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The Phone Call You’ve Been Dreading Your Entire Life

Yeah – that phone call. The one that comes from a hospital letting you know that someone you love was in a terrible accident.

1 week ago today my cute husband had been out of town with some friends climbing the Grand Tetons in Jackson Hole. I was back in SLC and had just been out to dinner with my kids and my parents. My kids had asked to ride home with their grandparents so I just had the baby in the car.

I had a missed call from Jackson, WY. Weird because if my husband was calling me it should have come from his cell phone. I had a message. I knew something was wrong. ““This is (insert nurses name), I’m a nurse calling from St. John’s Medical Center in Jackson Hole Wyoming. If you could please give me a call at area code 307-xxx-xxxx, Thank You.”

I knew it was bad. I called back and got the E.R. – those moments waiting felt like an eternity. I couldn’t feel my arms or legs and I felt like I was going to throw up. The nurse returned to the line and told me that my cute husband had been in a head on collision and had broken his back and had internal bleeding and that they would be life flighting him soon.

I did what you think you would do in that situation. I made incoherent phone calls and then I went and cleaned my bathroom. It would be a few hours before I could actually go to the hospital and there was nothing I could do. So yeah – I cleaned the toilet.

When I finally went to the E.R. I stalked every ambulance that drove in until the nurse sweetly educated me about how that was illegal and how I needed to stay put.

This all happened on Friday the 13th. Worst day ever. Write that down. 3 surgeries and one week later we are finally out of the ICU and have graduated from “critical” to “serious” condition.

I’ll be posting a few more things over here – including a post dedicated to my love of the IMC cafeteria food (for realsies). In the meantime, if you’ve missed the other updates – I’ve made the notes on my Facebook page public so you can catch up on the accident and all that’s gone on in the past week.

August 14th

August 15th

The Crash
August 16th
August 18th
August 19th

The point about the phone call though — when you think of receiving it, it paralyzes you. When you do receive it, it paralyzes you. But shortly after your body kicks in and draws on it’s reserves to get you through it. A weird sense of calm and logic comes over you and you just start taking everything moment to moment. I think I’m up to day by day now. But it’s ok. Somehow we’re built to endure it all whether we think we can or can’t.

We’re hanging in there! More to come!

Editor’s Update: A charitable account has been set up at America First Credit Union (in Utah) to financially aid Mark’s recovery. To make a donation: visit any AFCU branch and request to make a donation to the Mark Herrscher Charitable account OR mail a check with Mark Herrscher in the “To” field and Charitable in the “Memo” field to PO BOX 9199 Ogden, UT 84409.

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Comments (58)

  1. Pingback: Mad Libs Monday: “Cultural Stuff” by Rachael Herrscher of Today’s Mama | is this REALLY my life?

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  3. Candace Crockett 08/26/2010 at 12:17 pm

    Wow, So sorry to hear about your husband and what you all must be going through! Thoughts and prayers are with you! I can't imagine what that is like to get the phone call…

  4. superdumb 08/25/2010 at 12:19 pm

    I am just catching up on blog reading now that the kids are back in school and I am so sorry to hear about the accident. I hope your husband is getting better.

  5. Marie 08/24/2010 at 8:19 pm

    I can't wait to hear about the food!! You kill me -> realsies!! Love and hugs to you and Mark!

  6. Julie Cole 08/24/2010 at 7:47 pm

    Thinking of you and sending all good recovery vibes. xoxo

  7. KatydidandKid 08/24/2010 at 6:37 pm

    Oh my goodness! I'm so sorry that you had to get one of those calls. I truly hope your husband is doing well. Please know you're all in my thoughts and prayers.

  8. Utahmom 08/24/2010 at 1:58 pm

    Hi Rachel, I have gotten one of those calls. But my neice did not make it out alive from a car accident. I replay that series of events over and over in my mind and remember the terrible feelings. Tough times. I wish your husband a speedy recovery.

