Sunday, July 15, 2007

The worst five minutes of my life.

Hi there! This is my old blog - in 2008, I moved to wordpress, and you can find the original post there.

In the meantime, please be safe! Sandhole collapses happen more frequently than you would think, and the majority of them end in death. There are four easy things you can do to prevent such a tragedy:
1 - When you arrive at the beach, always check nearby for any holes left by others, and fill them in.
2 - Do not dig holes any deeper than knee-high of the shortest person in your group. Yeah, I know this sounds extreme. If this feels more extreme than your group can accommodate, then perhaps you can at least stop at waist-high.
3 - If you do dig holes, fill them in before you leave. The hole my son fell in had been left by other children.
4 - Make sure any children you go to the beach with know that holes and trenches can be dangerous, and that they should let you know if they see any abandoned holed.


100 comments:

B said...

(((((hugs)))))
I can not even imagine. I am so glad that he was found okay. Thank God that woman was there and noticed the sand. Thank God people were looking and able to dig him up. I can't even begin to imagine .... so glad it all ended well.

Also, Oprah did a show on this a couple of years ago. I remember not even knowing something like that could happen. (I'm thinking the mom who was featured on that show worked with the doctor who just released the article too) It's so scary to think of. I just am so glad it turned out okay for you in the end.

Will Blog for Yarn said...

no words... just *hugs*

Melinda said...

Oh my gosh, that is awful. Thank goodness everything turned out ok.

staceyk said...

I have no words to offer. Only that I thank any and all higher powers that he is ok. I am wiping away my tears and after I post this, I am heading to hug my Boys. It makes my life problems small. But in the end, your boys and my boys are all ok and will heal.
Sending love to you all!!!

Pamela said...

Praise God your baby was found in time. Though I know that God was watching over him and all of you.
I have tears streaming down my face as I read and respond to this blog entry. My little guy is just slightly older than your two and I know how you feel.
I had some close calls with my dd when she was young.
I am thankful and grateful that your boy is well today.
Amen.

Dave said...

What a horrendous experience that must have been, but you got him back, safe and sound. Celebrate the goodness, and let the badness go.

Kitty Mommy said...

I can not even imagine how frightening the whole experience must have been. Words can't express how glad I am that your story had a happy ending. I need to go hug my littles and remember that their arguing and tantrums are really not much in the grand scheme of things. Thank you for sharing your story.

unstable knitter said...

I read the message you sent to the church newsletter before this post; words cannot hold my relief. You all are getting a bunch of extra love when you come back to us. I hope the rest of your vacation is less terrifying and more vacation-like. (We miss you!)

WandaWoman said...

Oh, my goodness. I've never even heard of this and found your blog from another blogger. I'm so thankful that your son was found and completely ok. I was not aware of sand hole collapses, but I will be alerting my friends who have little ones about this, esp. my sister who's going to the beach this weekend. Take care of yourself and your family. Delight in the fact that you did get your little boy back and you will be ok. I can only imagine how terribly tough it must be to bounce back from that though.

Mandy said...

What a nightmare. I don't know what to say, other than I'm thinking of you and your family, glad you're okay, glad he's okay, glad for the help of kind strangers. Thanks for telling us about it, you know we're all here for you.

Adrienne said...

OMG. I have no words. I am SOOOO glad he is OKAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Leah said...

What a traumatic experience - I am so glad your dear boy is all right, and am praying for you all.

Felicia said...

How awful! I'm so glad things turned out alright.

Poppy & Mei said...

I'm sorry, I had to stop reading your story half way because I couldn't see the screen for tears. Thank god he is alright & thank god for gardian angels like the lady that noticed the hole. OK, stop reading & go kiss him, go kiss him right now...

Nik said...

wow. I'm so glad that you found him unharmed. That had to be scary.

Mintyfresh said...

oh my goodness. what an intense, horrifying, and heartwrenching moment for you and your family--and for your son! I'm so happy to hear that he's A-OK. Take care of yourselves, take your time coming back.

holly said...

Thank you for sharing your story--it must be incredibly painful for you still. I'm so glad you got him back--I think we all know that feeling when we've lost sight of our child, say in a store or something, and the feeling of panic, but wow, I never even knew about sand holes. We love to go to the beach for vacation; next time I'm going to keep my eyes on my boys every second, that is so scary! Hugs to you and your family.

schrodinger said...

