This has been a tough week for us and I will put aside my various training comments to engage in a bit of self-therapy and recognition.
Last Friday, around 7PM, while travelling to the Houston Rodeo to see the Taylor Swift concert, my daughter and her friend Allison were involved in a terrible collision--while stopped in traffic my daughter's Chevrolet Impala was struck from behind by a Ford F-250 pickup truck at a high speed (I have been told that the on site officer said over 55 mph and the wrecker driver believed it was more like at least 80 mph, although I only really learned the extent of the damage late the following day). The damage was extensive, the rear end of the car no longer exists, the trunk was crushed and pushed into the back seat, and the back seat pushed up and against the front seat. My daughter walked away from the vehicle badly shaken up and with no real injuries. However, Allison was knocked unconscious and transported to the hospital.
My wife and I, plus Allison's parents shortly thereafter, met up with Amanda at the hospital about 8:30 PM. [We would later have to take Amanda to another hospital to be seen more quickly, since she was not considered to be seriously injured she was placed at the back of the busy ER line after being ignored for several hours by the ER staff.] For the next several hours we were given isolated bits of information while Allison was scanned, examined, etc..., and we waited anxiously for real news. Given my daughter's condition, we were not expecting, nor were we prepared for the news regarding the severity of Allison's injuries. Going into detail beyond this is too painful, but suffice it to say she was in a deep coma and never woke up. Less than 24 hours later she was gone.
I wish to honor Allison here by letting everyone who reads this know that she was a great girl, who became a wonderful young woman during the years she was one of my daughter's best friends, and was a friend of the whole family. I suppose one of the best things that I can say about her is that she is the person you want your children to be friends with. Many people say wonderful things about people after their passing, but in Allison's case none of the stories are exaggerated, she really was that good!
I am sure she would appreciate that at least five patients have received her organs and will hopefully go on to lead full lives due to her passing. I know that she would be happy to know that Amanda survived relatively uninjured (even though Amanda has had a tough time reconciling guilt over being the survivor, and I am having trouble reconciling how I get to take my daughter home while Allison will never go home again).
Allison's story was the subject of this front page article in the local newspaper: http://www.hcnonline.com/articles/2009/03/23/conroe_courier/news/fatal0323.txt
I really appreciated that her family took steps not to name my daughter to protect her from attention in this tough time. Her family has been so wonderful to mine, and they have gone to great length to make sure Amanda is going to be fine, I can see that Allison learned her strength of character from some very fine parents.