By early afternoon the doctor’s didn’t think I would be alive much longer. They told my parents to have my sister’s come to Oklahoma as soon as possible. Kathy, my older sister, and Carrie the youngest, caught the next plane out. Carrie walked in, saw me and threw up. Kathy walked in and said “Sue, you’ll do anything to get out of school”.
I was on a respirator, which had an orange light on it that would turn on every time I took a breath. My mother walked in and saw no light on. She walked over to me and screamed, “SUSAN THIS IS MOM! YOU BREATHE RIGHT NOW”! At that instant I gasped and took a breath. No one can ever tell me that a person in a coma can't hear because I'm living proof they can.
The intensive care unit nurses told my mom that they had never extracted as much glass out of any other accident victim as they did with me. The good Lord was still with me because I was still alive after two days. The doctor’s decided that it was time to take me off of the respirator so they cut a hole in my throat and stuck a tube down it. This tube was hooked up to a respirator for breath support. The doctor’s informed my parents that we had to take it one day at a time and with each day came new problems.
A few nights later, the nurses from ICU ran into the lobby and told my mother that they were coding me. Coding simply meant that I was dying. I had no heart beat and my blood pressure had plunged into the basement. My doctor was never in the hospital this late at night but he happened to walk in that night. He placed the paddles on my heart and got my heart beating again. My heart failed at least four other times. After this scare I contracted a deadly bacteria invasion of the body, which nearly killed me. He did not have time to find out what was causing this crisis. So he gave me a certain number of shots in an attempt to keep me alive. He then told my mom, “ we loaded all of the guns but we won’t know for 72 hours if we got it. “ Thank goodness one of those shots was the right one. They later found out that the infection was “sepsis” or toxic shock syndrome.
I finally got out of ICU after 3.5 weeks and was given a private nurse . One day she walked in and saw that I was having a great deal of trouble breathing. Many doctor’s and interns tried to find out what was wrong with me. But everyone was extremely puzzled. At the last minute my doctor happened to walk in and he took one look at me and screamed out “IT’S A BLOOD CLOT! ICU STAT!” He ran with me in my own bed to ICU while some of the nurses carrying the IV bags. When they got to the elevator he yelled out, “IS SHE BREATHING? NURSE, TELL ME I SHE STILL BREATHING?” My mother was standing down the hall thinking, “Oh God nurses answer him. Is she breathing?” Because of the doctors quick response to yet another crisis my life was saved once again. The doctor’s evaluated my brainwaves with an EEG, which indicated it’s functioning normally. The big question was, “why is this girl still in a coma”?
The doctor decided that fluid must have built up in my brain so he took care of this by shaving my head and making two incisions to let the fluid drain. There was more fluid then he had expected but he was able to drain it all. Because this pressure was relieved he told my parents I should be waking up soon.By this time Samantha was discharged from the hospital and was allowed to come see me. I asked her to tell me about the visit and she said, “It was November before I got a chance to see Sue after the wreck. She did not look like the Sue I had known. Her head was shaved and her mouth was wired and misshapen. She could not hold her head up and could only make noises. She got excited when she saw me but I don’t know if she really knew who I was. When talking to her I didn’t know if she understood what I said but she did hear me. She kept looking away. At one point she was crying.”