It was a freak accident - Reflections from a Red Head
What's New

It was just a freak accident

Share the joy

As many of you know, I’ve had a bit of a hiccup in my life of late, following on from the amazing life-changing trip D and I had to China.

I can now write about it as D now realises what happened. The thing to note is that this could have happened to anyone.

Last Sunday, D had a freak accident. He fell over whilst walking to the toilet and slammed his head on the tiles (most of our house has cement tiled over a cement floor).

It was about 3.50am Sunday morning. We had been out that night to a disco, of which he had arranged, and had an awesome time. I decided to sit up as I was a wee but tipsy and had to drink some water, whilst looking through some photos of China and backing in our memories. D had been asleep but gotten up to go to the loo. His knee gave way, he fell, got up again and headed towards the loo – I thought all was good. And then I heard this god awful sound I will never forget.

I walked out to the dining room to find him flat on his back not breathing. He really wasn’t. I kneeled down next to him and watched his chest.  No movement.

It’s weird what goes through your head at that moment in time. I don’t even really know myself. Be it your whole life with that person flashing before your eyes, the futility of life, the ease at which something like that can happen, the disbelief, the guilt of mopping the floor that morning, the feelings of hopelessness, the fear, the whole ‘what do I do now and why hadn’t I paid attention at school’. There’s so much more than that…but it’s hard to think right now.

All I know is that something kicked in, whether it’s instinct – no, it was probably adrenalin, and I fought for his life, our life, his life with his kids…

The no breathing was followed by breathing, seizures, vomiting, not breathing, seizures, vomiting, and so on. I was blessed to have had help from his daughter and her friend, who had spent the night. I don’t know what I would have done without them, and the 000 operator who stayed on the phone and guided me until the ambo arrived. And then the Emergency staff and the Nurses of the Sir Charles Gairdner High Dependency Unit. They have all been amazing.

We are so lucky. D has made an unbelievable recovery from bleeding near the brain, contusions and fractures of his skull. It’s been six days and he is walking, eating, talking, realising what has happened, and being cheeky – and stubborn. We saw his brain scans this afternoon. He thinks it’s nothing. I think it’s something alright…I’m no religious person but someone is looking out for us, and I thank you.

Thank you to you all for your prayers, support and well-wishes. There is still a long way to go, as with brain injuries you are looking at a 6-12 months recovery time, and we will continue to need support and understanding, but all along I have had faith, and I know we will all get through this.

My word of advise to you – go out and get first aid training, and continue to get it. I got lucky – I’ve had no training, but I’m sure as hell gonna get some now.


  1. The training is valuable- if you are going to provide it to another. I have had to do so as recently as 10 days ago, when I entered a 7-11 to find the clerk folded on the floor…
    But, when it happens to you, you can only hope for two things- someone like me is near you- or the Supreme Being notices your plight…I woke up about a year ago to walk to the loo, too…and, with no notice, my legs stopped working halfway to the door, when I crumpled against the wall (thankfully, my hands were still working to protect as much as I could.) It was four minutes (yes, there’s a clock) before my feet worked again. [It turns out my low blood pressure was barely recordable that evening...]
    So glad Denis is (almost) fine and anticipating his recovery.

    • Wow Roy, that must have been terrifying not being able to move. I’m so glad you are ok?!

      I’ve now been coached (well the hospital made me watch a video) on how to deal with seizures. I’m looking forward to some more hands on training in CPR and stuff to feel less helpless in case I ever need it again (hopefully not).

  2. OMG! What a freak accident indeed!..I wish you all the best. And Janine, don’t forget to take good care of yourself too, it must have been pretty hard on you too. Take care. xx

    • Thanks Muriel. I think as much as I’ve tried to look after myself I’m still going to crash out really soon from fatigue and stuff. But I’m hoping the eating well, not worrying about work, sleeping and vitamin taking will work in my favour :)

  3. Love, prayers and more positive vibes heading your way. Can’t even imagine being in the same situation. Makes you appreciate the small things in life we all take for granted. x

  4. Wow Janine! Freak accident is right. I’m so glad to hear Denis is on the mend and doing well. Continued good thoughts sent your way for a full recovery xoxo

  5. It’s a powerful reminder to live in the present when a future can easily be taken away. I’m relieved all seems to be well in hand.

  6. I would agree with the training part. Though I have never had any training; I am seriously considering it. A few weeks back, at the gym, a lady working out on the treadmill just collapsed. Though the trainers were good at handling the situation and taking necessary precautions to minimize the injuries, I just felt helpless somehow. I felt there has to be something I should be knowing in situations like these.

