Tuesday, November 10, 2009 | By: Tonya Keitt Kalule

It has been 10 years

Today is my godson's birthday, he turns 30 years old. Now that makes me feel really old. His mother gave birth to him when I was in my freshman year of college and I have adored him from that moment to this one.
He grew up a fine young man and after high school he decided to go into the Marines. He left boot camp in Paris Island, South Carolina and was sent to California and he was really homesick. He came back to Savannah every chance he got. On one of those visits he met with some of his high school friends and they all went to a Greek Fraternity step-show at the local college there, Savannah State. Of course they were all college age, 20, and only one was in college and that was his best friend.

Following the step-show, they stopped at a local liquor store to buy a few beers and some other alcohol, because after all my godson was a military man, with a car, and they were just hanging out together. None of them were of legal drinking age. They were now headed to another party and as so many teenagers do they decided to race with some guys that were in another car.

As they picked up speed they came upon a sharp curve in the road and they hit a tree at the rate of 60 mph. I I didn't get the call until the next morning, and it was a call you never want to get, but I can only imagine what his mother felt when she got the call in the middle of the night.

He was in a coma and had broken his pelvic and his leg. They drilled a hole in his skull to release the pressure,. There was cerebral swelling and bleeding.

His best friend who was in the front passenger seat died instantly and had to be removed from the car with the 'jaws of life'. There was also a passenger in the back seat that had only sustained minor injuries.

I rushed to the hospital when his mother called me and she was afraid that I may not be able to handle seeing him in this condition. I am always pretty good under pressure and fall apart after the fact. It was really hard to see him fighting for his life.

A few days later they told his mother that he had no more brain activity and she need to get the family together and consider removing him from life support.
Thank God that she refuse to remove life support, because a few weeks later he came out of the coma, but had sustained quite a bit of damage to his brain and would never be the same. He had to learn to talk and walk all over again, and he only remembered a handful of people, but I was one of those that he did remember. At first he didn't even remember his grandmother.
He went through intense physical therapy and had to be taught again as though he was a toddler.
He has since fully recovered physically, but his mental capability will forever remain that of a 15 year old.

He is still the sweetest and most loving child that I have had the good fortune to love and have love me.


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