Saturday, July 14, 2012

InstaFriday - InstaChange

How I look forward to this week all year!

For one week of the year every July, my doctor husband signs up to be the volunteer doc at Kids Across America. We've been going to that amazing camp doing this volunteer thing since 1999. He volunteers. I hang out and support him volunteering.

July 8-14, 2012, was our week! Our three youngest girls went with us to hang out too! We always have a creative sign welcoming us, and we have an amazing view from the porch of the guest lodge.

We see interesting carvings and statues around Golden, Missouri, where KAA is located. I did my crazy mom thing and made the girls get out to pose for a couple of pictures.

One of the things I love about our time at KAA is how much walking we do. You walk to get everywhere. Lots of good talk time.
3 of my favorite girls
Another favorite - the view from the porch of Uncle Deek's Guest Lodge. This is sunrise one morning. That kind of peace and beauty speaks to your soul.

Another gift to my soul is this dear friend. God put Louise in my life in 1987. She encourages me in every way a person can be encouraged. She and her husband, Sky, were interns under Lou when he was a 3rd year resident - and we've been close friends ever since. They volunteer at KAA the same week we do!

The above picture was taken Tuesday night.

The night before InstaChange.

Warning - a "rough" picture follows. 

On Wednesday morning around 8:15 a.m., Lou was riding his bike to KAA1 to see a sick camper. The road into that camp is a paved, relatively steep decent with a couple of speed bumps. Lou saw the first speed bump, but because of the dappled sunlight and shadows, he didn't see the second. He flipped over his handle bars, and landed hard on his right shoulder.

In that blink of an eye, he broke 10 ribs, his right collar bone, his right shoulder blade, the transverse process of his 7th cervical vertebrae, the 5th metacarpal on his left hand, punctured his right lung and decorated his skin with a little road rash!

He was, as always, wearing his helmet
Our doctor friend, Sky, and the head nurse at KAA rushed him to the ER in Branson, MO, where the staff there put a chest tube in to treat the collapsed/punctured lung issue. And because initially, liver damage was also suspected, it was determined that he needed to be flown to a Level 1 Trauma facility in Springfield, MO.

His first helicopter ride!


We get to Springfield and spend the night in the Step Down Unit, where he received great care. By day two, he looks like this.
Day 2: Cleaned up a little
This pic is when all the pain meds are working as they should :)

While all this trauma - and I now have a new appreciation for the word trauma - was going on in Lou's life, in our lives, our beautiful, loving community was mobilizing. I began receiving calls, texts, Facebook messages, offers for anything and everything we could possibly need... and prayers.

How loved we felt. How loved we feel. Lou and I are speechless and overwhelmed and humbled.

Thank you. Thank you.

Lou has received/is receiving numerous cards from people. I wish I could show them all, and I certainly don't want to slight anyone, because each one is special and made us smile. I can't post them all - but I did want to give an idea of the encouragement we've had from just a handful of his smallest patients!

The accident happened on Wednesday. Elizabeth's 16th birthday was the next day.

It's one we won't forget. She sat on my lap for a little while in this room that night. I told her I'm sure I was holding her in my lap 16 years ago at that time too.

No milk, but...Cookie cake at the hospital!

Official celebration at a later date...
Thursday, we also got this photo of just how badly Lou had broken his shoulder blade.

See that big gap running across the top third of his scapula? That's not supposed to be there. You can also probably pick out a broken rib or two...

But big gap in his scapula or not, he's walking! When his pain meds have kicked in.
Day 3 with escorts Hannah and David

He's still sporting the latest in chest tube fashion as I type, and his biggest desire and our biggest prayer right now is for that right lung to heal completely and for that chest tube to get pulled. When that happens, we would probably get a "you get to go home" date. Yes!

We know this accident did not take our God by surprise. He was with Lou coming down that hill, and flying over those handle bars and hitting the pavement.

He is with us now in this hospital room.

The first morning after the accident, I sat down to read Lou some tweets off his twitter account. We paused when we read the following tweet:

God's care comes in many forms. He cares enough to break your bones in order to recapture your heart. (See Psalm 51:8)

We both are still pondering it...

We don't understand everything. But we trust Him in everything. We pray for healing. And we pray that we honor God in all of this.

This has definitely been a week at KAA that we won't forget. It will be one of those "marker" moments  - a "before the accident/after the accident" kind of things. It will be interesting to sort all that out.

I'll leave you with the verse that I began memorizing on Monday of this week. God met me right where I was.

life rearranged


  1. I don't personally know you Shelly, but I've known Dr. Harris for years, from working at CMH. Please give him my best wishes for a speedy recovery. I've been thinking of him and your whole family since hearing of his accident.

  2. Wow what a testament your family is!! Please let us know when you get the"come home" date so we can help with some meals or just getting something done around the house you need done. Prayers for quick healing!!

  3. There once was a doctor named Lou.
    And he was a good biker, too.
    But then on one ride,
    The road skinned his hide,
    And I guess crash jokes now are taboo.

  4. Jason and I have always enjoyed Dr. Harris so much! It was so hard to leave Bolivar when God moved us and one of the biggest reasons was our amazing doctor who was kind, funny, and who always prayed over us. We're so thankful you blog, Shelley, so we can keep up with you guys. Thanks for posting about Lou. Tell him that I thought he looked very handsome in his hospital gown:) We love you guys and will pray for continued healing.

  5. We are so thankful for God's healing hand on our Dr. Lou! We love you guys- Can't wait to see you in REAL life!

  6. You are in our thoughts and prayers. May God give you strength, peace, and healing today. Mark and Beth

  7. Sending love and more prayers your way every day. Your family is precious to God and to us. His ways are not our ways, and learning from Him is a huge blessing, although not always painless. :) "Trusting Jesus, that is all (the end line from one of my favorite hymns)."

  8. We have been praying for you from the time we heard about the accident. I have seen several people ride by our house on the new designated bike route wearing helmets that I have never seen on their heads before. I asked one if she was wearing a helmet because of Dr. Harris and she replied, "Yes, ma'am." So that is one good thing to come out of this!

  9. I prayed for your healing and left a card at your office. Maybe during rehab, you could read my book on prayer. God did not cause you to have an accident, according to the Bible. It doesn't mean that you were doing anything wrong, either!

    Jesus is the Great Physician. Jesus went about healing the sick while on the earth:

    "You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached—how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him." (Acts 10:36-38, NIV)

    Your brother in Christ,

    Dr. John E. Russell
    Chaplain (COL) AUS Retired

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  11. Carolyn and I love and appreciate you. Get well soon.

  12. Do you have a discharge date? Will you have rehab in Springfield or Bolivar?
    Trusting God that you will be back soon.