  9. Apinacoladablog 08/23/2010 at 10:08 pm

    Rachael, I can't even believe it! I've been out of town and knew of the accident because Shaun told me… but just found out it was YOUR Mark! I am so sorry. You and your family are in our prayers and I hope that Mark has a speedy and good recovery. If you need anything PLEASE let me know! xoxo Alisa

  10. Ndegering 08/23/2010 at 11:57 am

    Rachael, I'm so sorry about your husband. Reagan and I and all the girls on Good Things Utah are praying for you and thinking good thoughts for his full recovery. If there's anything we can do please let us know. We love you!
    Nicea & Reagan

  11. Pam 08/23/2010 at 10:54 am

    I am praying that God will completely heal your husband and give you faith and encouragement to make it through this…God can give you untold strength you will need.

  12. Kathryn Sibley 08/23/2010 at 10:50 am

    Rachael, I am tucking you and your husband and family in my prayers. You will be strong because there is no other choice right now. And you ARE a woman. God and your girlfriends will help get you through. Many blessings to you and yours.

  13. Holly 08/23/2010 at 10:18 am

    Keeping you all in our prayers Rachael.

  14. Brs 08/23/2010 at 10:00 am

    I had one of those calls 19 years ago – on my answering machine. The call back to the ER was the longest moment of my life. Thankfully I hadn't listened to the news driving home because the helicopter crash my husband was in was all over the radio. I know that feeling of paralysis. My thoughts are with you through the recovery time.

  15. Rd 08/23/2010 at 9:50 am

    Get well soon Mark! Unfortunately this situation is all too common–freak accidents happen. I see it in my business all the time–I am an insurance agent. Life insurance answers this question-pictue this question coming from your child; “Mommy, if something happened to you, what would happen to me.” I encourage each of you to talk to your own agent about the importance of life insurance. RD, SF Agent

  16. AllisonWorthington 08/23/2010 at 9:48 am

    Praying everyday for Mark's healing and recovery. Praying for strength and comfort for you during these hard days. What a story of strength and courage you and Mark will have to share with the world! Love to you all! xoxo

  17. Duong Sheahan 08/23/2010 at 8:32 am

    I've been keeping you and your family in my prayers and praying for hubs speey recovery. My parents received a similar call 21 years ago when I was in a head on collision. It was bad…and I'm soo ever grateful to be alive today and enjoying every moment to the fullest. God bless you all.

  18. Barbarajones 08/23/2010 at 8:30 am

    You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers my love!

  19. Heidi 08/23/2010 at 8:13 am

    I am do sorry to hear about your husbands accident. We will light a candle and keep it burning for you and your entire family

  20. Elizabeth Pierce 08/23/2010 at 8:10 am

    oh gosh rach! my heart dropped when I caught word this morning. you are such a strong amazing woman! our prayers go out to you, mark and the family during this time. we are so glad that the recovery process continues to go well and know that God is watching over you every minute!

  21. Ann Marie 08/23/2010 at 7:33 am

    I'm so sorry. I will be praying for you and your family.

  22. Rocksred 08/23/2010 at 7:33 am

    Sending prayers!!!

  23. Stacey Kannenberg 08/23/2010 at 6:48 am

    My heart breaks for you!! I have been on the receiving end of that call as well. I am sending you strength, hugs and support that your husband makes a full recovery and that you keep your sanity during this insane moment in your life! I had a 9 month old at the time of my husband's accident and we were on vacation to celebrate her first Easter with my family. He was taken to another city for a better hospital and we ended up having Easter in the hospital with his parents, who made the 8 hour drive to be with us! Blessings to you all!

  24. Kristen 08/23/2010 at 6:26 am

    I can't imagine how horrifying this must have been. Thank, God he is on the mend, but it sounds like it will be a long road ahead. Praying for you all!

  25. GaDawg 08/23/2010 at 6:24 am

    My family's thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. God bless.

