As the light changed to white, from orange, I turn to snag my two kids’ hands and start to cross the street. Or try to, one son was distracted by the construction happening behind us, and the other son was in a far away land. I clapped loudly to bring them back to the present.
I sign “Come on! Light has changed! Come on! We need to go to school!” The urgency in my signs is clear, we need to move.
We start to walk quickly across the street, me with my white cane first, followed closely, then overtaken, by my kids, one would always start to run.
That is the usual way things go on most usual days.
Today was different. Today was urgent.
In that 20 seconds in took me to get my kids’ attention and start walking across the street; a car ran the red light!
The car, a colourless brown car of some sort, smashed into my outstretched left leg. Took my white cane out of my hand with such force it felt like I slammed my hand into a tree. I fell backwards into the muck filled curb.
I was filled immediately with pain! From my leg to my hand! Not to mention my backside!
Luckily, or not, my kids were half a step off the curb when this idiot hit me and were spared.
But their ears were not spared while I screamed and hollered some pretty nasty profanities at the moron who kept driving!
These things, and the next happened so fast, that it was surreal.
I was grabbed under the arms by some burly construction workers, hauled back to the curb and plopped down on the ground. My kids, I noticed, were herded back as well, and they stayed close to me.
Someone was urgently talking to me, what they said is out of my realm of understanding.
“I’m Deaf-Blind!” I manage to say, while pointing to my ears, a few times before they cottoned on and started to gesture. My oldest son is helping too. Signing what he can.
My leg is a throbbing mess, pointing in a direction it should not, and my hand is a ringing throb. I am further lucked when there is no visible blood.
Someone gestures, or signs, the universal sign for police (a C handshape where you’d normally find a badge), and it is clear to me that someone has called 911.
Someone has also, I must be very obvious, ran back to my house, and alerted my Mom in Law, who is rushing up the street. Now she can’t sign, but she has the kids.
The police and ambulance arrive even before my Mom in Law can make it up the street. I manage, with a lot of difficulty, to get my wallet out and give someone, an ID card with information to call for emergencies. I am lucky again, when one of the police can sign a bit.
The pain is very bad, I’m not able to think. Just that my kids are safe and someone is calling for an intervenor..
Someone, another burly construction worker I’m guessing, hands me back my white cane. It is badly bent! “Thank you,” I sign.
I am rushed to hospital, where they set my leg in a red cast. An intervenor is with me, helping me communicate and fill out forms etc. Acting as my eyes and ears is what they do.
I find out later, after I’m home with my wife, who came to the ER, that the police caught the lady who ran the red light, her licence is suspended. She wrote me a cheque, I’ll cash it later.
Author’s note: This is a elaborate fabrication of an incident that nearly happened. I am thankful, that during those 20 seconds it took to get my kids’ attention, something of avid interest held my son’s attention 7 seconds longer. The car clipped my white cane.