Cody was an energetic, loving toddler! He adored the Lion King and Spider Man. He carried a little Simba action figure with him everywhere he went. EVERYWHERE! When he liked something you knew it! When he didn't like something, you knew that, too! He hated getting his hair cut and having his nails clipped. He would scream to the top of his lungs, "IT HURTS!!! MOMMY, IT HURTS!" No amount of consoling would change his feelings on the matter, either. He was a passionate child.
Fast forward to the spring semester of first grade. At this time, Blake and Cody were 6. (Dale was 5. That means Brooke was 8.) Needless to say, our house was always buzzing.
We live out in the country on ten acres with a wonderful creek that meanders around our property. There are lots of trees! There are many things for young boys to get into. Our boys were climbing trees by the time they could walk...or at least it seemed that way.
It was the week of Spring Break. At the time, I worked for a private preschool that was on the same schedule as the public schools. We were all home for Spring Break. This particular day (the Monday of break) was a beautiful day...perfect temperature, sun shining. It was a great day for the kids to be outside playing. The boys often roamed around behind our house while we would go in and out to check on them.
Late that afternoon, one of the boys (I don't remember if it was Blake or Dale) came running into the house and said that Cody had fallen out of a tree. We raced out the back door and Cody was limping toward the back deck. Just the relief that he was up and walking flooded over us. However, when we got him in the house he couldn't breathe and was crying because he was hurting. He couldn't tell us exactly how he was hurting. He knew his foot hurt, but he basically was hurting all over.
My parents rushed up to our house. I was trying to soothe Cody and at the same time telling Doug that we needed to go to the hospital. Doug (being the man that he is) said something like, "Oh, he'll be alright! After all, he walked to the house." Doug went outside to see where he fell. When he came back in he told us that Cody had fallen 12 feet out of the tree and another 6 feet into the creekbed. My tiny little boy had fallen 18 feet! My mother and I had decided we would go to the hospital with or without Doug. It ended up that Doug and I took him to Kosair hospital and my parents stayed with our other children.
The staff at Kosair immediately took him to a trauma room. They ran x-ray after x-ray after x-ray. He had broken his foot right at the growth plate. He would have to put no weight on it for some time. At that point, we were once again relieved and thankful that his injury, while serious, was so much less than it could have been. The doctors decided that Cody should stay overnight for observation.
That night, Cody would cry out in extreme pain everytime he moved. Something wasn't right and this Momma knew it! It really makes no sense that I thought something else was wrong when the doctors were saying there wasn't anything else. After all, Cody was going to hurt; he had fallen hard and a long distance. The only explanation is that God prompted me to know something more was wrong. I pestered and complained to the attending physician until he finally relented and said they would do a scan of Cody's spine from top to bottom. He said to me, "I'm only doing this to prove to you that nothing is wrong." I said, "Great! I hope you are right!" Grrrr! That still gets under my skin when I think about it. Anyway, I digress.
Becky, my sister had come to visit Cody and told Doug and me to go get something to eat. We went downstairs to McD's and came right back to Cody's room. We weren't gone 20 minutes. Becky met us at the door and told us that the doctor had come in and told her that Cody had to lay flat on his back and couldn't move. The scan showed that he had broken his back. I can't even type this without crying. A broken back?! What would that mean? What will they need to do? How can we control his pain? If he moves, will he end up being paralyzed? Oh so many questions.
Of course, we were praying through all this, but the urgency became even more intense. Cody had to lay flat on his back for several days in that hospital bed until they could make a custom turtle-style back brace. He had so many prayer warriors interceding for him.
We spent a full week at Kosair's. Cody would come home in the back brace, wheelchair, and a walker. He could not get up at all without the brace. He could not put any weight on his foot so he had to be in the wheelchair. The walker was for moving small distances around the house. We moved his bed into the living room to care for him 24/7. Cody finished his first grade year home-bound. He spent from April through the end of July in the brace and the wheelchair.
It wasn't until we were past the initial shock of his injuries that we realized how God had protected him the day he fell from the tree. Cody probably didn't weigh 35 pounds at the time. (Our boys have always been tiny. That is until they started getting taller and taller.) He fell 18 feet into a rocky creekbed hitting branches on his way down. He walked to the house on a broken foot and with a broken back. BUT GOD protected him! Cody could have just as easily been killed that day. Beyond the initial fall, Cody could have been paralyzed because of a delay in the diagnosis of the broken back. BUT GOD had other plans for Cody.
To guard you in all your ways.