On Sunday, September 5, 2010 Debbie had a severe head trauma. We’re not 100% sure what happened, but here is what we’ve pieced together.
Lindsey and Bo were home for Labor Day weekend, and since September 5 is David’s birthday, Lindsey and Debbie had decided to get up early to fix him breakfast. We know that Debbie got up and took a shower because the fan was on in the bathroom and there was a wet towel. We know that Debbie put on a load of wash in the washing machine, and we know she made it to the kitchen because the flour to make biscuits was out on the counter. David usually gets up after Debbie and immediately walks the dogs, and so on Sunday he did this as usual, then walked into the kitchen to look for Debbie.
She was laying on the sofa and appeared to be asleep, though her arms were crossed strangely across her chest. He went to wake her up, and no matter what he did, he couldn’t rouse her. While he was trying to wake her up he heard the washing machine buzz as it ended its cycle, so we believe that 30-40 minutes prior Debbie had put on the wash.
Lindsey woke up when she heard David trying to wake up Debbie and Lindsey went into the living room to try and wake her as well. Lindsey thought it was odd that Debbie’s flip flops were laying on the sofa – Debbie ALWAYS wears shoes in the house, but when she lays on the sofa she always sets the shoes next to the sofa. On this day Debbie wore her shoes on the sofa, which let Lindsey and David to believe that she was very disoriented when she got to the sofa. The family’s doctor is also a neighbor, so David called him. He told David to call 911, and that he’d be right over.
When the doctor arrived, he could tell that Debbie had an irregular pulse, but he couldn’t figure out what the problem was. The paramedics arrived very quickly, and they immediately worked on getting her to the stretcher. Before they moved her, they gave her a shot which woke her up. The lead paramedic made eye contact, then asked Debbie to squeeze his fingers with her left hand. She did, and he asked her to squeeze with her right hand. She didn’t. Lindsey was standing over her by the back of the sofa, and she said “Mama, squeeze his hand.” Debbie turned her head and made eye contact with Lindsey. The paramedic said “Debbie, look at me,” and she turned her head back. He asked her to squeeze his hand, and she finally did. This was the last time she was conscious.
The paramedics realized in the ambulance that Debbie had a wound on the back of her head, indicating a fall of some sort. David was riding in the ambulance, but Lindsey and Bo had stayed behind to straighten the living room back up. As they did this, they noticed a thumb-sized splotch of blood on the pillow where Debbie’s head had been. When Lindsey and Bo arrived at the emergency room, the neurosurgeon came to speak to the family and let them know that Debbie had a hemorrhage in her brain and needed emergency neurosurgery to relieve the pressure and remove the blood.
The surgery went well. The blood was removed, as well as a small piece of bruised brain matter that the surgeon said Debbie would never notice was missing. Debbie was moved to the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) in stable condition.
What we believe happened is that Debbie had some sort of atrial fibrillation (a fib) event that caused her to faint. The faint made her fall, dead weight, onto the hard tile floor, injuring the back of her head. She somehow regained enough consciousness to move to the sofa before she lost consciousness again. David, Lindsey, and Bo have looked all over the house and cannot find any evidence of Debbie’s fall, so we may never know exactly what happened. The doctors are hoping Debbie will remember once she wakes up.