This is Kami’s husband, Jared. Almost one month ago… on January 8th, 2015, Kami, the boys, and I went to Disney on Ice at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, CT. On the way home from the event, we had a tire blow out on Rt. 8 North between exits 12 and 13 in Shelton, CT. We pulled off of the roadway and called AAA immediately around 9:40 pm or so. I pulled the Suburban off of the roadway as much as possible. So far off the roadway that the only part of the Suburban that was still in the brake down lane was the two driver side tires. Most of the Suburban was in a grass area, next to an uphill embankment. We could not have been further away from the travel lanes. We explained to AAA that we had a tire blow out and I told them that we had two children in the car and that we were off of the roadway on a highway. The dispatcher said he would flag us as priority because of the children being in the car and it being off of a major highway. The dispatcher also said that he would dispatch a State Trooper to back up the AAA technician with lights based on the dangers of the area.
We were waiting for approximately ten minutes when Kami made Avery a bottle. Kami unbuckled her seat belt and gave the bottle to Avery to calm him down. I had already unbuckled to check to see if there was any other damage to our vehicle, make sure the full size spare was under the Suburban and make sure that our hazards were on and working (Which they were). I had returned to the driver seat and was sitting next to Kami who was in the front passenger seat. I looked up at the rear view mirror and saw two headlights coming straight for the rear of our Suburban. I knew it was an eighteen wheeler, but did not have time to say or do anything. The eighteen wheeler struck our Suburban from the rear on the driver’s side rear corner. I yelled, “Kami, No, Kami, No!!!!” The Suburban immediately started moving forward quickly and began riding up the uphill embankment. We then began to roll towards the driver’s side of the Suburban. We rolled completely and ended up back on all four tires. The boys were in proper car seats and were buckled in. Avery was still in the rear facing position. Kami had been tossed around the passenger compartment and struck her head / neck on the roof / windshield of the Suburban. She ended up getting wedged in the console area of the Suburban. I called Kami? Kami? Kami? She responded, “Jared, I’m right here.” With a false sense of optimism, I asked Kami if she was alright. Kami said, “No. I can’t feel anything below my waist. I’m having trouble breathing.” I flipped up her shirt and saw her chest / stomach was enlarged like a ball. Kami said, “Don’t worry about me, check the boys, check the boys, check the boys!” I was able to get my door open enough to sneak out and tried to open Avery’s door which was behind mine. I pulled the door open enough and was able to sit Avery more upright as his car seat was declined where he was slightly inverted. I straightened his car seat and brought him upright. Avery was crying and did not have any visible injuries. I asked Lincoln if he was okay. Lincoln said, “No.” I asked him what hurt. He replied, “Nothing Daddy, I’m just scared.” He was crying and I told him it was alright to be scared. I asked him again if anything hurt. Lincoln again said, “No Daddy, I’m just really scared. I tried to open Kami’s door, but it would only open a little way. I was talking to Kami and telling her that the boys were fine. I could see the driver of the eighteen wheeler was near the travel lanes trying to get people to stop. I ran and pulled him back from traffic and told him to stay with me. I told him that if he got hit, it would just make the situation worse. Another eighteen wheeler stopped and a man got out and was going to try to help. The Ambulances, Police, Fire Trucks, and AAA truck all arrived fairly quickly and almost at the same time as one another. The boys were put in the back of a cruiser to keep warm and then into the back of an ambulance. Kami was put in a collar back boarded out of the Suburban and put into a different ambulance than me and the boys. I grabbed the stroller, car seats, and Kami’s wheelchair and put them in the ambulance with us. Both ambulances went to Bridgeport Hospital. I called Kami’s brother, Kyle, when were on the way. I told him to get Kami’s parents and to start heading to the hospital.
When I got to the hospital I left the boys with hospital staff and went into the ER with Kami. She is so strong and she told them to do whatever they had to do to make her able to see her boys. Kami said she didn’t care if she was paralyzed, she just wanted to be a mom to her boys. Kami had a fractured skull and a laceration in the shape of a horseshoe surrounding it. She broke her neck in the front and the back. The front of her neck had shattered and fragments of bone were intruding on the spinal column. One of the vertabrae in the back of her neck had broke and the tip was also into the spinal column. She fractured her sternum and her pelvis in four places. She had a compound fracture on her left femur. She fractured her left tibia and her right tibia and fibula. She needed to go in for her first neck surgery immediately. They repaired the front of her neck with a five and a half hour surgery. The doctor slept for a few hours before going back in to repair the back of her neck with a four and a half hour surgery. The next day, Kami went in for surgery to repair her legs. A few days later Kami went into a procedure to clean the compound fracture site better and to cast her legs. Obviously, I have left lots of details out, but just wanted to give everyone a long overdue update. I know you all care for her very much and support her.
The boys were admitted and discharged by Bridgeport Hospital that night. I took the boys to their pediatrician a few days later to have them checked out again and they were again cleared. I had my head and neck get thrown against the roof and driver side window of the Suburban. I would later find out that I tore muscle in my calf and sprained and strained everything else in my legs. My neck is still very sore.
Kami spent approximately 9 days in the ICU at Bridgeport and is now at a hospital level rehab facility. She has therapy three times a day and is on the road to recovery. She can move her arms, fingers and toes. She is talking and communicating fine. She has a lot of weakness in her entire body, especially her left arm / hand.
This is the link to the accident: