Friday, July 20, 2007

Update on us.

First, Wow. And Thank You. I am overwhelmed by the kind comments left here and in my email inbox regarding our son's recent near-fatal accident.

We are all doing relatively well - the boys probably more so than My Old Man and I. They still talk about the accident some, but they seem mostly their usual selves (though Little Buddha is even more clingy than before). My Old Man and I are having a slower recovery - it is hard to describe the complexity of emotions that both of us seem to be grappling with - but we are slowly making our way back to some sort of normal. I am grateful for that privilege, because each day I realize that if our story had ended differently - had we not found Rob in time - I don't think I could've made my way back. I would have been living an entirely different life right now, with a thoroughly shattered heart.

In answer to the questions I have received about linking to our story. Yes, Yes, Yes. Please do. On your blog, on parenting (or other) boards, in emails to friends and family. I want to get the word out to as many people as possible that this kind of thing - though rare - can happen. I don't want another family to have to go through what we've been through, especially since most cases do not end as happily as ours.

I also want people to know that this kind of thing is totally preventable. It's easy:
1 - Don't dig holes deeper than waist-height of the shortest person around. The hole my son fell into was not terribly deep. But it was deep enough to swallow him up when it caved in.
2 - If you (or your children) do dig holes, fill them up when you're done. That alone would've prevented our near-tragedy.
3 - When you arrive at the beach, scout out the area you will be setting up in, checking for holes. Teach your children to come tell you if they find holes other have dug, and to not play in or near them.
4 - Keep as sharp an eye on your children on the sand as you would in the water.

I don't mean to be an alarmist. I realize that what happened to us was unusual. But it did happen. And it didn't have to. It takes very little effort to prevent this kind of tragedy.

One final bit of an update, to add one bizarre thing on top of another. As it turns out, the national media has gotten interested in Dr. Maron's recently published findings on this kind of thing (which I think is a very good thing). CBS is going to run a segment on sand hole collapses this coming Tuesday, July 24th, at 7:30 a.m. A camera crew came down this week and interviewed the four of us for the story. The whole segment will only last about 4 minutes and it will include way more than just what they filmed with us, so I expect that very little of the 3 hours they spent with us will actually air.

Again, thank you for your very kind words and good thoughts for our family.

25 comments:

Jane said...

When I checked out your blog, I was amazed to read the story about Robbie falling into the hole at the beach. Oh, how terrifying! I'm so glad he was rescued because he brought a great little impish spirit to the knit shop this afternoon in Birmingham!

Thanks for stopping by; hope to see you again sometime again before you leave town.

Jane (the one who played with Robbie)

Brown Berry said...

Wow. I'm so glad that you took the time to write about this and share it (and let go of some of it by sharing it). Since I can't hug you and your kids from here, I'm sending you some sunshine and I'm going now to hug my own 2 gifts.

Adrienne said...

Thanks so much for the update!! I am glad you shared your story. I would have never thought about a hole in the sand. My prayers go out to you and your family.

Jenny in Ca said...

wow, I never ever would have worried about this. Thank you for sharing your story. I cannot imagine how you feel..I'm going to link to you on my blog.

I never would have thought of this danger, but something like this happened in our family, though it was on a construction site- my brother in law jumped into a hole to retrieve a shovel on a job, and the hole caved in and buried him. The only reason he is alive is because a friend of the family was walking ahead of him and heard the rumble and started digging. He ended up with alot of broken bones and has pins in his leg.

you guys were so lucky, I am so glad.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

May you continue to heal and may no one else ever have to suffer this near, or worse yet fatal, tragedy!

Thank you for your story!

Mary (O)

Meredith said...

I just read the previous post--I never would have thought something like this would happen. Thank you so much for sharing your story and I hope you are all recovering as well as possible.

staceyk said...

Setting the DVR now so I can watch it. Won't be home to see it, taking Big Boy to orthopedic surgeon. But I am glad, cuz then I will watch it with Hubby. Hugs your way.

laurcat said...

wow...that story was so scary. adam and i are so glad that rob is okay....

Snowbird said...

Wow, what a terrifying experience. I have listed a link to your blog on the Best of Sanibel Captiva (Florida) message board. Hopefully nothing like your experience will ever happen on our beach.

LoveMyStarr said...

