The kid obviously needs to work on his penmanship, but after
five days in a coma, and still with more hoses connected to his body than on the air
distribution system of a John Deere seed drill, no one seemed too worried about
the style of the scribble – the message was clear.
Bryce was awake and with his mouth still full of tubes he wrote his first note to his parents
at about 6 p.m. Friday. Four little words scribbled at the bottom of a blank
white page that stirred more emotion and meaning for this family than a hundred
volumes of Shakespearean sonnets. Bryce’s first thoughts, simply stated – “I NEED TO EAT”.
A week ago, before this accident happened, that note might
have drawn a casual glance of disregard, ‘so what else is new?’. Being around
these people for the last few days, stories of Bryce’s appetite are legendary.
He brings his lunch to work in a small wagon; during a pancake eating
competition at a friend’s house his closest rival passed out as Bryce hit the
22 flapjack mark and looked for more; a steak, three baked potatoes and six
smokies for dinner, aren’t much more than an appetizer. So it’s obvious the
it will likely still be a few days before he’s able to pay his final respects
to a pizza.
I’m sure that wobbly note will one day be framed by the
Bostock family. It has been a long six days, of what could still be a long
journey of recovery. The first couple days were dominated by the nagging fear
of whether he would even make it. Then there were a couple days of minor, but
important gains, but his fever was high, he had pneumonia, the pressure on his
brain really wasn’t where it was supposed to be – those signs of good solid
progress just weren’t happening fast enough.
Most of Thursday was still a flat day as he lay in a
medically induced sleep. But by nightfall all indicators had improved. Maybe
the rest, medication and prayers were working. There was a new growing optimism
in the waiting room.
Friday morning doctors removed the sedation that was keeping
him asleep, and by 2 p.m. he was awake. Groggy, still drifting in and out of
sleep at times, but he knew where he was. He knew his mom and dad, his sister
Kendall, best friend Josh, Grandma Marg, Grandma Cathy. He remembers the
accident, he knows he has a dog name Buster, and that his truck is white in
color. Pretty well all the essentials were covered.
And then there was this young girl, Megan who appeared with
her mother, who somehow perked his attention. Who could this little visitor
from Cranbrook be? I don’t recall anyone, during my frequent and harrowing
hospital stays, driving five hours to bring me chocolate chip cookies. I think
there is something suspicious going on here.
But, it was a different room tonight as the fine, albeit
late, dinner arrived for the family. (The late meal thing is a whole other
story. How could anyone take food to the wrong hospital?) There were still a
few tears around (these mothers, aunts and grandmas seem to have a real problem
in this area) but these were tears of happiness and relief and renewed optimism
that he’s going to be okay.
He’s not on home plate yet – not by a long shot – but he’s
certainly rounded second base, and at the moment, God willing, it looks like a
clear run ahead.