pain, his daily battles, his stomach issues from all the antibiotics and changes in brain chemistry. He’s starting his second year as “home hospital” which is basically homeschool for kids who are not well enough to go to school. Watching my son be in pain everyday is something I don’t wish for any of you. I’m grateful for so much….. one of the many things is that he learned to play guitar in a Coronado Schools Foundation summer class, as I listen to him play his electric guitar we got on the Coronado site the music wafting through the house warms my heart and reminds me to stay in gratitude.

Anyway … I’ve gone on too long but even though it’s painful to post this on the one year anniversary of my son’s accident – I wanted to do it to stress the importance of helmets EVERY time when our kids are on a moving object! GOD please listen to me and make sure not ONE of your precious children have a three minute ride and have to go through what we did !! PLEASE TALK WITH your kids show them our story. The danger is VERY real !! Put those helmets on and BUCKLE THEM UP – thank you to all my friends in Coronado who have helped encourage me – I love you!

Submitted by Juli Lindquist

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