October is my favorite time of the year. That is until October 29, 2020. That morning is burned into my memory. I remember every single thing that happened that day. It was in super slow motion.
Greysen was the best son a mom could ever have. He was the peacemaker, the sweetest soul. He was a typical 13-year-old kid. He is the fourth child out of five. He was born with a heart condition that never ever slowed him down. You would never know he had a problem by looking at him. He was super close in age to his little brother, Milo. They were best friends. He was Milo’s voice. If anyone asked Milo a question, he’d look at Greysen for him to answer. He loved to hang out with his friends, be outside, play video games, and tell the funniest jokes.
He always had something clever to say. He was loud and opinionated. He would get into trouble talking to his friends on the phone past curfew. He, we later found out, was talking his friends out of suicide. He would be there for anyone. He loved his friends so much. The pandemic was really hard for him because he couldn’t be with them as often as he wanted to. He was often outside with them before the pandemic jumping on the trampoline. He was the best back-flipper there is and he loved to show it off.
He loved to go to school, not because he was a great student, but because he could be with his friends. He would often go to school early just to have the most time possible with them. He was an active member of our church. He had the cutest lisp and a dimple in his cheek. He loved animals, especially the family dogs.
October 29, 2020, Greysen headed out to school that morning. An hour later, I was awoken to police pounding on our door. They politely asked to speak to my husband and me. They said that they needed to speak to us about Greysen. I never imagined that I’d ever hear the words that they were about to say.
They informed us that Greysen had been hit by a car and we needed to get to the hospital right away. My heart instantly went numb. I couldn’t believe what they were telling me. They told us that we needed to follow behind the police car and that the other police car would be behind us. We made the three-mile drive to the hospital where we were escorted into the building by the officers. They took us up to the intensive care floor and ushered us immediately into a small room. There were police lining both sides of the room. It was like a movie.
When we got into the room, they told us that Greysen was in surgery and that it was pretty bad. They said something about brain damage, but nothing definitive. We were also met by another policeman that we hadn’t previously spoken to. He informed us that he witnessed the accident. Greysen was crossing Redwood Road, a very busy 45 mph road, and he was struck by a car. He wasn’t in a crosswalk. He didn’t use the skybridge that would have safely gotten him to the other side to the school. He told us that the driver immediately got out of the car and administered CPR while calling 911.
Greysen did not have a heartbeat. He landed hard on his jaw, which broke immediately, so the EMTs couldn’t get an airway. They had to do a tracheotomy to gain an airway. His heart didn’t beat again until they got him to the hospital. It was still touchy and they immediately took him into surgery. He had a broken jaw, ruptured spleen, a head injury and a spinal fracture. The doctors told us that there was a 1% chance of survival. He was out of surgery and on life support and was very unstable. They let us come in and be with him. Words can’t adequately express what I saw — my sweet baby lying there connected to machines. We held his hand and talked to him.
When the doctors thought we had enough time with him, they told us that they would be taking him off life support. We were visited by a transplant team who asked if we would consider donating his organs. Without hesitation, we agreed. We knew the kind of giving person he was and we knew it was something that he would have wanted to do. They took him off life support and immediately took him to the transplant surgery. That whole day seemed like it was five minutes long.
I lost my son that day. In an instant, because of a stupid decision on his part, he was gone. My life has not been the same since. My heart is shattered. I long to hear his jokes, see his dimple and listen to that lisp. The only solace I have is that through organ donation, he saved the lives of three people.
Please be careful and look at your surroundings. Make good decisions when crossing a street. If there are safer ways to get across the street, please use them. Even though it may take longer to go that way, it could save your life. It could save another mother from the crippling pain of losing their precious child. Please learn a lesson from Greysen. He was the best kid. Even the best kids make mistakes. Unfortunately, his cost him his life.