*Warning some pictures are graphic*
Birthdays on special to me ever since my mom and dad passed away. Their deaths reminded me of how precious life is and how you never know when your time on Earth will end. Today is my son, Kaylon, 21st birthday; a birthday that we might not have seen if things had turned out differently….
On July 14th, I got a call from Kaylon saying, “Mom, I got shot!! My friend is taking me to the hospital.” I’m at work and scheduled to close the department that day. But I immediately go to my boss to let me him know I’m leaving and that I have a family emergency. Kaylon is a jokester. He plays about everything so at first, I didn’t believe him. I know you’re thinking that sounds awful or why would he play like that but you have to know this kid to understand. When he called he was so calm. He wasn’t panicking or anything however I’m told your adrenaline is rushing and you can’t help but just react to whatever is going on. Anyway, I call my daughter, Kaniecia, to see if he called her and let her know what happened. I call his dad and before long we’re all at the hospital.
When I arrive, I’m immediately escorted to the back where he is being treated. As soon as he sees me, there is this big smile on his face. I’m saying to myself, “Boy, you just got shot however you’re smiling!” But that’s the kinda kid he is; always finding something to smile about. I’m told by the ER nurse that they are awaiting the Xrays but they cleaned the wound and have given him shots. Once the Xrays come back, then he can go home. I’m thinking that this process is going a little fast however how would I know how long it takes. It took us at least 30 minutes to get to the hospital. Anyway, the Xrays come back and we’re told the bullet went straight through. The ER staff kept saying how lucky he was and I kept correcting them that he was blessed. We were released to go home with instructions to see a wound care doctor soon.
I had training the next day but I had to also find him a doctor for his wound before any infection set it. When I arrived at training, I let the facilitator know that I had a family issue that would cause me to leave in and out of training. She pulled me to the side and asked if I minded sharing with her. I said no. It was actually a relief. I hadn’t been able to react at all to the news so it was relieving to get it out. I told her I needed to find a doctor for my son who was shot the day before. Erica immediately told me that one of our benefits was a nursing team that would find him all the care he needed. She contacted the head of that department and Jeremy was calling me within minutes. A couple of hours later, Kaylon had an appointment scheduled for the next day. The company I work for is awesome!
The next day we go to visit with Dr. Lo and she tells us that the wound is severely infected and he needs to have surgery immediately. She tells us according to the Xray, Kaylon is lucky. If the bullet had went a little to the left it would have hit an artery and if it had gone a little to the right it would have hit a bone and shattered his foot. I correct her and tell her he is blessed. Dr. Lo says the surgery is urgent and if we don’t do it the infection could spread or worse he could lose his foot. She doesn’t have to convince me that it’s necessary but Kaylon was not happy about that. We get the surgery scheduled for the next day and pray for the best. Dr. Lo tells us that the ER should have flushed out the wound so this doesn’t happen. Kaylon is concerned about the surgery because he doesn’t want any more pain than what he is already feeling. He’s cracking jokes about what if he wakes up during surgery and the doctor is assuring him that he won’t. This kid is really a mess when it comes to pain.
We arrive the next day for a 7:30 am surgery and we all are very scared. It’s frightening to not know what will happen or how much damage has been done. They take him back and the waiting begins for us. Barry kept us laughing but I know we all were scared. We would hear codes and emergency calls and look at each other to assure each other it wasn’t Kaylon. After some time, the nurse comes to get me saying Kaylon is asking for me. I go back there and he’s mad as hell. He wants to know why I left him and why didn’t I come back there. He tells me over and over how they tricked him into taking him. I knew then he was ok and I could stop worrying.
Dr. Lo tells me that she got about 98% of the lead from the bullet out and that she got all the infection out. She tells me to keep the wound wrapped but she needs to see him on Monday. I’m so grateful that it went well and know we’re on the road to recovery. Our first visit to Dr. Lo after surgery was a rough one. They have to remove any dead skin to make sure that the wound is healing properly and it’s painful for him. But each visit after that gets better and better. He starts to improve and before long was released from her care. 6 long weeks of doctor visits, changing his wound and him learning to adjust to life with a bullet wound.
So you see, today is very special for me. This birthday for Kaylon is a blessing because had that bullet went anywhere else I would have suffered the loss of a child. I treasure every moment with my children and don’t take anything for granted. Life is precious and we must enjoy every moment. On today, I celebrate my son’s 21st birthday. I love him dearly and I’m proud of how he conquered this setback. He was a true soldier through it all and I can only imagine how much pain he suffered. I thank God for sparing my son’s life and for protecting my family through it all. This hasn’t been easy for me, Barry nor Kaniecia. We suffered with him, worrying if he would be ok and how things may turn out. One thing that didn’t waver was our faith in God. So on today, I say Happy 21st Birthday Kaylon!!!