Monday, April 20, 2009

the story of what happened to Spencer's hands

It has been a terrible weekend. 

 In the late afternoon on Friday we took Spencer to the Emergency Room.

Here's what happened to Spencer a few hours before our ER trip.
I don't really understand it, but here's how Jamie Hansen explained it (and I quote):

Piecing together the story from Spencer and Ryan, they were going to add an injector pump at an irrigation well that had not been used in a while. They did not know if it was even hooked up (live). So Spencer had his tester probes to see where a live wire was to tie in a 110 wire to run the injector pump. You are supposed to put one end on a ground, and the other probe to the live wire to test it. He was not getting any reading on the tester, and so he was trying different locations. Some how one probe must have been on a live 240 wire and the other probe touched or came close enough to another 240 wire that it arched over, and the flash of the resulting 480 arch flash made a blue light with a big boom! The shock wave was so great, that it knocked them both back. And even Ryan Jones who was slightly behind and to the side of Spencer also had flash burn on his face (although nowhere near the extent of Spencer's). My feeling is that Spencer's wounds were only from the arch flash, as he was holding the insulated probes. If he would have had direct contact with the 480, it would have killed him. He would have had a chunk missing (burned) from his hand, where the bolt interred, and a hole blown out his lower leg or foot where the bolt would have exited his body to the ground. In either case, he is fortunate to be alive. And to have loving, caring family, and Church family surround him now.
This picture was taken about one hour after the accident occurred
Believe me when I say that his hands looked much worse on Saturday.

When I first saw Spencer's hands, they looked different.  He had them soaking in cool water when I showed up to the farm to pick him up.  He pulled his hands out of the water and it looked like this soggy whitish gray paper-towel material was covering his flesh.  Not too gross.  (Jamie was sure impressed with the composure I had when looking at his hands).
When we got in the car, I asked Spencer what was that weird substance they had put all over his hands.  He informed me that the "stuff" all over his hands was his skin!  
And that's when I lost it.  I cried.  I groaned.  My stomach turned and I couldn't look at his hands again for a long while.  

In the ER, the doctors cut off all the dead skin with scissors and tweezers.  Spencer was on morphine at this point and going through a bit of shock.

It has been three very difficult days since the flash burn. 
Spencer's hands are a) healing, b) wrapped in thick layers of silvadine ointment and gauze, and c) useless right now.

I'm grateful for a few things at this point.

1.  I'm grateful that my husband is alive.  I realize this accident could have been a lot worse.
2. I'm grateful for hands.  Just think for a minute what your life would be like without hands.  
3. I'm thankful Spencer was able to receive a priesthood blessing before almost anything else.  He was blessed to regain "full use of his hands", and that "the healing would begin from this moment on".

 Spencer will stear clear of 480 Volt electric boxes for a long, long while.  And next time, if there ever is a next time, he will have the proper safety equipment on.  

More to come.


Mary Karlee said...

Wow. I'm so sorry for Spencer! Thank heaven for Priesthood blessings and healing from heaven.

Spencer said...

Sarah (and Spencer)-
We heard about what happened. We have been praying for you guys. We love you, let us know if you need anything (from Ohio)

Tressa said...

I'm so sorry to hear what happened. You will all be in our prayers.

(This is Tressa (Gaufin) a friend of Spencer's)

Kristen said...

We had no idea. We will definitely keep your family in our prayers!! Let us know if you need ANYTHING!

De Lane and Drew said...

Grateful my son is still with us and for the blessing that gives peace in the midst of a difficult situation. We are praying for you!


caroline said...

Oh Sarah,
that made me cry! What a comfort that blessing was to you I'm sure. We will keep you in our prayers and pray for a speedy recovery for Spencer. Hang in there friend!!

Raechal said...

We are so glad to hear Spencer is okay!(to some extent) We will be praying for a speedy recovery for him and for comfort along the way.

Martin Family said...

Oh Sarah! I am glad that he is ok. We wish him a full recovery. He is in your prayers.

charlotte and clarke said...

We're glad Spencer is okay. Wish we could do more to help you guys. Take care, Clarke

Kristi said...

Wow. I am so glad that Spencer is alive, that can be so scary. Something similar happened to my dad once. It's just scary. You will be in my prayers. Blessings to you Sarah for all the help that you will have to render in his healing process. I too am thankful for Priesthood blessings and glad that you guys could get one so quickly.

Chris said...

Spencer, that photo is so scary; I'm happy to hear you're okay... I now have a greater respect for your typing just now. take care of yourself bro.


LizzyP said...

Wow. Wow. I can't get over how lucky you. We will continue to keep you in our prayers.

Sam said...

Hey Spencer, I'm glad to hear you are OK, but I know that must be painful and very difficult not to be able to use your hands at all. The Lord was definitely looking out for you, though, and I'm glad to know you're OK.

Susy said...

I am so sorry to hear about this. I too am grateful for all you mentioned. We had to go thru a similar situation when we were in Dallas, remember? Gabe burned one of his hands at girls camp. I know it is no where near to the extent that Spencer is hurt but we know how hard it is of a recovery process. We will be praying for Spencer and likewise for you. We love you guys!

Rebecca said...

OH MY GOSH! I can't believe it! That is awful. Please tell Spencer we will keep him in our prayers.

Becky said...

We are so glad that things look good and will continue to pray for you. We heard you had a family reunion and might be coming through town. You have a standing invitation to stay at the Rader Inn. We love you guys.

Andrew, Amy & Evelyn said...

That is super scary, but I'm glad to hear he will be okay! We are thinking about you guys.