I just happened to find your blog with this story. I am so glad your little boy is ok. Thank you for posting it. My family just got back from a beach trip a couple of weeks ago where we spent a good deal of time buidling castles and digging holes. My almost 2 year old daughter and 4 year old nephew played in the holes, and I am so thankful nothing happened. Next time we will be more cautious!

Heather D. said...

Wow, what a story. We were just in Oceanside, CA for a vacation and there were several young teens digging a hole that was over their heads when I saw it. If I had any idea I would have warned them right then and there. So scary, and glad that your little guy is okay.

~Heather (knitqueen from KH)

Michelle said...

Be gentle with yourselves, it will take a while for the experience to settle - I lost my then 2 year old for 5 minutes at a highway rest stop (my husband's attention wandered, and then the boy did). It was a huge place, next to a river and those moments were among the most frightening of my life. Finally someone said, there's a child crying in the women's room. He'd managed to get in, but couldn't get out (thank God!).

I still get a sense of panic in my chest when I can't locate him, and this was almost a decade ago.

justabeachkat said...

I found your blog after seeing your comment on Annie's. I live near Santa Rosa Beach.

What a truly amazing story...with a happy ending, thank God. I can not even imagine the terror you and your family have suffered. Praise be to God for whom ALL blessings flow!

Hugs!
Kat

cmeknit said...

That is my worst nightmare. I am in tears reading your story. My three and four year old are always digging holes...this never even crossed my mind. Thank god I read this...our beach visits will be much different now. I can only imagine the fear you felt. He's got a guardian angel looking after him.
Take Care
Carolyn

Serena said...

Can't begin to imagine the terror. Praising God for the miracle. Thank you for sharing this story.

Terri Lynn said...

That's just plain scary! I pray you get over it soon! No shockwaves! Thanks for joining Beaded on Ravely, you have a lovely blog, it's nice and refreshing! I love your sewing, I sew too!!!!

amisha said...

catching up here and sending all my thoughts and hugs to you and your family. i cannot imagine how terrifying this must have been for you. thank god for the miracle of finding your little one safe and sound and for the kindness of all who searched! thank you too for sharing these safety tips for the beach (i had no idea that something like this could happen on the sand.) thinking of you dear, sending lots of love and strength. xo

Annie said...

What a terrifying story. Thanks for sharing it.

I've heard other horror stories about holes at the beach. I live in NC- four hours away from the SC beaches. A local high school student dug a hole (they sell shovels at beach shops just for digging holes!), then was playing football in the same area. He fell, head first, into the hole and is now a quadriplegic. Awful.

An Ordinary Mom said...

I am so glad your experience turned out happy. I grew up in Southern California and we practically lived at the beach during the summers. Who knew such dangers existed. Thanks for all the advice!

Becca said...

I came over from a "linker" and really am overwhelmed by your story. What an amazing, miraculous thing that your little boy was found safe. I can well imagine you are thankful every second.

Becca said...

and...I'm near Santa Rosa Beach as well. We see those holes all the time...

Carolyn said...

I came via Cindy's blog, as she spotlighted your near tragedy. OMGosh! Had read about the sand hole alert somehwhere last month ~ possibly after your son's trauma. I am SO glad, along with you, that you have a happy ending to your time at the beach that day. Thanks for sharing, and for all that you are now doing to help prevent others from this happening. Have a wonderful day with your son, and family. :-)

nova said...

Good grief! For whatever reason by bloglines in not picking up your feed and I have missed all the trauma and joy happening in your world. I am so happy that your son was found and is safe! and thank you for sharing your thoughts about the whole thing, post-national coverage. We take the kiddo to the beach all the time, it would have never occurred to us to check in the sand for a child that "probably wandered off."

1-4 Grace said...

EC,
Thanks for sharing and I don't think you are an alarmist at all. You are passing along valuable inforamtion that could save another life. I will be watching for the news story and will be sure to share with others the importance of this...esp with my new church family. many are beginning lasts trisp to beach before school and labor day will mean more trips to beach.

Tootie said...

I just wrote about the danger of sand holes on my blog yesterday, after seeing a couple here on a Sanibel Beach. They were about 5 ft deep and big around. I thought people should be more aware of the danger and never dig deep holes and always fill holes back in. Another lady who lives here at Sanibel saw my blog and sent me the link to your post. I am adding a link from my post to yours, just in case people don't think this really happens.

Thank God your family was spared the horrible ending that could have happened.

Thank you so much for sharing your story, as I'm sure it is very difficult to talk about.

Tootie
http://sanibeltoots.blogspot.com