You know you’ve reached your breaking point when you come to a bunch of strangers asking for help.
Well, I’m at my limit and I’ve had little sleep. It’s been over 24 hours since the incident happened and my husband and I still have no idea what to do, or how this even started.
I’m laying on the floor now, my eyes bloodshot and weary from crying; holding my little girl up as she leans against the hallway wall and continues to sob in pain. She’s been having fits of pain more frequently for the past few hours, and I still don’t have a solution for her.
All I know for sure is that I will take any suggestions possible.
I’m ruffling her hair, soothingly whispering to her and trying to get her to calm down but it isn’t working. Nothing we have done has worked so far either.
When I first heard her screams yesterday, I thought for sure it was a problem with one of her toys getting lost. Instead I turned the corner from the laundry room to see that she was against the wall, desperately trying to tug her arm from the plasterboard. At first I thought somehow or another she had ripped a hole and I was about to scold her. As I got closer I was shocked to find that instead it seemed as though her entire hand and up to the middle of her arm was somehow meshed with the wall. It was impossible to determine where one ended and the other began.
“Okay sweetie calm down, calm down,” I told her as she started to have a crying fit and kept tugging. “It hurts!!” she screamed. I could tell her efforts weren’t making any difference though so I immediately distracted her with something else so I get a closer look. It wasn’t easy. She was fidgety and any sudden movement I worried would make the situation worse. Even after an hour, I couldn’t find a way to pry her arm from the wall; so I immediately called my husband at work and told him what was happening.
“Should I Call paramedics?” I asked.
He suggested trying to rub some coconut oil on her arms and letting it slip out. Then I sent him a snapshot of the way the wall basically was part of her arm now and he immediately called.
“I’ll come home right away. Get 911,” he said. I had never heard him so alarmed but maybe it’s because I’m normally the panicky one. All I could think about was how scared my little girl was.
I soothed her and let her watch some videos on her tablet as we waited for the EMT to arrive.
When they got there however, our troubles were far from over. There were three of them and from the looks on their faces I could tell none of them had ever seen anything like this.
“We need to check vitals first,” the oldest on the team decided as I squeezed my daughter’s free hand and tried to tell her it was going to be okay. But any reassuring words I had were falling on deaf ears. She just continued to sob bitterly and tell us how much it hurt.
“Hey there; what’s your name?” the lady EMT asked getting at eye level. “M-m-marcy,” my six year old stammered.
“Hey Marcy I know it’s scary but we’re gonna take care of you okay? And when this is over, if you are a good girl maybe you’re mommy would let you have some candy?” she suggested. I nodded and kissed her forehead as the other EMT’s worked around the awkward standing position we were in to check everything out.
“Pulse is a little elevated. Nothing appears to be broken. Ma’am what’s behind this wall?” the team leader asked. But my attention was focused on Marcy. The short reprieve we had to calm her down was over as she screamed and said something was squeezing her arm.
And it got louder when she saw her daddy walking in the door.
“Sir please step back,” the woman EMT advised.
“I’m her father, Stan. Please, tell me you’ve come up with something. What is causing this?” he asked as he rushed to kiss me and then check on Marcy. The older EMT talked in between her bursts of fear.
“Well honestly I can’t say for sure, but it seems like the best option right now would be to tear the wall down.”
Stan boded eagerly as he rubbed Marcy’s arm trying to sooth her pain. “Yes of course. You have my permission. Tear it all down,” he demanded.
The EMTs radioed for a fire station nearby to bring a sledgehammer. Stan and I just kept holding our little girl tight. Not daring to say a word as they returned with the equipment.
“Please step aside,” one firefighter ordered us.
I didn’t want to be away from her as it happened but I knew not to disobey, so I quietly stood up and watched as they prepared to smash at the wall. As soon as they began to slam the hammer into the wall, we were all surprised to hear Marcy scream even louder. I thought she might even go deaf from the noise. As they hit the hammer again and nothing seemed to damage to wall. Instead it only seemed to make Marcy shriek and cry and even twist her arm to the point of nearly breaking it to get away. Still she remained lodged in place and I couldn’t be quiet any longer.
