This week’s writer is Bethany Hallock of Ferrisburgh. She offered this as a first-hand account from someone involved in a high-profile news event, and we were happy to publish it because it speaks to how people in our community respond when a member of the community is involved in a life-changing catastrophe.
The morning of Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012, started out beautifully. I left my house with all three of my children and headed to Bristol Soccer Jamboree where I would be coaching my eldest sons team, and watching my daughter play on her team, accompanying me was my youngest son to cheer them on.
Both of my eldest had soccer games at the same time at 9:30 a.m. My son’s team played a great game of soccer as well as the team my daughter was on. As a reward and for some much needed heat on such a chilly morning we headed to the concessions stand to buy some hot chocolate. We were headed to sit down with all of our gear when my youngest spilled his hot cocoa, so I gave him mine. I sat down on top of my bag of soccer balls, right behind a goal that was not being used.
My kids and I were having one of those great family moments. They were sitting on the ground in front of me, leaning back on the soccer balls, having their hot chocolate as I was writing up the agenda for subs and positioning for our next game.
Then, within a moments breath my life changed.
I heard some tires squealing and noise that sounded like a car accelerating coming from behind me. The next thing I new pandemonium set in. Crash, bang, and I was being sent through the air.
I knew I had been hurt badly. But the worst feeling in the world is when you can’t get up to find your children and yet you hear one of them screaming and can see the other two. That was the scariest moment in my life, being totally helpless. I can remember shoving some people out of the way, and shoving some of them out of the way as I was flying through the air. I am so sad that anyone had to go through this. Definitely the scariest thing for me or my children.
I ended up with five broken ribs in my back, a large gaping wound on my upper thigh that needed 70 internal stitches and 10 external ones. I also broke the top of my tibia off, severing the nerve that controls the ability of your foot to move up and to the right. I have 50 internal stitches in my calf area and a mess of scar tissue and nerve problems. I underwent two surgeries in the hospital. One to sew me back up, the other to attempt to repair this nerve. As of this moment, the stitches have been removed, I can walk on my foot, my ribs are still healing (painful) and I have to wear a foot brace so that my foot doesn’t dangle when I walk. There is a less than a 50 percent chance that I will regain the motion of my foot, but I am trying to be optimistic.
As far as my children go, I have NO IDEA how they came out of this unscathed?? I do know that I shoved them to a certain extent, but they were literally right in front of me when this happened.
My eldest has been a champ about this whole incident. He has been helping me with anything I ask of him around the house, and he is even helping me with physical therapy stretches. My boy Trevor is an amazing boy, he will never forget this incident, and will never forget how lucky he is to have his mom back at home. To him, my foot is just cosmetic, bless him.
My daughter is a different story. Her friend was the little boy that was under the vehicle when it came to rest. She had yelled to him at the last second to try to tell him to watch out, but a second too late. She had to witness him getting run over and seriously injured … this is why I heard her screaming but could not see her. She had a hard time returning to school and being asked daily about her mom, but with the help of the school community, she is getting through this.
My eldest is dealing with this incident somewhat OK. The main problem he had was not being able to help his mommy when she needed it. He wanted desperately to come over to me when I was on the ground and help me, but because of the shape I was in they would not let him. He has since been given lots of things to do around the house for me that make him feel like the Hero his is!
A week and a half after the accident I went into the Ferrisburgh Central School to let the children see me. The relief on their faces was priceless. So many of these kids had witnessed the accident and were truly worried about me. I received several emails the next day thanking me for easing the children’s minds, and letting them know that I was “OK.”
I don’t even know where to start with all the people that our family needs to thank, but I am going to attempt to right here, so bear with me.
First of all my husband, Gary. Without him I don’t know how our family could have made it. He is the love of my life and of my children’s lives as well. He definitely stepped up to the plate and took care of all the day to day activities, got our children off to school when I was in the hospital, and visited me several times each day to give me much needed love and support.
My children, Trevor (9), Samantha (7) and Ethan (5) for their never ending love and support, the beautiful cards and flowers and best of all the hugs and kisses I got in the hospital. My family is what is helping me get through this the most. I could not ask for anything more out of them.
All of the people at the soccer field that helped pitch in. I wish I new the names of all of you, but I don’t. Here are the ones I do know. Jodi Bartley, Donna Galuzska, Kim Crawford and Martha Davis for taking my children under your wings and giving them loving support when I couldn’t. Joshua Hardt and Dr. Laura Weylman for taking great care of me on the ground before the ambulance arrived, and all of the other volunteers that helped take care of me that I don’t know. Dr. Tim Bicknell for taking charge of where I needed to go and when, and also for the follow up call a week later when I got home. All of the volunteer ambulance staff, who took great care of me all the way to the hospital. The hospital triage, doctors and nursing staff at Fletcher Allen Health Care. To the boy who was also injured that day for coming to visit me before you left the hospital, and for inspiring me to get better so I could go home too!
A special thank as well to Jodi Bartley for setting up an account for me on mealtrain.com, which lined up people to bring dinner to my house every night since I have been home, and all the way through until Thanksgiving! For all of you that have been delivering or are going to be delivering — THANK YOU!
An extremely special thanks to Hillary Devine and Mary Jackman for setting up a fundraising effort on indegogo.com, which raised a LARGE amount of money to cover my income while I am out of work. For all you that have donated to this cause, I cannot thank you enough. My husband and I are in awe of how many of you out there this has affected that donated to us, even though you may not even know us. Totally amazing and inspiring.
For my mother-in-law, Sylvia Hallock. Thank God she retired last June! She has been a great help to me since the day I got home. Took care of and waited on me hand and foot for 10 days after I got home, and whom continues to support us by driving me to doctors appointments, the grocery store, etc. while I cannot get out or drive.
To all the people that sent me cards and flowers, gifts and donations, thank you!
To the Ferrisburgh Central School in its entirety! The entire school wore purple clothing as well as purple ribbons (the color of my soccer coaching shirt) the Monday after the accident occurred. Thanks especially to Principal Joann Taft-Blakely for coming to visit me in the hospital and to hand deliver get well cards that were made by some of the children there. The children and parents of children also deserve a huge thanks for helping my own children deal with their emotions, and for just being there when needed.
For Lisa Brace and Martha Degraaf for taking care of my child care children, thank you! For my child care parents who have been forever supportive of me during this recovery time. I could never have any better child care parents than you. You guys all have been amazing and understanding.
This community on a whole has been very overwhelming and humbling to me and my family. The money donations, cards, flowers, food, horse back riding lessons, money dropped off at our fuel company, cleaning my house, a load of wood brought and stacked at our house, the list is endless. I cannot thank you all enough. The continued support of this community and my family has been what is keeping me inspired to get through this difficult time.
My ribs are healing slowly, my stitches have come out, and my bone is calcifying to heal itself. At this point, it’s all up to the nerve in my leg to see if I will be able to have the function back in my foot. I pray every day that I will be able to. This whole journey has been one wild emotional roller coaster. This journey is one that I hope I never have to go through again, or to have anyone else have to witness again. I have no ill feelings to the gentleman that hit me. It could have happened to anyone, anywhere. I just happened to be in the wrong spot at the wrong time. Or, for those of you who are calling me a “Hero,” maybe I was in the right spot at the right time? Either way, this is the curveball life has thrown this family and we will get through it together, with the community and family right behind us 100 Percent.
And YES I WILL coach soccer again!
Thanks again to everyone that has touched me and my family during this tragic time.
Editor’s note: Bethany Hallock asked that we pass on contact information to people who wish to contact her; she is at 1303 Satterly Road, Ferrisburgh, VT 05456 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.