Oh my! I can't even begin to imagine what you were feeling (and are still feeling now). Thank you for sharing your story, I hope that it was cathartic for you. And I'm so glad that Rob/Little Buddha is okay.

shizzknits said...

Wow. Just. Wow.

Thank God everything turned out ok in the end.

Amelie said...

There is nothing I can say except that my mama heart goes out to yours. xoxo

Lia said...

Oh, how very scary. I am so glad he's OK. Thank you for sharing this story. I spent large amounts of my childhood at the beach and never heard of this, but no I'll be extra cautious with my littles.

Meghan said...

Thank you for sharing that story. like you, I never would have considered that possibility--I had never heard of something like that happening. I'm so happy that your son was found--and ok.

del said...

Nothing I type here can even come close to what I'm feeling. I am so happy that everything worked out for you & your family! I can't even imagine how terrified you must have been, how fortunate someone pointed out the indentation in the sand (I never would've thought of that either), how angry I would've been at lifeguards trying to wave it off...just everything. I know things can happen in the blink of an eye. I'm just glad you're all OK.

Cynta said...

God bless you and your family your indeed have experienced a modern day miracle

~gkw said...

What a story! I'm so glad you were able to save him!!

We just got back from the beach and I would have never dreamed of something like this... We'll keep a closer watch on our three girls from now on...

Melody said...

I'm sitting here in tears holding one of my own babies. I'm so very glad that sweet little Rob is safe.

Shai said...

Thank the Lord he is OK.

I am posting this on my blog a link to this story.

Michelle said...

I'm so glad to know this terrifying story has a happy ending. Thank you for sharing.

urbanknitrix said...

I can't and don't want to imagaine. I am so happy for you and your family.

June said...

Ugh, as soon as I started reading, I was thinking it was one of those hole-in-the-sand accidents (I read NEJM regularly and was aware of the recently published letter). Thank heavens it turned out OK. I hope your son doesn't suffer lasting trauma. My best to you and your family.

mames said...

oh god, i am so glad for your miracle and so sorry you had to experience the horror of thinking little rob was not okay....i cannot even say it. i am laying here with my little guys and thanking every force in the world that kept your beauty safe. he had angels holding him the whole time. you have my thoughts and i am offering prayers of thanks too. hugs and smiles.

Sharon said...

Oh, hon, (((HUGS))).
I can't even imagine what that must've felt like.

gold said...

OMG I am soo glad your child is alive and safe.I am glad you shared your story!This is something to look out for at the beach.

Abigail said...

I don't usually read your blog, a friend of mine told me about your experience. I don't know how old your little guys are, but I have a 5-year-old and 18-month-old and I can totally imagine being in a similar situation. I am so glad to hear that you found your little and that he was completely okay!

Rachel said...

Stacey, I can't begin to imagine those horrible, horrible moments you describe. And I don't blame you one bit for feeling fundamentally changed by them, even if things all turned out okay in the end. I must believe that to honestly think for a few moments that you've lost a child is to have a window opened on a pain that you can't really conceive of without experiencing it -- and I can understand how you don't just bounce back from that.

Thank god for all the various pieces of luck that allowed Rob to survive this. I am thinking about you and your family and will look forward to hearing from you again (via your blog) when you're ready.

Cetta said...

I can't imagine the terror, the horror you must have gone throughin those moments of not knowing.

Continued blessings to you and yours.

Miss Violet said...

OMG...I'm *so* glad this turned out to be a happy ending rather than a cautionary tale. I can't even imagine the horror you must have had for that whole time -- an eternity of panic all compressed into just a few short minutes.

Sending good thoughts and joyful wishes to you and yours.

CathyVal said...

God Bless your family and thank God for your Angel who was there to direct you. Thank you for sharing your story so that others can learn from you experience.

Sally said...

Goodness this reads like horror fiction and yes it was true- Praise God for the safe recovery of your little one!

the reverend mommy said...

Oh my goodness.
I cannot imagine.
I will pray for you and for little B. today, giving thanks and pray for strength for you.

Songbird said...

Stacey, thank God he is all right! What a dreadful and terrifying experience!
(((the whole family)))

ellbee said...

wow. I'm thankful for your miracle and thankful that you've been able to share so articulately about it.
Hopefully others will be aware and alert as a result!

jill said...

no words. can't imagine. just so incredibly grateful that he is alive and well, that you are writing-for-process, and that you can tell the story. take care.

