Last week a little six-year-old boy from my kids' Tae Kwon Do class (my kids got a scholarship from the owners, bless them both) was hit by a van. His mother and little brother were with him, and after they'd safely crossed the street and gotten to the parking lot, the boy was struck by a very large extended work van.
I was getting my children ready to head home, when one of the men fromt he next class rushed in and asked for someone to call 911, a child had been hit by a car. I told my kids to stay put and I think I was across the street and had him in my arms in about two steps (I was trained as a First Responder as part of my Early Childhood training in college). I yelled for someone to call 911 (in answer to which, someone tried to hand me the phone - future reference, bad idea. Let me do my job and YOU call - that's your job) and for clean towels for the blood I could already see gushing from the back of the boy's head. I was a little worried in the back of my mind that I'd scare him with all my yelling, but everyone else was just standing there in shock, and they needed to be motivated. The mom in me wanted to panic, cry and hold him to me, but his mom was already taking care of that for me.
It didn't look horrible at first: He was hunched over in a little ball and it looked as though a cut on the back of his scalp might need several stitches. But he was saying he was fine, just that we were hurting him when I tried to place pressure on his bleeding wound as his mother held him. Paramedics showed up and strapped him to a board and I went home, adrenaline still coursing through me, and I was near tears by the time the shaking stopped.
But it gets worse. As it turns out, the little one's brain bounced off the front of his skull on impact, and he developed a bleed for which he was flown to Fort Wayne (pretty far away, and a BIG deal). He was released a few days later, but is still not out of the woods. He's on restrictions for four to six months, and cannot play, run, anything that jostles him. He's dizzy constantly and has horrible headaches from the hematoma on his brain. He doesn't sleep well (from the pain) and tires very easily. His doctors are still very concerned, and his mother, bless her heart, is near tears daily.
The other crappy part of this is that the man who hit him had been drinking. Not much, he still registered under the legal limit. Not to mention the fact that he was in a company van... which really makes little difference, since he owns the company. And now we find out that the man's insurance refuses to pay for a thing, and the thousands in medical bills are the responsibility of the little boy's single mother who's been laid off from her job and who's sperm donor is in jail for non-payment of child support.
When it rains it pours, people. Hug your kids and the ones you love and keep them close.