Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Close Call

Note to family members : do not tell my parents and the older folks about this post! They only know part of it, not the details.

Yvonne and I were driving back to Phoenix from San Francisco on 2nd January 2006. It has been raining in California the past week. As we passed San Bernardino, we thought we have passed the thunderstorm area, as we approached Palm Springs, merely 4 hours away from Phoenix.

The forecast was not quite right. We hit a rough patch of thunderstorm just off Palm Springs. Yvonne was driving. We slowed down a bit to 50-60 mph. The wind was gusty. Suddenly we hit an uneven part of the road, a with water puddle.

Suddenly, the car got out of control. The car hydroplanned. The car spinned across the three lanes of the highway. We hit the barrier, which was when I knocked my head onto something (side window or windscreen) and lost consciousness. The car flipped a few times, and we ended up in a ditch. Yvonne was conscious throughout the incident. She hit her chest against the steering wheel, and it caused her immense pain.

A vehicle behind us stopped and called 911. Yvonne could muster enough strength to get them to put the sleeping bag in the backseat over me, to keep me warm. I don't remember much. I was bleeding profusely from my head and she was afraid of what might have happened to me. I was flitting in and out of consciousness. I remember holding Yvonne's hand. And somehow I had her wallet in my hand. I remember being covered with something. I remember people hovering around the vehicle. I remember being able to move my limbs and it didn't hurt. I remember the paramedic sliding me out of the car. I remember being strapped, wrapped with plenty of blankets over me as I was shivering with cold.

I was calm. And kept asking if my friend was alright. I was getting worried on the ambulance as I didn't hear Yvonne speak. I told them to take care of her. I remember having my t shirt cut open. I remember being carted into the ER.

By then, I was quite aware of things. They put 2 IVs on me, and sent me through a battery of tests - CT scan on my head and x-ray. It was very uncomfortable to be strapped down straight all the time, with a neck brace. I couldn't turn my head much in the car too as the brace was put on by the paramedic, so I don't know how it was. But according to Yvonne, the car's cage held up, which is why we were left almost unscathed.

I asked them about Yvonne as I couldn't hear her at all. I was talking and asking them to clean my wounds on my hand which they had ignored. They took our shards of glass from my head. I remember laughing about that. I was given the clear on the tests and they proceeded to staple up my wound. There was gash from above my left forehead up to my head...there are 7-9 staples on it. The wound looks kinda ugly and bloody. Lost some hair too. They didn't shave the head though.

We were discharged that same night. We spent the night at a nearby motel and Yvonne made me leave the next morning as my wound looks scary and so that someone can look after me on campus. She suffered a contusion on her chest. We were calm while dealing with the incident. She stayed on to handle insurance matters and will be back here tomorrow.

We are very lucky to have escaped. I am just uncomfortable with the wound on my head. I am thankful and grateful.


At January 05, 2006 6:32 pm, Blogger MellowHex said...

You can sure count yourself lucky, cousin. Next time, be careful. Will look forward to seeing you again. Maybe you can introduce Yvonne to us.

At January 05, 2006 10:30 pm, Blogger Shavain said...

I hope this doesn't sound wrong or anything, but I'm glad you survived to tell the tale =)

At January 06, 2006 12:15 am, Anonymous Michelle Leung said...

Oh, very good luck to you Wai Seng. I'm really glad to know you are doing ok and can tell the story. Pls take good care of your wounds and hopefully it'll not leave obvious scars and the hairs will cover!

At January 06, 2006 8:12 am, Anonymous Nol said...

I'm shocked! Hope the both of you are recovering well! I shudder to think you could have become a statistic! Take extra care!

At January 06, 2006 11:56 am, Blogger philters said...

unbelievable! what a close call! hoping that you and yvonne are recovering well. lots of rest!


At January 06, 2006 10:57 pm, Anonymous Emily T said...

That's something to be thankful for this new year. Do take care always. You and your friend.

At January 07, 2006 1:18 am, Blogger JoMel said...

WS, sorry for reading this so many days later. Thank God you and your friend are both fine. I was so shocked when I read your account of what happened. Thank God. Take care ok.

At January 12, 2006 5:31 pm, Anonymous yoonghow said...

Wai Seng hope you're recovering well now. I can't imagine what I'd do in your situation. You must be very brave to still laugh in the face of certain panic. What's so funny anyway? :)

Nevertheless, thank God you and your friend are safe.

At January 15, 2006 4:55 am, Blogger Elizabeth said...

Thank your lucky stars that you are alive! I hope you recover soon!

At January 15, 2006 6:50 am, Blogger Yuen Li said...

Oh my goodness. Glad you're ok.

At January 15, 2006 8:40 pm, Blogger jen said...

oh my god!! I haven't been here in ages! but i keep hearing these things happen so often, and worse, sometimes it's alcohol or a cow or something like that, but sometimes it's no one's fault, and still people get hurt. really glad that you're ok and alive and well. :) look forward to seeing you all in one piece.


At January 25, 2006 3:19 pm, Blogger Resurrected said...

Thanks for all the well wishes! I am fine, up and running! :)

Take care everyone


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