My horror began one morning, a few weeks ago, in the ER where my son was awaiting treatment. His horror began hours before.
Chris had received an invitation from a friend, a former co-worker, to come and hang out at his house after work and play cards. It should have been fun, right? Fun would be the last word to describe what occurred that night. He never made it to his friend’s house. It was a dark, foggy night, a night perfect for Stephen King. Chris was traveling a country road through an over grown wooded area, where there were no streetlights or houses; his GPS had bit the dust, and his headlights were barely making a dent in the dense fog.
He knew he was approaching an intersection, but wasn’t sure if it was the road he needed. Chris has been forced to drive in all weather conditions to and from his job in Rochester, including blizzards: he’s cautious. Making a quick decision, he pulled his truck well off the road and turned on his four way flashers, planning on walking up to the sign to read the name. This, he figured, was safer than inching up to the road sign and possibly being rear-ended by another vehicle.
It should have been safer…It wasn’t.
Chris stepped out of his truck and into fog shrouded darkness. He had time to take only three steps away from the truck when it felt like someone had stabbed his leg with a knife. Thinking he was stuck on a briar bush, Chris yanked his leg forward to release it from the bush. It was not a bush however that held Chris' leg in its grasp; and it was not letting go. Instead the animal, whatever it was, began viciously tugging Chris' leg, time after time after time, trying to bring its prey, my son, to the ground. With adrenaline pumping and knowing he was fighting for his life, Chris gave a wild kick with his other foot and struck the phantom like beast on the head, causing it to yelp and run back into brambles. A yelp is all he heard, the only sound identifying the animal to be some form of canine: A dog or a coyote. At that moment he assumed it was a dog.
How he did it I still can’t fathom, but Chris was able to make it back to his truck and drive home; his scrub pants and sneakers becoming saturated with blood. Being a nurse he cleaned and dressed the wound, thinking that it was over. But it had just begun. Chris couldn’t stand on his foot, he couldn’t even flex it, and when he tried to stand up he nearly fainted; He was forced to go to the ER, (his dad took him) supposedly for stitches, which is where I come in. I went to the hospital to be with Chris and bring him home, (my husband had to go to work) but that didn’t happen for many hours.
7 Hours In Er
The wounds were nasty. I had trouble looking at them. The fangs had torn clean to the bone, and it appeared they had ripped a tendon loose. The animal’s jaw had nearly encircled Chris’ entire ankle; individual puncture wounds were interspersed between the two main wounds, the smaller teeth marks. In the next few hours the possibility of stitches was eliminated due to risk of infection. Chris needed to see an orthopedic surgeon because of possible tendon damage, and learned he would need surgery. He also needed to begin an extremely painful course of rabies vaccines. His wound was bandaged and his leg immobilized, and seven hours after entering the ER he was finally sent home on crutches to await surgery on Monday, with his foot at a weird angle, which resembled Drop Foot.
Weeks’ later, after surgery, an abundance of prayers, and painful recuperation, Chris is able to walk with some pain, and is back at work. But that night still haunts all of us, especially him. The people we have spoken with, including the health department where he received his rabies shots, agree, that the animal, whatever it was, was likely diseased. A healthy animal would in all probability have run away as soon as Chris pulled his truck over. (It’s a loud truck) It would not have viciously attacked.
We will never know what attacked Chris that night, and that fact is disturbing. To know that an animal, whatever it was, burst out of the woods and attacked Chris; to know that if Chris had not been able to kick the animal hard enough to cause it pain, it could have continued its physical assault; still sends chills down my neck. The fact that this animal will forever remain a faceless phantom, and could hurt someone else, is nightmare material. Forever haunting. One fact remains in this fiction like tale, as terrible as that night was our son is still alive.
For that we are eternally grateful.