  26. Tidymom 08/23/2010 at 6:05 am

    oh no Rachael- your family will be in my thoughts and prayers

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  28. Mommy Niri 08/22/2010 at 6:14 am

    Rachael – I know you can get this. You will be in my thoughts – speedy recovery – a miracle to be making it from that car.

  29. Redneck Mommy 08/22/2010 at 12:09 am

    Sending your husband and you strength and love. Your family will be in my prayers.

  30. Stephanie 08/21/2010 at 11:11 pm

    I just came over via a tweet by Design Mom. So sorry about the scary news, Rachael. I hope his recovery is quick.

  31. Jenny, Bloggess 08/21/2010 at 10:16 pm

    Sending you love.

  32. Karen Walrond 08/21/2010 at 10:03 pm

    Oh holy hell, Rachael. I'm saying a prayer for you and your family right this second.

  33. Caitlin M 08/21/2010 at 1:51 pm

    Rachael, you and your family are in my prayers. Stay strong.

  34. Jen Crozier 08/20/2010 at 7:18 pm

    Wow that truck is thrashed…you guys are so blessed. I'm glad 'cute husband' is doing better and that at least you have delish foodies to eat. I'll keep following your FB updates and send all my prayers and warm fuzzy thoughts your way…

  35. mrs. r 08/20/2010 at 5:00 pm

    you are inspiring …and so is your toilet cleaning. been praying for and thinking of your family.


  36. Amelia 08/20/2010 at 2:30 pm

    keeping you all in my prayers!

  37. Shelly Knight 08/20/2010 at 2:29 pm

    I've been thinking of you, and hope that you get more good news soon.

  38. Jessica 08/20/2010 at 1:49 pm

    Rachael, you are SO positive amidst this chaos and terrifying ordeal. Amazing.

    I've been praying for you, cute husband, and your family through this and I really hope he can go home to you all soon.


  39. Ajpassey 08/20/2010 at 1:42 pm

    Oh, Rachael, I'm so sorry. My prayers and thoughts are with you. Wish I was in Utah and could do something for you.

  40. Rosy Villa 08/20/2010 at 1:31 pm

    Praying for you and your family. Hugs!

  41. Carol @NYCityMama 08/20/2010 at 1:11 pm

    Omg! I'm so sorry! I'm happy to hear there has been improvement…I admire your strength…to clean the bathroom. I don't know if I would have been at all functional. At all. In any way. My prayers to you and your family! Happy thoughts your way!!

  42. Daralynchristensen 08/20/2010 at 1:05 pm

    your family is in our hearts and prayers. soon this will all be a distant memory. XOXO

  43. Mary Burt-Godwin 08/20/2010 at 12:40 pm

    Thinking of you and your family! xo

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  45. heatherwhaling 08/20/2010 at 11:06 am

    Rachael, YIKES!! I'm sorry to hear about this and will be sending good thoughts to you and your husband. Hang in there!

  46. Beth Siron 08/20/2010 at 10:47 am

    Thoughts and prayers are with you!

  47. Tauni 08/20/2010 at 10:33 am

    You have been in our thoughts and prayers all week. We are all pulling for you and your husband. Wishing you the best…xoxoxo

  48. Adrianscrazylife 08/20/2010 at 10:33 am

    I've had a few of those phone calls myself regarding parents who were sick or dying and they are SO horrible. Your whole life just comes to a standstill and especially if they are in another state, you feel so helpless. I'm glad yours is on it's way to a happy ending. I hope your husband will be able to make a full recovery.

  49. Jyl Johnson Pattee 08/20/2010 at 10:30 am

    You're in our prayers, our hearts, and all of our thoughts, Herrscher family! We love you! xoxoxo

  50. Crystal 08/20/2010 at 10:10 am

    Rachael, you and your family and have been in my thoughts and prayers all week long. Thanks for taking the time to let your fans know what is going on, I'm sure your family needs you more at this time.
    Take care and I'm wishing your husband a good recovery and I hope life can soon be “back to normal” for your family.