LutheranHusker said...

As a parent of a young boy, I'm shaken up just reading about this, nevermind actually experiencing it.

Thank God. No other words, just thank God.

Teri said...

wow. that's all I can say. Thank God everyone's okay.

thank you for sharing this story with all of us....

Sarah said...

Wow. I'm in tears after reading your story. God was really watching over him that day. I'm so glad he is okay.

Laurel Wreath said...

Wow I live near a beach and I have not heard of this. Maybe once things settle down you can start a campaign to get the information out.

PRAISE GOD, your son is ok.

Thank you for sharing the story,.

Dawn said...

I am so glad everything turned out okay. That is a very scary thing. Even though it was probably hard, thank you for telling this story. It is going to let a lot of people know this is something they need to look out for. I have heard of this happening before to construction workers who were working down in a hole they had dug and there were people right there with them when it collapsed and they died anyway. A similar thing happened near us at a salt plant. Some kids went on a field trip there and were climbing on piles of salt when some fell down and buried a child, who died. Anyway, the more we know about incidents like this, the more aware we are about the dangers out there and the more we can watch out for our kids. Thanks for telling us about this.

Dawn said...

OMG I'm so thankful that he was OK - I've read too many tragedies lately and am so glad that yours ended well.

Thanks for sharing this story with us - we're heading to the beach in about a week, and you can be sure I'll be on the lookout now!

I'm also going to blog about this, because that's just too scary.

Best wishes!
Dawn
http://dawnandjimmy.us/blog/

Just Me Again said...

OMG. Big hugs to you and your family! Thank God everything turned out okay. Thanks for sharing this story. It is something I had never heard about.

Sue said...

So happy that your sweet son was alive and well, thanks so much for the warning about the sand traps. God was certainly with you on that trying day. I pray that he continues to watch over you and your family always.

ablondeblogger said...

I don't have words to express how sorry I am you went through this. Traumatizing and horrifying doesn't even begin to describe it.

I pray that you find some comfort and peace in the days going forward.

(((((HUGS)))))

Kya said...

Thank you for sharing your story.

Janelle said...

I can't even imagine going through that. Any of it. I am a total weeping wreck here at work reading your story. We live near the beach and are there almost every weekend. As kids we used to dig humongous holes and play in them. I read the story from Dr. Maron a few weeks back and was reflecting on those huge holes, thinking that we were lucky that they never collapsed on us. And I made a vow that I'd never let my kids do that, thankful to have seen the article. How horrible that Rob fell into a hole that other kids had dug and carelessly left there. How scared he must have been. His account of what happened is beyond heartbreaking. I just can't believe that he's okay, it's such an amazing, wonderful thing. My heart goes out to you, Rob, and your whole family. Take care, and don't worry about not blogging--we know you're spending time with your family.

hip2B said...

Oh, oh, oh!
I am so glad that things turned out so well!
I'll hug my little one tighter tonight...and watch him like a hawk at the beach.

Cathy said...

what a very scary thing to happen. So hard to share when they are so real and it shows you how things can happen so very quickly.

hugs to you and your family.

Diatribal said...

What an awful ordeal. I am so happy that it turned out ok.

I found your site from 5 Mins for Mom. I am moving to A2 next month. How do you like it? (I'm a southern gal too...)fn

Melody said...

Thank God for a miracle. My prayers will be for your son and you and your family to regain peace. I can only imagine, but not know, the true agony you experienced...the fear your child felt.

Thank you for your strength in sharing as other children may be saved from your story. I know that I've never considered this possibility on our beach vacations...until now.

Melissa R. Garrett said...

shudder

I've come to your blog in a rather emotional state to begin with, and I am afraid this just pushed me over the edge.

Thank goodness for miracles, and thank goodness your little one is okay. I'll keep you all in my thoughts, for sure.

Mama Duck said...

Oh, I'm so glad he is ok, what a miracle!! How scary!

Diana Bartling, MA, LCPC said...

Thank you for sharing your story. It is a scary reminder that bad things can happen quickly!

CurlyBrunette said...

