Friday 13th of January, I woke up to a phone call from my dad around 7:45am. He was supposed to be at work and I was so confused as to why he would call me so early in the morning. Me pretending that I was already fully awake and starting my day I answered only to find out some very bad news. My boyfriend Eddy had just gotten in a motorbike accident on his way to work. I will never forget that exact moment he told me, my heart had never felt so heavy.
That afternoon Eddy, myself and my dads partner Lorrain flew to Brisbane for additional medical help, due to the fact that his arm was completely numb and he was unable to move it at all. From the airport we went straight to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital ER. We we’re there from 7:30pm to 2am. It turned out that he broke his AC joint in his shoulder and that his shoulder was literally ripped off from his body, he had two fractures in his foot and had also suffered a brachial plexus injury to his left arm (he is left handed).
I had never heard of the word brachial plexus until that night, and now I know A LOT about it. The brachial plexus is a group of nerves that control your arm, shoulder, elbow, fingers and wrist movements/muscles as well as the feeling in those areas. That night we got told that he might never be able to move his arm again. It was such a horrible and sad night.
A couple days later he got operated on his foot. And towards the end of January he got operated on his shoulder to fix his AC joint injury. The doctors explained that with nerves they cannot operate immediately because they could possibly start working again on their own and by operating too early they may cause more harm than good. They told us that he would get regular check ups with the specialist at the hospital, the occupational therapist and the physiotherapist until around the 4-6 month mark, which is when they would decide what to do next, according to whether or not the nerves got fixed on their own.
This is when we realised we would be here for a while. I immediately applied for a leave of absence from my University, because I didn’t want to be anywhere else but by his side. The first two months were so hard. He wouldn’t be able to sleep full nights and would wake up due to the severe nerve pain. He would also feel quite down, which of course was normal for someone who had just been in a traumatic accident. It really hurt to see him in so much pain both mentally and physically.
Eventually he was able to deal with the pain a little better, and no longer took strong pain medication. Once his foot got better and he was able to walk without his boot we no longer needed the wheelchair (that we would use daily so that he wouldn’t have to walk), this made things easier because we didn’t need to fold it and unfold it every time we would go out.
In April we realised that we had an upcoming break between all the different doctor appointments so we decided to go back home to Vanuatu for 3 weeks. Being back home, with my family and in my own bed every night felt so good. For the past three months I had to do everything, from helping him shower, to cutting his food, grocery shopping, cleaning the apartment all alone. And finally to be able to have people around to help me and take the pressure off made me very happy.
Although being home was great it was also a little hard. It hurt me so much to see that Eddy couldn’t do all the things he is so passionate about; surfing, fishing, spear fishing and his aviation work. I had previously talked to him on many occasions about how he can still do everything he still loves to do, he just needs to find different ways to do them but that he could do it. Before we came home he had his mind set that he wasn’t even going to touch a fishing rod. But one day when my family, Eddy and I were at the beach I watched him walk to where my brothers fishing line was and he tried it out. He threw the line with his right arm and then put the rod between his thighs. Thinking about this moment really makes me so proud of him.
Once we got back to Brisbane he got given a set date for his nerve transfer surgery, as doctors did not see much improvement in his arm since the accident, apart from his fingers being able to wriggle a little more. During the two upcoming weeks before the surgery, we were both quite a mess. He would get very upset because this surgery had so many risks, and this is the surgery that is supposed to fix his brachial plexus injury, it is what we had been waiting for, for the past 4 months. I was trying to keep him positive but I was really worried for him. He got operated on for around 8 hours. We had gotten to the hospital around 5:30am and by the time he was out of surgery and post op and in the ward it was around 7pm. I got there by 7:15pm, he was quite drugged out but I was so relieved to see that he was okay. The next day his main surgeon told us that he was very happy with the surgery which was such amazing news. He also briefed us on how it will take months for the surgery to have affect due to the slow growth of nerves.
A week and a half post surgery which is right now, things are going quite well. We both have our moments when we feel quite down about this whole situation and what has happened but we’re also very happy. He is so blessed to have even come out of that accident alive and without any spinal or brain injury. This whole experience is something that will make both of us stronger and more appreciative of life. It has really shown me that life can drastically change in a split second which is terrifying but makes me want to live for all the little things that I’ve always taken for granted. It has made me realise that life is short and that we should be spending it with people who truly care and love us, people who make us happy and make us want to be better, people who make us feel empowered. It has really made me appreciate my family more. The way they have been there for both of us during the past few months is incredible. All the little things that we do every day should never be taken for granted because they can be taken away so easily. This has shown me how amazing Eddy is. How strong and resilient he is. How kind hearted and sweet he is. Even when he has his bad days he always makes sure that I’m okay.
Now we just have to wait and see. I know that whatever happens Eddy will find a way to work with it. We just pray that his surgery will have a successful result. ❤️🙏🏽 I love you Ed.