Submitted by Annette d. Giacomazzi, Owner and Founder of CastCoverz!™, America’s #1 trusted brand of orthopedic covers and accessories.
Annette’s daughter, Elli, was the inspiration for CastCoverz! when she suffered her 6th broken bone, at the age of 10. Read more about that story here.
My 17 year old daughter and I were in a serious car accident two months ago. Elli suffered the greatest with a broken femur and collarbone. We were hit by an unlicensed driver who ran a red light, then struck a vehicle which launched him airborne, until he slammed into my daughter who was sitting in the front passenger seat of my car. You can’t see it in the picture, but the truck’s wheel imprint was just 1 foot behind where my daughter sat. 3 cars were totalled and the jaws of life had to be used to extricate her from the car. It was the most helpless feeling a mother could ever have. And nothing ever prepares you to witness your child throwing up in a cervical collar. The next day, a rod was literally hammered up into her femur and screws installed into her hip and knee. Instead of having a 5 inch scar across her shoulder, she chose to have her collarbone heal on its own.
At a time when most 17 year olds are looking at Forever 21 or Hollister brands, Elli’s accessories were a hospital bed and wheelchair. The doctor had an in-your-face description of her condition, “while she heals, she doesn’t have the use of 50% of her body.” She couldn’t roll over in bed, brush her hair, or brush her teeth. I will honor my daughter by not describing more of what she couldn’t do or what she needed help with. Imagine being a 17 year old girl wanting to assert your independence during your much anticipated senior summer, now once again totally dependent on your mother. My heart ached for her. She needed 3 people to get her out of bed and into the wheelchair, an excruciating, exhausting event for her. I had to give her shots in her skinny belly so she wouldn’t die of blood clots due to laying flat. No matter how much she needed me, I thanked God every time she called for me, whether it was 5 times in 20 minutes or the middle of the night due to hallucinations from the pain medications. That’s because the alternative, loss of limb, paralysis, or death, could have been our reality.
There wasn’t a dry eye as she was wheeled across her high school auditorium by friends to receive her graduation diploma. Even though my daughter lost her senior summer, blessedly, she will mostly recover from her physical injuries. Two and a half months later, she uses her wheelchair for long excursions (farmer’s market, shopping, etc…) and crutches for shorter stints (around the house, to the movies). She’s finally back in her own bed and bedroom surrounded by her familiar pictures, soft pillows and fuzzy blankets. She’s even starting to go out with friends. Sidebar: Elli has amazing, rise-to-the-occasion friends. Their visits were just as important as the any medicine or therapy and I welcomed each and every one of them. They made her laugh until she was exhausted. Check out this blog post and pic of Elli with her big-hearted friends. Even her boyfriend, Chad, completely stepped up to the plate during this mind-blowing experience demonstrating tremendous allegiance and patience, at such a young age.
This horrific nightmare didn’t stop my Elli. Still in a wheelchair or crutches, she is volunteering next week, her 6th year, for Vacation Bible School at our church, and she’s worked a few hours at CastCoverz! for spending money (thankfully, there is only so much of the Kardashians you can watch). After securing a handicapped dorm room, in 3 short weeks from now, we drop her off at Auburn University in Alabama, 2,300 miles from home, to begin her college career. Amazingly, she’s excited about it. Bless her heart. Bless her great big “I’m-not-letting-anything-stop-me-from-living-a-great-life” heart.
In no way do I minimize her condition, but it is a miracle that Elli “only” broke bones. Her femur and collar bone are broken bones number 11 and 12 and neither require a cast, so no covers from CastCoverz! to make her “Feel Better, so she could Heal Better.” But, she could hand-pick as many designer Slingz! she wanted, and chose a rainbow of designer color crutches and crutch covers. In addition, our awesome team of sewists, tailored her clothes to accommodate a broken collar bone and femur. Best of all, the CastCoverz! team kept the business humming along while I stayed home to care for Elli and to recoup from my two surgeries.
God, side airbags and my big ole’ burb saved my daughter’s life. Angels came dressed as friends who made her laugh and helped her with year-end school projects. More angels delivered home-cooked delicious meals and were also disguised as employees who went out of their way so a mother could care for her badly broken daughter. We are blessed. So very, very blessed.