Our Ava Bear

Yesterday, as we were driving home from lunch with Joe’s family, the weather was just glorious so we decided to invite friends over for a picnic on some land we own with lake shore on one end of it. 

We all rested a bit while I invited some people and then Joe took our 3 oldest (Vince 9, Liv 7, and Ava 4) out to that farm with lawnchairs, sandbox toys, and firewood.  I was getting food ready while Violet was finishing her nap.   In the midst of loading things into our car, Joe called and asked me to grab a rake.  I told him I would be there shortly.  

It takes about 7 minutes to get from our house to that farm.  Joe called me as I was about to turn on to the tar road, which is halfway. The conversation is pretty blurry to me — honestly all I can remember is that he was shouting Ava needed to go the ER and I told him I was crossing the bridge and would be there as quickly as I could. 


Accidents happen so fast.  We’ve all heard that.  Joe was going to go to his parent’s place which is just a mile away to grab something he’d forgotten.  Ava wanted to stay and play on the sand with Vince but Joe wasn’t going to leave her there alone. Seemed dangerous with the lakeshore 100 feet away.  So, he buckled Liv in the passenger seat of our John Deere Gator and then buckled Ava in the back seat behind Liv.  In those next few moments, we are guessing she unbuckled herself (a skill we have been working on with her). As he rounded a corner, inertia took Ava out and landed her face down on the crushed rock driveway.   I guess it is not what you are supposed to do, but Joe’s first reaction was what any Dad’s would be — you scoop that child up in your arms as fast as you can.   

Joe ( with Ava in his arms), Vince and Liv got in our car and we raced to the hospital.  Her right lung suffered a contusion so they got her some oxygen and did a few other basic stuff like a catheter and an IV line.  

Then, we waited for what seemed like an eternity for a ride to Sioux Falls.   Their helicopter had just left, so we waited for a plane.  It took forever.  Lots of transferring between this ambulance to that plane to a different ambulance to a drive from that airport to the next ER, you get the drift. Part of me feels like we could have took turns running pushing her bed here for 60 miles and would have gotten her to see the pediatric trauma surgeon faster.  

Then, after waiting for our turn for our CT scan, the good news.   No injuries to her head, which was our main concern.  The contusion to her right lung was minor, as was the one to her liver.  She has quite a bit of bruising to her left hip (perhaps from the seatbelt) but moreover, abrasions to her face and a tear that is vertical and horizontal over her lip with a hole that goes through the whole way.  We are managing her pain and trying to comfort her as we now wait all day for plastic surgery at about 5:00.  

Ava has always been our ‘medical child’.  She’s had surgeries for a tear duct, ongoing vision issues, as well as gross and fine motor delays and speech issues.  We’ve seen lots of specialists and run lots of tests in her 4 years and no real diagnosis.  She has hypotnoia (low muscle tone) which is really just a symptom that is causing all of her delays.  If I were a guessing person, I would say that when my 23 chromosomes combined with Joe’s, there’s a few micro deletions or micro duplications.  In any case, she is the way God designed her and just the most precious child and the biggest blessing you could ever know. 

So, if you are reading this today, pray for a skilled plastic surgeon and simple recovery from the anesthesia.  Pray that she is well enough to go home tonight and transitions smoothly. If you think of her in the days to come or read this months later,  well really…just keep praying for her.  We feel so blessed by the outpouring of everyone’s support.  


27 thoughts on “Our Ava Bear

  1. I am so sorry for Ava’s accident, a parents nightmare. Thankful for modern medicine! She is good hands….we made that same trip to SF when Isaac was 5~my heart is with you.
    Our care, theWilliams


  2. Been praying often and will continue. Thanks for “the rest of the story” after the brief Facebook post last night. It’s good to know what happened, if for nothing more than laying extreme fears to rest. Praying for you and Joe as well as her recovery.


  3. We waited for that same airplane when Allen S. was so ill. Took forever and still beat us driving there. It is the angel express.


  4. prayers for a fast ans full recovery. We are a year into my granddaughters recovery after her accident . Which after two ambulance rides,then a heleacoptor ride she was at the childrens hospital in Minnesota. She was in a baody cast for 7 weeks and has worked hard to get where she is today and doing well. My daughter and son in law are having a celibtation to thank everyone who was so helpful in her recovery in this past year. If it wasn’t for the love and support of friends and family I don’t know if they would of gotten though this tough time. So take all the love, prayers, help, and support that it offered, be it little or big. In the end it will pay off. You don’t realise how much even the little things mean until a time like this. .. long story Short, it took time and maybe with still take more time. But all and all we got our morgy back… and I hope and pray you all get the love and support we did and your ava will be up and around too in no time… prayers for your family to have the strength you need to make it trough this tough time.


  5. Hi Ava’s family. I read your story and saw the pictures of Ava. Given the details you have shared about Ava and from seeing what Ava looks like, I think it is possible that Ava may have the same very rare syndrome that my daughter has. Typical chromosome tests do not capture this particular syndrome. I would be happy to talk with you about it more. Sometimes it’s helpful to just know.


  6. My husband and I have been there and done that….it’s amazing how quickly things can go from normal to teetering on life or death. We will be praying for your precious Ava…thank you for sharing your story and we give God the glory for His protection and direction!


  7. Sending warm thoughts and prayers for Ava for fast healing, and prayers for mom, dad and siblings as they patiently wait for their precious daughter and sibling to get well.


  8. Praying for you and your family!
    1 Peter 5:10: And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.


  9. Sending our heartfelt prayers for Ava and your family. What a scary incident for all of you!! How thankful we are that she doesn’t have a head injury! Kids are resilient – with quality medical care, her loving and supportive family, and God watching over her, I have faith that Ava will heal completely.


  10. prayers to you and your family. – farm accidents happen in a heart beat but we will go on…. we are hoping for speedy healing and may God be with you at this time of need.


  11. Praying for you all. I have a special little guy too (autism on our end) so I know how precious they are, but also how much trouble they can get themselves into. I hope she has a speedy recovery!


  12. Sending many thoughts and prayers, stay strong and know we are all thinking of Available and your family. A parents worst nightmare but kids are so resilient.


  13. Joe & Rita and family , so sorry to hear of Ava’s accident. We all wish her well and will keep her and the whole family in our thoughts and prayers. Hugs ♡♡♡


  14. I came across your post from a niece on FB…who is also married to a dairy farmer. Rita, I am praying for you, your hubby, your children, and especially little Ava! God bless!


  15. Pingback: This Father’s Day | soshemarriedafarmer

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