By Jay Anderson and Lynn Grant
On a hot sunny afternoon in July, 2007, Lynn Grant and her daughters Shannon, and Hannah were on their way to a birthday party. Stopped at a traffic signal they were all looking forward to tomorrow and the start of their family vacation. The light turned green and the Grant's in the third vehicle drove through the intersection and were slammed broadside by a distracted driver who ran the red light driving 55 mph.
In what has been described by witnesses as a "bone jarring crash," 6 year old Hannah took the direct impact of the crash, suffering a traumatic brain injury. Help arrived quickly; and paramedics found Hannah unconscious, unresponsive, and not breathing. A priority 1, trauma alert was declared as medics intubated Hannah and initiated other advanced life support measures. Hannah's "Golden Hour" had begun.
Hannah on a ventilator, lay in a coma for 22 days with her family by her side. There was no miraculous made-for-TV "awakening" after she was no longer comatose, no smiling and "what happened?" has ever crossed her lips in the ensuing two and-a-half years, only horrifying sleepless nights spent at various hospitals and a rehab unit, praying and waiting for some sign that she is getting better. Two years and six months of watching her develop nightmarish secondary insults including seizures and muscle contractures; Her first seizure occurring in the early hours of Christmas Eve 2007, a harbinger of heartbreaking Christmases to come. This funny, bright child with her entire life before her full of endless possibilities has been SENTENCED to a mute, nearly motionless life in a wheelchair, dependent on me and her Daddy for every single aspect of her grooming, diapering, and is feed through a tube because she lacks muscle coordination to eat.
"A couple of years ago we went from living the American dream, everything was on track and going well, then someone made a mistake and ran a red light while distracted and changed our lives forever," Scott Grant said.
Grant said he and his wife want people to know how quickly a mistake while behind the wheel can have a life-altering impact on a family. "We are here to make a difference," Scott Grant said. "It's time to get involved and make everyone aware of the dangers of distracted driving."
Hannah and her family continue to involve themselves with the Stay Alive .... Just Drive! program by appearing at special events, press conferences, television and newspaper interviews and appearing at our local schools for the: LOL I'M NT BSY I'M ONLY DRVING presentation.
Lynn Grant summed it up when she stated, "we don't hide behind closed doors and will continue to work with this important organization to remind everyone: Don't Let Distracted Driving Become Your Nightmare."
SAFE DRIVING IS NOT EXPENSIVE, IT'S PRICELESS!