She's made a conscious decision to not own a car, and travels by bike and longboard, mainly. Unfortunately, as she was riding that very bike, her life did a 180 on Sunday, June 1. We were already in bed when we got a call at 10:30 pm letting us know that she had been in a serious accident downtown. That's the worst kind of phone call you can get as a parent, and a moment you will never forget.
A super-fun night at the Deaconess ER was followed by an even super-funnner next day of surgery to remove all the teeth that were broken off, along with fragments of bone from her shattered jaw. Oh, dont' forget to sew the upper lip back together. From a couple of comments the doctor made, I think there was a period of time during surgery that he wasn't sure he was going to be able to put her back together right, but he did, and he did an awesome job. Thank you, Dr. Higuchi.
She did a full-on face plant into the asphalt on 1st Ave, just outside of Dempsey's. Sarah and Crystal, thanks for taking such good care of your friend . . . you guys did everthing right. And there was a guy who stopped to help and I will never know who you are or get to say this in person, but "Thank You".
Here's the full damage report:
Concussion (out cold for about 30 seconds)
Eight front teeth lost
Broken upper and lower jaw
Upper lip lacerated completely through
Impressive facial road rash
She has no health insurance and so in a period of less than 24 hours, she was instantly tens of thousands of dollars in debt, out of a job, and her dream of moving to Seattle vanished. Not to mention the serious hit to her looks and love life. That's a lot of loss to deal with at once.
But guess what? If you take a close look, there's fabulous Mom-and-Dad news here: No brain injury and no spinal injury. I say a little prayer of thanksgiving every day.
It's been five weeks and she's made tremendous progress. Her jaw's been wired shut the whole time, but she lives a super-healthy lifestyle and I think that's made a huge difference in her recovery. (You wouldn't believe how fast her face healed.) That and her positive attitude, which has blown me away. Not that she doesn't have her moments, as you would expect.
As for me, I'm not doing so well. Thousands of dollars of orthodonture work, down the drain. I cry a lot, sometimes at the most awkward moments.
Check out this smile:
I know you want to know what happened. Me too. I talked to her friends, who were riding ahead of her and didn't see the crash. I had to take a trip downtown to see where it happened, to get clues, to piece it all together, to try and make some sense of it. I saw a lot of dried blood in the street where she crashed and more on the curb where she ended up after her friends helped her get out of the street. But there was no smoking-gun-of-a-rut in the street, no car involved, no one to blame things on. She was riding her bike, maybe got a bit too careless, a bit too complacent about all that potential energy that you generate when you're riding down the street, maybe taking the mystery of staying upright on two skinny wheels a bit too "for-granted". She doesn't remember anything, but something happened that affected her balance and changed everything in a split second. In my mind I've reconciled it as a freak accident. Unfortunately, shit does happen. And apparently, sometimes it happens to really good people.
There's some great news here, though. The Wild Sage has stepped up in a big way and organized a fundraiser for Jacque. A bunch of other people and establishments have jumped on board and it's grown from a low-key buffet dinner to a gala event complete with silent auction. Terrific people that totally restore my faith in humanity have stepped forward to donate auction items and find out what they can do to help. I'm especially grateful to Tom at the Wild Sage for organizing this event. It's gonna be quite a party. You're invited and we don't have any expectations, but we would be most honored and grateful if you were to happen to show up.
Here are the details: Help Fix Jacque. We would be delighted if you could join us in celebrating Jacque's recovery.