Well, we’re just about back. Vern had a really bad fall off of an attic ladder and impaled himself on a broom handle in October. It was really a miracle that it didn’t hurt him worse than it did. The broom missed everything. And I mean everything. It went outside of his ribcage, which is a total miracle! Then, when it came out, it missed all of the arteries near his shoulder. It was putting pressure on his clavicle, but it didn’t break any bones.
So, when I heard the crash, I came running into the room to find Vern on the floor where he had fallen. I was asking him if he was OK and then I noticed the broom handle sticking out of his shirt with blood on it. I mentioned to him that he had a pole in his chest. He said, “Well that’s not good.” He tried over and over to reassure me that he was breathing OK and that he would be fine. I was so worried that he was going to die within a few seconds, so I just said my goodbyes. He said I should probably call 9-1-1. I had forgotten that was even a thing I could do.
So, I went to get my phone, sure that he would die while I was out of the room. But, he didn’t die, and soon the room was filled with paramedics trying to figure out a way to get him out of the house quickly and safely. They cut off the broom handle where it exited his chest and left the other half in him and transferred him to a stretcher and took him to the ambulance. He said, “Don’t worry, I can handle it.” I didn’t even catch the joke.
We followed the ambulance to the hospital. The lights weren’t even on. The ambulance went the speed limit the whole way. I was sure he was dead. My daughter kept telling me he was stable and that’s why they didn’t have the lights on. But ever since I was little, I thought that if an ambulance turned off its lights, the person inside had died. So, I cried all the way to Boise.
Meanwhile, Vern was having a great time in the ambulance joking around with all the EMTs. They gave him a John Doe name, which was quite comical. Discocactus Amberboa Doe.
When we got to the hospital, I told the guy in the waiting room that I was Vern Cole’s wife and would like to know when the doctors were finished so I could see him. They called me over a few minutes later to tell me that they didn’t have a Vern Cole on the computer. I said, “That’s weird because he just came out of the ambulance. I saw him go back with the doctors. He’s the one with the broom in his chest.” To which they replied, “Oh, Him! Yeah, he’s here.”
After waiting for a long time, we finally got to see him for a few minutes. He was still joking about how he could handle it. I was still not getting it. But, we were able to see the broom in his chest and how it missed all his vital organs. He wanted me to take a picture, so I did. He said, “How many times do you get an opportunity to take a picture with a broom sticking out of your chest?”
Then, we were whisked away so they could prep him for surgery. After many more hours of waiting, we finally got word that they had removed the broom and he had definitely been the most lucky guy in there.
So, now he’s got a new name, and he has some new scars. It’s been a rough, painful road to recovery, but the people who helped him were top-notch professionals with caring hearts and kind words each time we saw them.
Now, we just have to wait for his latest cold to go away so we can practice again! Thank goodness he’s OK and doing better. Thanks to all of you who knew what was going on and offered prayers on his behalf. It was definitely helpful!
We’ll be ready to play again this spring if anyone has any fun parties, weddings, or events they want to book us for. But, you’d better hurry because the theater season will be starting soon.