“You’re hurting her!!” I screamed as I motioned for the EMT’s to stop. “Jesus. It’s like the foundation is thicker than concrete,” they said.
“Is there no other way?” Stan asked.
The team consulted amongst themselves for a few minutes as I wiped away Marcy’s tears. They asked to talk to Stan privately. For a moment I heard him get upset and I cringed, wondering what their suggestion even was.
Then he returned to the hall and asked to talk to me while the EMTs did their best to distract our daughter.
“They’re wanting to amputate,” he said with a stone face. I could see the tears that had streaked down his face when he had been arguing with them. I knew that if he was coming to me now it meant he didn’t see there was another option.
“They can’t… no… she’s just a little girl…” I said as I covered my mouth and tried not to hyperventilate.
“Listen to me, just listen,” he said as he grabbed my shoulders. “They said we could think it over. And that they would consider other options too… but… it’s not looking good, not the way it’s lodged in there,” he told me.
I shook my head, trying not to think about it. I knew that he was also struggling with this choice as well. So we told them we would call them back in a few hours.
I sat down on the floor beside Marcy as she complained about her feet getting tired from standing and told her she could rest on me as I rubbed her arm tiredly.
“It hurts so much mommy,” she complained with a whimper. She was all worn out. I don’t know how, but we got some sleep.
Then this morning, I decided I couldn’t bear to hear her in pain any longer so I asked Stan to call the EMT’s back.
“How will… how will they even do it?” I asked as he got off the phone.
“They didn’t specify. I can only imagine that we don’t want to know the details,” he said as he grabbed me.
Then we got on the floor next to Marcy and he tried to explain to her what was about to happen.
“Sweetie… do you remember the men and women who came yesterday to look at your arm?” Stan asked. She nodded weakly. I could tell she had barely gotten any sleep herself.
“They’re coming back now, coming to try and get you out. But sweetie… what they are going to do, it’s going to hurt. Can you be brave for mommy and daddy though?” he asked.
She whimpered, unsure how to respond and we held her close. Stan even said a prayer, and we all huddled together until the team arrived.
When they did, Marcy was desperate for us not to leave her side as I watched the EMTs get out some syringes and anesthetic to numb the area closest to the wall.
“We’ll get everything set up and then tie her arm off right above the elbow to limit blood flow. Then once the medicine is in her system, we’ll try to make a clean cut,” the team leader told me. I was visibly shaking.
I can’t even describe the way that Marcy screamed as they stuck her with about five different needles. Then it was time to operate.
The two EMT’s moved to either side of her arm with a bone saw and asked me or Stan to hold her still as they prepared to make the cut. I immediately fell to my knees and squeezed her other hand.
“Marcy look at me baby, look at me. I want you think about your favorite ice cream, okay?” I said as they activated the blade and she whimpered and her lip quivered. “Mommy I’m scared. Please don’t let them hurt me,” she begged.
I touched her cheek and cried alongside her as the blade hit the edge of her arm and I heard the loudest noise imaginable from the machinery. But Marcy’s high pitched wail was even louder. They immediately stopped and Stan rushed over, all of us surprised to find that somehow her skin had managed to break the bone saw.
“What in the world….” Stan said.
They had to try again. They tried three times, each time only causing more damage to the saw than any progress on Marcy’s arm. Finally they admitted they couldn’t try any longer. They left muttering apologies and promising they would call back as soon as another solution presented itself.
That was over six hours ago. We haven’t had a call back. Stan has taken off work but he is no closer to a solution. We tried to bust down the wall from outside the house but no such luck from that end either.
I’m… at the end of my rope. I’ve done my best to keep Marcy well fed and dry, but I don’t know how much longer this will go on. I’m asking anyone, please help us. Help my little girl.