Thank God he's OK! I am going to make sure and be alert when I go to the beach with my kids. Wow, I heard of this one time and I want to thank you for alerting people to another hazard at the beach that they might not even think is one. Your son's guardian angel was with him and God was with him and thank the Lord he is OK and you and your family averted such a terrible and unthinkable tragedy. I am going to hug my kids a little harder tomorrow.

sandierpastures said...

This brought me to to tears!! I will be very careful when we go to the beach next time. It's terrifying to think that the danger does not only involve the water but also the sand.

So happy for you and your family. You are so blessed.

Lorna said...

praising God!

Candace & Anna said...

Angels were definitely with him. No sand in his mouth or nose that is truely a miracle!!! I am glad you received a miracle. I can't even imagine what you went through during that time!

Toni. said...

That woman was his meant to notice the indent in the sand. Praise God Almighty for the protection of your son. Thank you too for blogging about this. I've never heard of it and will be very alert going forward.
Blessings,
~Toni~

Janine said...

Thank you so much for posting about your horrendous experience. And thank goodness for the safety of your son. We'll be headed to the beach in a few weeks, and this has convinced me to watch out for big holes... I remember something happening at our beach in NJ one summer - so it definitely is a problem that has caused tragedy for many families.

Karen C. said...

Oh, I cannot even imagine the fear. I thank you so much for writing this, and to 5 minutes for mom for directing me to your blog.

We just moved to San Diego and have three very young children who love playing on the beach now, and I am so glad to know about this type of emergency.

Thank you for sharing.

Angela said...

So thankful for the wonderful outcome! I wasn't even aware of this type of thing. Thank you for sharing so others will know and be aware.

Deeper Magic said...

Earthchick, your story compelled me to begin a blog today, one that I have been comptemplating for quite awhile, but lacked a name to capture my essential focus.

So,here's my new blog on blogger: Beyond Grateful.

Thank you.

Gary said...

I am SOOOO glad he is ok. Best wishes to you and your family as you take the time to hold each other close and heal from the pain of such a nightmare.

Thank you for posting your story, and for the links you found. I knew that sand could be dangerously heavy and move quickly, but the general rule of "no holes more than waist-deep of the shortest person" is a great one, and now I know to watch very carefully.

Many hugs to you and your family. Thank you again.

Changed by His Love said...

Thank you for sharing your story - if it saves one child then it was worth sharing. Here from 5 Minutes for Mom.

DragonFly Designs said...

Huge Hugs to you and your family.

Katrina said...

That is so scary that something like that can happen, and I am so happy that everything turned out okay for your family. Thank God. Thank you for sharing your story.

a.Kai said...

Thank you so much for sharing - I have five children, I would NEVER have thought to check the SAND!! OH my Gosh - I am actually speechless by this. Thank you so much, and I am so thankful your son survived...

KBlicious said...

i am so incredibly behind on blogs and came to yours to find the happy update, but i just have to say i am SO SO SO grateful and happy for what can only be called a miracle. and thank you for sharing this, i will be sharing this story with parents, i would have NEVER thought.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

This made me cry! I am so relieved for you that he is safe! I hope your trauma and his quickly heal, but the joy from the miracle stays with you!

Mary (O)

Tarewyn said...

I am very thankful that all is well with your son. I know what you are feeling, my boy stopped breathing in my arms when he was just a baby, I literally held him while he "died" fortunatly we had not yet left the hospital and a nurse was able to revive him. He too is totally ok. But it took me months to get begin getting over thet fact that for some minutes, I knew my baby was dead. Three years later I rarely think of those moments ( except when I wake him up to make sure he is breathing!) It will happen for you too, time will blur some of the fear, and life will get in the way of grief. You will be totally ok too. Big mama hugs to you!

Red Sonja said...

Oh wow, how terrifying! I'm so glad that woman thought so quickly and that everything turned out OK. I used to play in holes in the sand like that all the time as a child, now I'll be aware of the dangers when I take my little ones to the beach.

*hug*

annie said...

My husband had this experience as a boy and was buried for 40 minutes while a friend ran to get help. He is well today, but three years ago our youngest was in a near drowning accident and was gone for about 22 minutes. She is turning five on thursday and hasn't begun to walk or talk. We have faith that she will be completely healed. I'm glad to hear your son survived this accident.
blessings,
annie

Tripp Hudgins said...

Wow...

((hug))

Sadie Humes said...

