Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Lucky Number Seven

Seven years ago today my life was changed forever. Most of you that know me and visit my blog know what I'm talking about but for those of you that don't know, I'll try to fill you in.

On a Thursday morning, before a three day weekend because of the Memorial Day holiday in 2001 I got a phone call from a close friend asking me if I wanted to go to on a road trip for a few days. I had nothing else exciting planned so I gladly accepted the invitation. First, we drove to St. George to spend the night so we could meet up with a few other people in the morning. Since Mesquite is only about a 30 minute drive from St. George we decided to go hang out there for a little while. We ended up staying until early in the morning. A few hours after we got back to St. George we met our friends and drove to Lake Powell where we had an amazing time camping on the beach. There were hundreds of other people there which led to a few days with no real sleep.


On Sunday afternoon we drove home only to find out that some of my other friends had gone to Wendover to play poker. We got cleaned up and decided to head to Wendover to meet them. After hanging out for awhile and losing a little money at the tables we tried to find a hotel room because we were both pretty exhausted from the long weekend but since it was a holiday everywhere we checked was booked. We ended up trying to drive back to Salt Lake but it didn't turn out to be the best decision. About half way between Wendover and SLC I must have dozed off a little and I drove off the side of the road and I rolled my truck a number of times.

The next thing I remember was waking up in the hospital with tubes in my mouth, nose and all over my body, not being able to talk and not being able to move. Although, this was all kind of a blur because the doctors had me so drugged up. I had partially collapsed and bruised lungs, staples in the top of my head helping to close up a huge gash and 9 broken/dislocated vertebrae in my neck and back. The worst of the injuries was to my C 6/7 vertebrae in my neck. The two vertebrae were dislocated pinching my spinal cord causing me to be paralyzed from the chest down and only left with partial feeling in and partial use of my arms.


My friend was also pretty beat up from the accident but she was little more fortunate and was able to walk away which I'm very thankful for.


After the accident, I remained in the U of U hospital rehab unit for a long three months where I lost about 50 pounds. I had to wear a horrible back/neck brace anytime I was out of bed which really sucked. While I was in the hospital I did meet some great people (therapists, nurses and other patients) and my family and friends were such a great support, they really helped me to deal with and get through the hardest time in my life.



Today, I'm still paralyzed from the chest down, I only have partial use of my arms and I cruise around in a wheelchair but I'm pretty thankful for where I'm at in my life (most of the time), things could always be worse. I have the most amazing and supportive family and they take pretty good care of me.

Love you guys!

23 comments:

WIKKY said...

wow... Rob, I had heard through someone else what had happened but never really knew the details. Thanks for sharing. We are all glad that you are still here with us (even though I never get to see you, or talk to you for that matter). Good thing we have the blogging world to connect! You are awesome!
Great tribute to your cute mom too!

Ty and Susanne said...

Rob you are an inspiration. Thanks for sharing your story. You rock!!!

Stewart Family said...

Rob, it's me Cameron Stewart. Found your blog through Whitney Hammer's. I hope things are well. You'll always be "the man" to me and someone I look up to. Some of my best memories still have you in them. Hope to see you sometime soon.

Heather said...

Rob

You are amazing! You have gone through this trial so amazingly well and still continue to do so! Times like these really show how awesome are families and friends are (especially moms!)! You are so great Rob!

Heather (lowder) Whitehead
ps. I just past my 16 year mark!

The Ray Family said...

Rob,
You're amazing! It's so good to hear that you are grateful for your life and what you have.... I don't know if my attitude would be as awesome as yours. Sue said it best... you are an inspiration!!!

alyssa said...

Like Whitney, I had only heard through other people. What a story! I'm glad your still here. I remember you being such a great person. You look great! Still super cute! Thanks for sharing your experience and being an inspiration to many.

Missy said...

Rob - this must be a hard anniversary to see every year. What an example of strength!

Stacey Sargent said...

rob...love you lots! thanks for coming to my wedding! youre amazing!

Marie said...

You're amazing Rob! Thanks for giving all the details. I can't believe what you went through, and way back in 2001. You are one tough cookie.

ashlie said...

Wow! Like others I had never really heard the whole story! When I did hear my hear broke but, I am grateful that you are still here! You are such a great person and I have so many awesome memories about you!

Tina said...

Rob you are the greatest. I love you and your family. Your Mom is amazing and I so appreciate what she did for Stacey with that gorgeous wedding dress. It was so fun to see you at the wedding. Thanks for coming.

amyd said...

For some reason my computer won't let me comment on your blog page so I am over at my mom's computer and it finally works. What a trial for you to have been through. YOu are an amazing, strong person. We all love you.

Melissa said...

Hey Rob, we were in high school together but I'm sure you don't remember me...

Your name pops up on every blog roll I see! (even my sister in law's, who is from Oregon), I had to finally check it out!

Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for sharing your story, I really appreciate it an appreciate your example of fortitude, gratitude and how well you develop those relationships with your family and friends.

Wishing you well. I will probably be looking in again, I'm sure :)

Kami said...

Thanks for the good cry! I 'll never forget seeing you in the hospital for the first time after the accident. I was crying and your Mom was consoling ME. That was pretty embarrassing. Wow, I can't believe it's been seven years. I would love to see you when we're out there-it's been way too long. Hang in there!

ChaseandKristi said...

Love You ROB! Thanks for being the most generous and loving bother to me. Your amazing!

Melinda said...

Rob, I never knew anything surrounding your accident. I'm glad to know that your strong spirit has emerged through this all and has brought to light everything important to you in your life. It sounds like you are the best uncle your little nieces could ever ask for. I love hearing about your funny dog stories and other interests you have on your blog. It's nice to see our highschool classmates in a different place in life, no matter what that may be. I admire your strength and as everyone said before you are truly an inspiration to us all.

Tiffani Mills said...

Rob-
You are so amazing- such an inspiration! And you have such an amazing family! Love you all. Thanks for leaving a comment on my post- made me remember you had a blog so I could check it out.

Craig said...

Hey Rob we're connected on facebook and I keep meaning to post on your page. Thanks for sharing your story. Amazing.

mistieleigh said...

I cant believe that all happened. I think everyone has tried to drive when they are tired and shouldnt...and just were more lucky than you. You have such a great attitude. I know Troy loved hanging out the other day with you and loved catching up and reminiscing with all you guys.
Take care and stay strong!

Emily said...

hey Rob, I'm like Whitney just kinda heard the details through the grape vine. But you were always such a good friend to me and I'm so glad you are still here with us. Your right...things could always be worse. We all go through rough trials. Your have been tough ones. You are a stellar example to us all and I certainly admire your strength and good attitude.
Emily Muir Redd

me said...

Wow! I had only heard bits and pieces. Thanks for sharing. It's amazing how quickly life can change. You're a good man. It would be fun to get together again. If you ever head out to Atlanta let me know.

Jen said...

Wow Rob I fell off the face of the earth after High School so had no idea. Thank you so much for sharing your story. You are truly an inspiration, You Rock!!!!

Amy said...

Wow Rob! It has been a really long time since I've seen you and the other gang! I don't know if you will remember me. I am Josh's aunt Amy. I was always hanging out with Jodi. I remember you and the other boys hanging out with Josh at the house. What great times.
You are an inspiration to a lot of people. I read some of your blog about your nieces... what a great relationship you have with them. That is so awesome. They will love you their whole life! Continue to be an inspiration, you don't know how many lives you will touch.