A story from our Most Travelled Passenger – Vickie Murphy

Our most frequently travelled passenger, Vickie Murphy, recently went on her 56th tour with us to Victoria. She often writes poems about her travel experiences, but she shared this poem with us about a different kind of personal experience – titled “The Accident”.

A concert hall in Calgary was hosting one night of the Daniel O’Donnell show
Granddaughter Vikki emailed me asking if I would like to go
Very excitedly I replied I would love to see him and listen to him sing
Vikki said it would be her birthday gift to me our night out, a girly thing.

Vikki picked me up, we joked about how late I would be getting home that night
It might be a late night but to hear Daniel sing would be a delight
Vikki parked close to the hall and we started walking toward the venue
Little did I realize what happened next would totally disrupt my daily menu.

As we walked along I tripped on the uneven sidewalk and on my right side fell
Some concerned people helped me up but I knew all was not well
Couldn’t stand by myself a wheelchair was borrowed somewhere at the hall site
Made myself comfortable, and said “let’s go to the show”, Vikki didn’t put up a fight.

Had handicap seats Daniel and the stage were just over the rail
I clapped, sang with Daniel when I knew the words and didn’t wail
After the show Vikki pushed me to her car try as I might I couldn’t leave the chair
An ambulance was called arriving with minimum wait time, I was loaded with care.

First ambulance ride, what an experience.  Had trouble getting IV in my vein
So long as I didn’t make any undue moves felt little or no agonies of pain
Vitals were checked, made comfortable Josh and Brittany were really great
Josh attended me Brittany drove to Rockyview General Hospital to await my fate.

Checked into Emergency, assigned #6 spot, settled in for a long wait unseen
Eventually was whisked to x-ray, told I had broken my femur – sad scene
Admitted to hospital, and ER cubicle was assigned, lay on a stretcher there
Allowed no food or drink was on intravenous diet but had excellent patient care.

Moved to surgical bed early morning of third day waiting for repair to my hip
Had many roommates, a loony woman, a man in distress whose life did slip
Surgery was scheduled evening of third day wheeled to OR to meet surgical team
Had an epidural, felt nothing but aware of all going on, like in a dream.

Surgeon said “break was clean, surgery went well”, off to recovery I went
Returned to my room for overnight, next day to physio lab I was sent
Therapist taught me exercises and with aid of two-wheel walker I could walk
Was in hospital twelve days then discharged to home, what a traumatic shock.

First visitors after surgery were grandson Ben and his son Madden – welcome pair
Spent 93rd birthday in hospital, had a card on my tray no cake or fancy fare
Hospitals are different now, no bed pan get up and walk to wash up and pee
Sit up in a chair no lolling in bed, exercise, keep active, enjoy visitors, watch TV.

Went to daughter Shelley to do rehab, nurse came every day to poke my tummy
Blood thinner injections for 14 days, just something to make life more crummy
For a while I live in PJ’s and slippers, feet were so swollen I couldn’t wear shoes
Rehab went well, exercise, walk, drink liquids, practice stairs, keep away blues.

Vikki contacted Daniel O’Donnell’s fan club and told them my tale of woe
Result was overwhelming for me, Daniel phoned me from Dublin – way to go
A nurse came to remove the staples, someone counted there were twenty-eight
Balance wasn’t good she let me sit thus missed one that had to wait.

As rehab progressed after 6 weeks I was ready to go home what an incredible feat
Started physio in Airdrie, therapist was great taught me how to position my feet
Homecare comes weekly to help me shower, they wash my feet, back and hair
Occupational therapist ordered equipment to help me cope with life’s ongoing care.

What a joyful time when I first walked independent of walking aids whoop-de-doo
Getting more independent every day, walk 100 m every day exercise too
Still have problem reaching up and bending down but time will help this delay
Someday I will look back and reflect on the determination I did display.

Hi-lite of the ordeal was one-on-one phone conversation with Daniel, cherished memory always.

Composed by: Vickie Murphy, Airdrie, AB