It has now been exactly three years since we were attacked and Jim stabbed by three completely unknown and random strangers. In that time, our life has changed so very much. Most of the changes have turned out to be for the good, but not all. The changes that we didn't want or expect are the ones that we continue to struggle with, and do our best to overcome at the very least. Even though this amount of time has passed, there are still so many reminders of what happened that day.
After the first officer arrived on the scene, the paramedics and other support personnel were quick to follow. Everyone was wonderful to both Jim and myself. I would think that all of twenty-five minutes passed in total from the time that we knocked on the tenant's door to the time that the ambulance pulled out of the parking lot. Once things started happening, they started moving rather quickly. I know that it was just before 6pm when the ambulance left with Jim. I had wanted to be on it with him so very badly, but the police managed to convince me that I would be better served remaining behind for the time being as it was important that I give my statement while everything was fresh in my mind. In the end. they were probably correct. Jim was taken into surgery immediately, and even if I had gone directly to the hospital, I still wouldn't have been able to see him until he was out of surgery which turned out to be close to 1:30am Tuesday morning, or almost seven and a half hours after he left the apartment building in the ambulance. At least while I was giving my statement to the police, I didn't have time to dwell on anything else!
It took almost two hours for the officer to take my statement, but then, I was able to remember quite clearly almost everything that had just happened. I've always had a pretty great memory and it certainly didn't disappoint me this time. I don't know how great my recollection would have been had they waited to take my statement, and now, in hindsight, I am glad that I didn't have to test it. The officer was utterly fantastic, which was quite surprising considering how old, or young as it would be, he was. He couldn't have been much more than twenty six, and by the initial look on his face when he had first arrived on the scene, hadn't been exposed to too many gruesome sights as yet. I am a smoker, and he allowed me to smoke while I gave my statement - I had to sit in the back of his police car so I imagine that allowing anyone to smoke in there was fairly rare. He was patient as he took down all of the details. Midway through, I could hear quite a bit of excited chatter coming through his police radio. Suddenly, he stopped to pick up his radio and rapidly jumped out of the car, calling back to me that it looked like they had managed to get one of the three attackers. Even though he had rolled the window down for me earlier, there was no way for me to leave the car on my own as the back doors automatically lock. I could do nothing but wait for him to return.
About fifteen minutes after he had bounded away from the car, he returned all excited. Apparently, they had managed to capture one of the three not too far from our building. He had been hiding across the street behind another apartment building's large green generator. The officer said that while he had somehow managed to change his clothing, he had forgotten to change his socks which were completely covered with Jim's blood. I guess he resisted somewhat as the officer said that in the end he had to be hogtied! Imagine that. Once back, we picked up where we had left off. I managed to finish my statement just prior to 8pm. Even though the police had offered me a ride to the hospital, by then one of my friends had managed to show up so her boyfriend was able to give me a lift. In the meantime, Sara and Katie had gotten to the hospital and were waiting for me to get there. When I arrived, they told me that Jim was in surgery, his second one since he got there!
Initially, they had taken him into repair the two and a half inch gash on the right side of his throat as that had been the most obvious injury. It wasn't until he was out of that surgery and upstairs getting an MRI - I believe this is what was done next - that they noticed he had an immense amount of internal bleeding. It was discovered that both his liver and spleen had been lacerated badly, plus one of his lungs had been punctured and since collapsed. It was this second surgery that ended up lasting the longest, and from reading his medical report which we had to request for our lawyer, I finally discovered just how very serious and how very touch and go, this had all been.
TO BE CONTINUED...