Family Emergencies & Reflecting On Life

June 19th, 2019
Written by Dr. Michael Crippen

We have the best patients. I want to take a moment and personally thank our patients who had to reschedule on Monday and Tuesday, June 10th and 11th with no other explanation other than I had a family emergency-. I thank you for your understanding.

We also have the best staff. They helped me through a very difficult time.

As I reflect on what happened Monday leading to appointment cancelations, I’ve debated what anything I would share on Facebook much less on our office Facebook page.

On Monday Bennett, our 4-year-old fell out of a second story wind and landed on the wooden deck over 12 feet below. It is likely he was unconscious right after the fall, but when Melissa, my wife, found him he was responsive, clearly in pain, but able to answer questions.

Melissa called 911. He was taken by ambulance to the ER in Spirit Lake, IA. He lost consciousness for maybe 10-20 minutes and was unresponsive while waiting for a CT scan. He was airlifted to Sioux Falls, SD. He had scans and x-rays done for every part of his body from the knees on up. All scans and X-rays came back negative, meaning no broken bones, no internal bleeding, or other complications that can be detected by those methods.

He was kept overnight for observations and released the following morning. Other than the bru·1se on his cheek, you would never know he had such a serious fall. He’s back to being the loud, fun-loving, and very energetic 4-year old that brings so much happiness to our lives.

I want to thank the Milford Police and Fire Department for their very prompt response. I want to thank all of the EMS and medical staff at Lakes Regional Healthcare and the Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center in Sioux Fall, SD. I must express thanks for the many outpourings of love concern, and the prayers of so many individuals, including kind neighbors, my staff, our church, and the understanding of our patients, and oh so many others.

Some of the initial thoughts I had when I first heard Bennett fell were: If this morning was the last time I talked to him, does he know I love him? When was the last time he heard me say it? When was the last time I showed him I loved him in such a way that he need not be told?

The woman I dated and later married was very comfortable with these words. I have learned from her to say them almost constantly to my children. With my daughter Aveline, l will often say, “Guess what?” to which she smiles tilts her head and says, “You love me?” and I’ll say, “How do you know?” She’ll respond laughing and throwing her arms around, up and down, “Because you tell me all the time!”

Ever since Bennett’s fall, I’ve caught myself telling him almost constantly, “I’m so glad you get to be with us.” He smiles gives me the softest hugs and sometimes in only a whisper says, “Me too.”

It’s never too early to let someone know you love them and hopefully in real concrete and meaningful ways, but in the blink of an eye, it could be too late.