Saturday my wife and I take our two children to one of Missouri's nicest conservation areas where they have an annual children's fishing tournaments. Our nine year old was excited to be able to go fishing, and my in-laws were there as an added bonus.
We fished for about 2 hours at a spot where everybody around us were catching fish, but my daughter never got a nibble.
After a while, we take a break and eat some lunch, then stroll on down the water-way to find a better spot. We find a nice place under a shade tree where nobody was around and again my daughter didn't have any luck. After about half an hour, her and my father in law walked about 100 yards up the bank while me, my wife, our 9 month old and my mother in law sat and talked a bit. My wife walks up, pushing the baby in the stroller and settles in near our other daughter, shortly thereafter my mother in law goes up there as well, leaving me to watch our chairs, blanket, etc. My wife comes back with my daughter in the stroller and we talk a bit and I decide I was going to go to our van to get some water. I turn to walk away get about 100 feet when I hear my wife scream. I look and somehow my daughter's stroller had started rolling down towards the bank. My wife rushes over, but slips and falls just as she's getting a hand on the stroller. I run as fast as I can, as the stroller is now in about 2 feet of water and the current has started pushing it sideways.
I am in full panic mode as I near the edge, and my wife is screaming. I just jump over her to head for the stroller and as I look down, she's holding her leg. Before I can get into the water, the stroller has flipped over, from back to front, and my daughter is now submerged. A guy who was next to us fishing grabbed the stroller the same instant that I got there, and had a death grip on it, but didn't realize the baby was under water, I pull it up and flip it backwards, because I wasn't sure if my daughter was strapped in or not (she wasn't) and somehow she managed to stay in the stroller. As I am trying to get her out, the other guy is pulling on the stroller. I guess he was just panicking and trying to ensure it didn't get away. I grab my daughter out and look at her, and she has a bewildered look on her face. I check and see that she still has her pacifier in her mouth and there was no water in her mouth at all. She's not crying, or fussing, but she's got a death grip on my shirt.
I start to walk back and look at my wife, who is still yelling, and realize her ankle is broke. Like Tosh.0 video broke, with her left foot hanging off. Now the place where we're fishing is fed 100% by springs and the water is about 60 degrees year round, so I had to get to shore to get my daughter wrapped up, but I had to stop and help my wife, who's entire lower half of her body is underwater as she's laying back, trying to keep her head up and her leg up.
People start running over and a few people are able to attend to my wife as I grab the blanket we had and wrap my daughter up as tight as possible and hand her off to my mother in law, who, in hindsight probably wasn't the best choice, since she was so panicked. I run back and am holding my wife's leg the way they taught me in Navy Corpsman School. Me and a few guys manage to slide my wife toward the edge and mostly out of the water and she's hysterical worried about our daughter. I finally get her to listen to me when I tell her that she's fine, and then my wife goes into shock. Eyes roll back, and she's unresponsive. Again, in hindsight, her panic was keeping her alert.
Her dad's at her side, I am at her feet and the next person to come up says "I'm a paramedic, let me help" and began to check out my wife's breathing and got her to open her eyes. A few seconds later, a lady comes up and sits next to my wife and covers her with a sweat-shirt, while another person brings a jacket to cover her back to give her some warmth.
A young lady is on the phone and gets 911 and they're en route, and the next person to rush over to help is a nurse, who checks on our baby. A fourth bystander comes up and introduces himself and says "I'm a third year medical student, what can I do to help?"
Finally some of the conservation officers get to the scene and are able to splint it. Both wanted to take her shoe off, and reposition her foot, which me and the paramedics immediately tell them is the wrong move.
Ambulance finally arrives and takes her to the hospital.
My daughter had absolutely zero ill effects of her dunk in the water, and I am sure what seemed liked 25 seconds of her being submerged was probably 1 or 2.
My wife ended up with two separate fractures in her ankle, and a broken Fibula, and the fracture was dislocated as well. She had surgery today, and two plates and 7 screws later was finally out of the pain that she had been in (2 mg of morphine and 2mg of delaudid(spelling?) didn't touch the pain)
My Navy training and 8 years of EMT experience flashed back immediately and I did exactly what was supposed to be done, and had absolutely no outward emotion while helping my wife, which helped calm her down. However on the way to the hospital, I broke down and panicked terrified of what had happened and just a nagging self doubt about what if I hadn't been able to get my daughter. It was a long, LONG difficult road for us to even have a baby to begin with and the prospect of her somehow being taken away from us by tragedy terrified me.
But now, everybody is home, safe and with the exception of post surgical pain, doing fine. My emotions are catching up to me tonight though and I'm just so worn down from keeping it all inside for the past day and a half.
YOUR 2012 NCCA Tournament Bracket Challenge Winner
Oh my god! Very happy to hear that everyone is (eventually) going to be OK, and as a parent myself I can imagine the fear that you felt. I thought I was having a panic attack myself reading your account.
I wish nothing but speedy recoveries to you and yours.