I am susie's daughter and i heard all about the accident. I never got to meet the boys but they are so cute and they sound like great kids! I'm so glad they he is ok and unharmed.

Mary Beth said...

I have tried to comment on this several times but just keep crying. Maybe I am just supposed to tell you that?

Thank God, thank God.

TracyKM said...

Wow. Thank you for having the strength to share your near-tragedy. I'm sure it will help to save other children's lives too. I cannot imagine the horrific feeling of thinking your child has died. We've had lots of 'normal childhood mishaps' which can be scary enough, but nothing can compare to the fear you experienced. I am intrigued by your emotional pull in both directions. THank you for sharing that too.

Cindy @ My Romantic Home said...

I can't even imagine what you went through in those five minutes! Reading that brought back a horrible memory when I lost my daughter on the beach...luckily she had just wandered off. She had wandered over to some boys that were digging a huge hole in the sand so I got goosebumps when I read your story. I just put a link on my blog to your story. I think it is really important to get the word out of this danger. Thank you so much for sharing your story!

Michelle M White said...

I have a five-year-old boy and live at the beach...I cannot thank you enough for sharing your story. I had not thought of this happening. God bless you!

Splaneyo said...

Thank you for sharing your experience. Like many others, I had no idea. It must have horrifying for all of you! I am so glad it was one of those life changing events with a happy ending.

Heather

Diane said...

First of all, thank God your child was found in time and thank you for sharing your experience.

My daughter and her family have just finished up a vacation in Florida and I have sent her a link to your near tragedy. I have a feeling you have made many people be more aware of yet another danger our beautiful beaches pose.

Keep up the great blog and give that sweet son of yours a big hug from a Louisiana reader, Diane

Mare~Marmalade said...

Goodness, there really are no words. I am so glad it was all ok, but horrifying, nonetheless. I am so sorry you went through this!

Lora Moore said...

I am so glad everything turned out all right. I would have never thought that anything like that could even happen. We live about an hour from the beach and we visit there all the time in the Summer. THANK YOU so much for sharing this! I needed to read it. It truly is a miracle that your little boy is alright.

Fran said...

The woman who questioned the intention in the sand was surely and angel from God. What a testimony to have something that could have been a terrible tragedy turn into a true miracle. God Bless and Many Blessings for your family. It's great to inform others of situations like this because this is something we just don't hear about very often. Blessings Fran

Philip. said...

What a thing to happen.

Thank god you had the sense to realise how serious things were.

You must feel the luckiest people alive!

Sharon said...

I have no words. Bless all of you and your guardian angel, Erika.

Blessings,
Sharon

pacalaga said...

Thank God for Erika and that you are all safe. My friend sent this to me as we are preparing to take my toddler to the beach. We are a diggin' type of family, but I will be cautious, and will definitely fill in any holes nearby.
Thank you for sharing this, too - I had no idea, and I know it must have been hard to write about it.

*BB* said...

This has brought tears to my eyes to read. I am so glad your little boy was ok and I hope you're all healing from it. Thank god for that girl.

simplyserina said...

I'm so glad your son is okay! Thank you for sharing your story and getting the word out. I will be even more careful with my kids at the beach.

Anonymous said...

It could happen to anyone! We just experienced the same story this Memorial Weekend 2008 with our 3 old year nephew in San Felipe Baja California. It is easy to think it can't/won't happen to your family. But it happened to our family. We lived 5 minutes of terror/horror/hopelessness as he was buried alive in the sand between 3 to 5 minutes as we were trying to dig him out. But the sand would just keep on caving in. If any one reads this story and was their to help out THANKS A LOT FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEART YOU HAVE RETURNED OUR NEPHEW!Somehow he is alive and no problems what so ever.
Thank You,
Ana Marin

earthchick said...

Ana Marin, thank you for your comment - I am SO glad your nephew is safe. I don't have any contact information for you but would love to get in touch with you. If you read this, could you please email me - staceyduke(at)gmail(dot)com.

Anonymous said...

Thank god this happened, i am sure you were happier than ever with your son after the incident, This is what god is for, he brings people as close as he can to eachother, its amazing what some bad disaster can acheive, it will also make you, Rob and your family stronger. once again god bless your soul and enjoy what he has supplied us with, for as death is just anather path.

Rob <-me ;)

Anonymous said...

Best wishes and hugs from a stranger