'Lost in my own mind'
by Kaitlyn Hentschel
(Vandling, PA USA)
It was a cold winter day, My mother and I decided to go over to my grandparents to relax next to their fire place. I grabbed my jacket and gloves as my mom spun a scarf around my neck. She went to grab the car keys out of the kitchen as I headed out to the car. We headed down South Street towards my aunts family barn. It was slippery out, mom drove very slow. I remember her asking me if my seat-belt was on. We were just a mile away from my grandparents when mom had to slam on the breaks to avoid hitting a tractor trail head-on. And that is the last I remember...
I was in a coma for 15 days at Janet Weis Children's hospital. I was told that my head hit the dashboard causing severe damage & memory loss. The doctors were right, I don't remember anything before that day... My mother was thrown from the car right through the windshield, she landed 6 feet away from the car. My mother didn't make it. The doctors and nurses told me they did all they can to save her but her body was to damaged.
Throughout the 15 days I was in a coma, many people came to visit me I was told. Unfortunately when I was told who came, I didn't remember anyone... not even my father. Doctors told me I would take some time to regain my memory, if I even did. Once the word was out that I awoke, I had many visitors. Many people brought or sent cards, flowers, get well cards, and stuffed animals. I remember crying every night because I couldn't remember anyone that came that day.
The second day I was awake, I began therapy. They brought stuff to me to try to rejog my memory. I remember not wanting anything to do with therapy. Heck, I just found out my mother died. My father tried so hard to get me to at least try but I sat there with my head down, crying. My grandparents came later that night, they were so happy to see that I was alive. They couldn't stop kissing me, but I didn't even know who they were. I was told later on that they brought my favorite blanket for me, now I knew they brought me a blanket but I wasn't sure why. They left after a little while and I dozed off. I remember dreaming of flashbacks from the accident and waking up and crying the rest of the night. That next day my aunt came with her 3 children Mary, Molly, and Mike. They brought my favorite cookies, but I still didn't remember anything, I was lost in my own mind without anyway out.
Later on that day I was able to come home. Doctors thought maybe being there would help me remember things. They gave me a journal to write how I was doing each day. I relied on this journal for the next few weeks. I wrote down everyone that came to visit me down along with a picture of them. This really helped me get through the days. My father brought down a box of pictures of our family from the attic. He thought hopefully it wouldn't trigger my memory. At first it didn't but we went through them everyday. Finally, a month after 2 months after the accident I started remembering some things.
I started to remember Christmas's at my grandparents. My birthdays celebrated with my family and friends. It felt so good to finally have an idea of who I was, but I still really missed my mom. Because I was in a coma I was unable to attend her funeral, which hurt even more but I knew she was looking down on me each and everyday.