May 26, 2012


Yesterday the 12 year old boy and his friend were playing “Sandman” in the park. Apparently this is a game where you close your eyes and try to grab the other players. Yes, the boy nearly became a Darwin Award contender by giggling and klutzing around 6 feet up on a play structure with his eyes shut. Of course he tripped and fell down, landing on the iron bars below.

I’d just uploaded The Birthday Kiss and tweeted out the link when I got ye olde dreaded phone call. It was a woman.

“Your son is hurt, in the park, the ambulance is coming.”

I ran. As soon as I turned the corner I could see the flashing lights. Note to self: start exercising cuz you can’t even run 4 blocks without needing a defibrillator. As I approached the group of people crowded around my son lying flat on the park wood chips, my heart sank. I could hear him gasping for breath and crying out in pain.

The Huz caught up with me just as the paramedics were putting a brace around our son’s neck and head.

"Am - I - gonna - die...?" Tears leaked out of the corners of his eyes.

Lemmeetellya a million fears shriek from the depths of your soul when you are in such a situation. I pushed them all down, and focused on reassuring the boy and staying calm.

Ambulance ride. Trauma unit. Intravenous. Ultra-sound. X-rays. Morphine. The Huz and I held each other, watching our son and waiting...I tweeted at that point I think; and Twitter was amazing with the support.

Finally the doctors told us there were no big fractures, just lung and rib trauma. The boy is now recovering at home with pain medication to keep him breathing deeply so his lung doesn't collapse. He's watching movies surrounded by his pals as I write this. He's going to be fine.

But this story is not about him. This story is really about his friend, an 11 year old girl who showed true bravery and presence of mind in the moment because she called 911. She did so without hesitation as soon as she saw the boy was having trouble breathing. She didn’t call her mom first or get another grownup to do it. She did it herself. Then she stayed on the phone with the Emergency person and relayed directions to the people gathering around the howling gasping boy on the ground.

Stay with him.
Nobody should touch him or try to move him.
A grownup at the scene should call his parents.
Another grownup should flag down the ambulance when it comes in sight of the park.

This 11 year old girl deserves recognition. And so I’m awarding her the very first Pickle Weasel “911 Mojo” Award in acknowledgement of her bravery, quick thinking and calm action. In short: she's got mojo.

She’s a fine example to other kids and grownups of how to behave in a potential emergency. Walk tall girl, cuz You Rocketh.