    Glad Denis is feeling a lil better and here’s wishing him a speedy recovery.

  7. It is good news that nothing really wrong has happened… accidents happen, we always must be careful, in our own homes as well…

  8. Thank God Denis has recovered well. And walking, talking and behaving like his usual self again. Oh Janine *hugs* I am sorry you had to go through such an ordeal. What a scary [freak] accident! Yes, it is a good reminder to retrain ourselves in first aid or to take first aid training if we have not done so. Thanks for posting this and sharing it with us ♥ Mon

    • Thanks Mon :) I’ll be sharing your post soon once things settle down hopefully over the next few days :)

      Janine xxx

  9. Danyelle Franciosa

    That was truly freak! So next time you must double your safety and take good care of yourself always. Wishing you all the best, hugs and prayers for you. T’c! :)

  10. Well we just be thankful that nothing bad happened to Denis and I hope this won’t happen to any of us.. Good luck and keep us updated!

  11. Thank God for a good recovery! Yeah I need to stop saying I’ll do one and actually book in to a first aid course. Especially since we live in the middle of nowhere and those skills can be vital.

  12. Thank G*d Denis is fine again, what a scare you all have had. Take care, Janine, and look after yourself, this is not selfishness, such a lot of responsibility is hard to carry.

    I am glad first aid training is mandatory when acquiring your driver licence in Switzerland, a refresher course once in a while would be advisable. We are never prepared enough for such emergencies but having an idea of how to help could save a life.

    My thoughts are with you and your family, Janine!

    • Thanks Barbara. I was doing really well looking after myself but then I let all the naysayers get to me in my weakened state. C’est la vie! I have learn’t more about myself and about others.

  13. Janine, do not let the naysayers get to you, they only will when you let them in. It is not about them, it is about you. Lately, I have read a lot about not being the victim but the victor, there is a nice guest post at Life, for Instance (I do not link it on purpose).

    You have been so courageous and you were able to help Denis under the most taxing circumstances. Once the adrenaline wears off it is natural (and probably easy to explain in medical jargon) to feel low, you deserve a massage – yes, go out and let yourself be pampered.

    • Ah a massage, yes, that is part of my plan. I can’t wait till I can treat myself to that, with aromatic oils :)

      Thanks for the thoughts and the tip re: the post :) I stopped by but haven’t left a comment yet.

    • Ah yes the lowness came on the weekend. Having a nanna nap and listening to some music whilst burning some incense helped. I went to get a massage on Saturday but the lady wasn’t available. I’ll try again this week!

      • Is it not amazing how important our olfactory sense is? I am surrounded by scented candles and diffusers all year round, using them to boost my mood or calm me down.

        Your comment fueled me to book this appointment with the beautician except they seem to enjoy a loooooong weekend.

        • Gosh and your response just reminded me that I was going to light incense a few hours ago and forgot sheesh! I best do it now! What would go well with that is a nice glass of vino…

  14. I am so glad to read that things are ok Janine. I read this the other day on the iPad but couldn’t get my comment to go through. Training to deal with basic injuries that could be life threatening is a good thing. Subdural hematomas are serious business, and every year people die because they hit their head, and didn’t get checked out when symptoms began to manifest. Denis’ symptoms were more blatant, but there are some who don’t notice a difference until it is too late. You had divine intervention girl, and Denis was blessed to have you. Hang in there, it will get better. Tell Denis I wish him the best of luck.

    • Thanks Cathy. He was very lucky and yes – divine intervention or something. He ended up with a 9.5mm bleed near the right side of his brain, and contusions on the other side, as well as a fracture in his skull (displaced?? I forget the word) and some air pockets and fluid build up. He had damage to both his left and right temporal lobes, which is why his hearing, speech and ability to deal with noise has been effected. Of course, if that’s it, we are – and he is – incredibly lucky.

      He’s been thinking a lot about it lately and he recalled he was kneed in the head the previous week in a soccer game. Whether he incurred some prior injury – we can never be sure – but it certainly would explain something, especially as the doctors kept asking me if he had been in a fight or had been injured previously some other way. Who knows.

      Thanks for your thoughts and the comment :) I’ll pass them along, although he is quite overwhelmed with the love at the moment. He had never actually realised how loved he was. It’s good that he is still hear to realise it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

%d bloggers like this: