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.


  1. That must have been a scary moment for you. And, that girl handled the emergency better than some grown ups I know.

  2. Nice! So glad when children have the presence of mind to take charge of a situation!! Way to go! Also.... NEVER PLAY THAT GAME AGAIN SON!

    PS-Eldest says "Get well soon!" ;-)

  3. I'm so glad he's ok. Get well woon.

    That little girl is amazing. You're right. what a great story and act of bravery.

  4. OMGosh how scary!! I am so glad he is going to be ok and what an awesome and brave friend!! I laughed out loud about your Darwin Award and defibrillator comments! ;)

  5. So glad it looks like everything is going to be ok. What a scare!

  6. So glad it looks like everything is going to be ok. What a scare!

  7. I'm so glad that your son will be okay. Your and your husband's minds must have been swirling with horrible possibilities during that ambulance ride. The good prognosis must have been a huge relief! That girl definitely deserves all the praise that the pickle weasel can heap on her :)

  8. Wow, what a scare! And a good case for letting a kid have a phone. Glad he is ok. Your heartbeat should get back to normal in a few weeks.

  9. I don't think I breathed until I got to the very end of this post. Thank heavens for her quick thinking and calm demeanor. It's good to know that the boy is going to be okay. I can't even begin to imagine the degree of terror that you felt. Well, yes I can -- last year I got a phone call at work saying that my then 5-year old had passed out in school and that EMS was on the way. I've felt that terror; I'd just rather not remember it.

    xoxo to you, JC.

  10. Glad he is going to recover!! Even more glad that he has such a great friend!

  11. So sorry to hear your boy was hurt. I hope he has a speedy recovery.

    That girl definitely deserves an award - it's difficult to remain calm in that sort of situation, no matter who you are!

  12. smacfiltered@gmail.comMay 26, 2012 at 11:54 PM

    Thanks so much for the update. You, your son & family have been on my mind since I first read of his accident. Glad to hear he's at home with his family & pals! What a horrific scare that must have been! Incredible young girl to remain calm with everything going on around her. Her parents must be very proud. I hope you get some much needed rest & enjoy your family tomorrow. xoxox

  13. So terribly scary. I am really glad your son is doing better. We've only had one trauma {knocking wood} among our five kids, but I'm certain it took years off my life. I hope you poured yourself a tall drink when it was all over!

    Your son's friend is a shining example to others in emergency situations. Her parents must be so proud!

  14. I am glad all is working out. That is a scary moment.

  15. Happy to hear the all is going to be better with the 12 year old.
    As for the young proud! SO SO PROUD!

  16. Just now reading this. Scary as hell. So glad he's going to be all right. And big, BIG ups to the girl that called 911.

  17. I'm glad things worked out for you guys, I have to wonder though if this is a common occurrence in this game, maybe that is why she was calm, more of a "Jeeze not again". But who knows ;).

  18. Kids have a funny way of keeping you on your toes, don't they? Hope the boy-child makes a speedy recovery. For the girl, good job! Those situations are scary enough. Glad she was brave enough to do the right thing.

  19. Scary time for you. It's every parent's nightmare. Just shows how important it is to teach 10/11 year olds what to do in an emergency. Ever second counts x


Cuz You Rocketh.