As some of you may know, I work with a professional makeup artist for mostly all of my female senior sessions. One day she contacted me about a young girl who’s family had suffered a tragedy and asked if I would be interested in donating my services to help and allow this girl to have some pretty awesome senior pictures. Of course I wanted to help in any way I could. All I knew was, Alexa’s dad had been in an accident preventing him from work & he was the bread winner at home with five children, so they had no funds for quality pictures because all moneys was going to hospital bills and extensive care. Here is Alexa’s story in her words:
“Every Labor day & Memorial Day weekend my family goes down to Quaker City to camp in what my family calls the holler. It’s a family tradition and we just hang out with all of our cousins and aunts/uncles, it’s always really fun. Dad’s accident was on Saturday, August 31st of Labor day weekend. It had rained earlier that night and we were all sitting around the fire. I begged dad to take me and my friend on a night four wheeler ride because it’s also tradition. He said yes. So me, my dad and my friend Hannah hopped on our four wheeler. We went up to our cabin and rode the trails. We saw a couple deer and I asked if we could go up to the meadow up the hill behind the holler because I thought there would be a lot more deer up there. Dad really didn’t want to go up there but I begged him and he said yes. Dad’s a very cautious driver so he made us get off on the steep parts and where he had to pass over ruts. We were almost to the top of the hill to the meadow and there was a big pile of tree shredding. People were mining on our land and had cut down trees and left the shredding in the path. We didn’t see a way to go around to get up to the meadow so dad told me and Hannah to get off while he turned the four wheeler around. It was a steep hill. He had gotten the four wheeler perpendicular on the hill and I said to Hannah that I was scared to death that we were going to see the headlights flip. Within a minute of me saying that we watched as the four wheeler rolled right over on it’s side taking dad down with it. We immediately started screaming and ran to the four wheeler. I didn’t see him so I thought he had jumped off and was laying in the woods, then I saw his arm sticking out from under the four wheeler. It was completely upside down on top of him. I started screaming my head off because he wasn’t responding to me and I instantly thought he was dead. Hannah and I tried and tried to get the four wheeler off but we were on a hill so it didn’t want to budge. We continued to try as we screamed for my brothers who were at the campsite which was about a half a mile away from where we were. After about three minutes dad was able to talk and he told me to calm down, he wasn’t in any pain but he had heard and felt his neck break. I started screaming even more. My bothers got there and the look on their faces when they saw dad was under the four wheeler broke my heart. We got the four wheeler turned up on its side but it kept wanting to role back on top of him and he couldn’t push it up the hill because we weren’t strong enough. I called 911 and then Hannah and I ran to the campsite to get my brothers girlfriend who was trying to get help and then we ran to the nearest house and got a family friend to help us. We ran back to where dad was and he helped us get the four wheeler out of the way to where it wouldn’t roll back on dad. The paramedics arrived and we went down to the campsite to take them up to where dad was. I called all our family and told them what had happened. Most of my family was at a cousins football game, which is why they weren’t with us camping that night. I had to call my mom and my sisters who were at home planning to come down the next evening. (It was my parents wedding anniversary) Once the paramedics got dad out of the woods they put him on the ambulance and took him to a baseball field where he was life flighted to Akron general. All of our family made their way to the hospital and we all stayed there until Monday because we had school on Tuesday. Mom and dad stayed in Akron for two weeks. I have two brothers and two sisters. Devon (20), me (18), Luke (15), Alyssa (12) and Danica (5, at the time). We all kept going to school and held the fort down while they were away. They moved to Dodd Hall for rehab and he got sick there and had to be moved to Rhodes Hall to have an abscess in his back drained. After that he was moved to Dodd again and continued therapy. On October 22 (the day after Danica’s 6th birthday) dad came home. Since the night of dads accident he has been able to barely lift his arms and they told us that is all he will be able to do and that he will NOT walk again. Since the accident he has had some fingers come back, his arms move a little better, he can move his wrists a little, some toes and fingers are coming back, and he can move his legs just a tiny bit but it’s something. He can’t sit up on his own and has to be rotated every two hours during the night to prevent bed sores. That means mom has to get up every two hours and rotate him. It’s hard, but we’re making it. That’s my dads story. Thank you for taking my pictures!”
My heart broke for Alexa & her family after hearing this story from her. I know all too well how scary a four wheeler accident can be. My own brother was in an accident & broke his arm, had a concussion, bruised ribs and all sorts of bruises and abrasions. It was definitely a very scary moment. I’m very grateful that’s all he suffered in his accident.
Alexa it was a pleasure to photograph you and to be able to help your family out in a time of need. I pray your dad is doing much better today and will continue to fight against all odds of him walking again.
This is Hannah. Alexa’s best friend who was there holding her hand during every moment of her dads accident. Aren’t these two gorgeous?! You’d never know it but it was probably about 15 degrees out during this session but felt WAY more cold than that!