::pack:: of fixations

life after tragedy. living while grieving. love and triplets.


Anatomy of a car crash. Part 1

I'm writing this down from my hospital bed, typing with one finger. I want to write everything down while it's still fresh (or as fresh as it can be since all the anesthesia & other drugs). I presume this is gonna be a long, sad, and gruesome story since I plan on naming all of our injuries. It's my worst nightmare, that I'm still living.

Every Christmas Eve my side of the family throws a party and I always look forward to it. This year it was at my Brother's, and we got there at 330pm. This Christmas was especially exciting because Finn is 3, & starting to understand what Christmas was all about. After, the party I planned on drinking mulled cider & putting cookies out for Santa.

I yelled to Finn with excitement that Santa was coming tonight from my brothers front porch as Ryan put the kids in their carseats & finished saying anxious-to-get-home-goodbyes (why didn't I take 10 seconds longer). We were leaving South Jordan and turned on 90th South. I was looking at instagram on my phone when Ryan said "what the hell", I looked up & saw the lights of a huge Subarbun jumping over a raised median (which was landscaped w/boulders & trees (& he took out 2-4 trees I later was told)). I believe the speedlimit is 50 mph, he was going 60 mph, Ryan said some one had just cut him off so he's positive we were goinG 45. I blinked and we were hit, head on.

I was in shock I guess because my phone hit the floor & I knew I couldn't reach it to call my Mom. I tried to undo my seatbelt & open the door to 'yell' for help. Airbags must have gone off because the one thing we have going for us is no brain or spinal injuries. Ryan & I both had the same red marks on the left sides of our noses. Then the I can't breathe happened. So many people whom I don't know their names came to our aid. Ryan and I both had people holding our necks/heads up. I now know why but didnt know then and it really irritated me but, people ask you the same questions over & over again.

The shock wore off as soon as help came. Then I couldn't feel my right leg, then my left. The numbness going up my fingers and creeping up my arms. I screamed. "what's your name, how old are you?". A few minutes had gone by. The numbness turned to excruciating pain. Something that would stay with me for weeks to come. I couldn't breathe. "what's your name, how old are you?".

A few more minutes of pain, trying to breathe, and "what's your name? How old are you?" went by, then I heard the worst thing my heart could take. One of our aids was assessing us, "no pulse on this one, & blood coming out of his nose. Let's take him."

I screamed. I couldn't breathe. I screamed. They took my baby. I heard them. I knew. "what's your name? How old are you?". I couldn't breathe. Pain was growing more and more excruciating. But, not being able to breathe was worse. I felt like I was drowning. Maybe they will save Colum. Must breathe to stay alive. "what's your name? How old are you?". Different people, same questions. It's hard to talk when you're drowning. 'I can't breathe please don't ask me questions', i politely asked for the 20th time. "what's your name? How old are you?", what was wrong with these people.

Minutes felt like hours. I ignored their ignorant questions. I could only concentrate on breathing which was getting harder & harder to do. By the time the next ambulance was ready, it was determined i would be next to go. All I could think about was the oxygen mask I longed for. The echo of Ryan yelling my name & how I couldn't respond. Being pulled out of the car was my first indication of how broken up I was. I could feel that every inch of my body was broken. My entire left arm was left painfully hanging as the stretcher was rolled towards the ambulance... Ohhh my left arm!

I got my oxygen mask, but to my despair I still couldn't breathe. I don't know if the blood pressure machine wasn't working or they just couldn't believe the reading. "what's your name? How old are you?", they kept asking me that. I told them I won't answer those questions I couldn't breathe. To be continued....


  1. I imagine that writing this all out must be very difficult, Kelly. I hope that it is therapeutic, too. I hope that it helps you heal, both physically and emotionally. Love you and praying for you. Wish I could be closer to give you a big hug.

  2. holy cow....i found your blog on accident a while back, and enjoyed reading...i often check for updates, and today checked again...i am so sorry to find this blog as an update...i dont know you, but will pray for you...i hope EVERYONE in your family is ok....because i do not know you, i am left hanging....i pray for you and your families speedy and healthy recovery. stay strong.....

    a fellow reader in san antonio texas--

  3. Hi Kelly, I don't even know if you remember me but as soon as I read your name on Heather Uibel's FB page (to pray for you) I knew I remembered you. I got on the blog your family made & didn't quite recognize you but I dug up my yearbook and your face in there was exactly as my mind recalled. Your looks have changed...so have mine! ;)

    I'm so glad you are able to 1 finger type and feel the need to document your story. I think of you every day and wonder how you're doing. I check FB, and your kellypack blog almost every day. I hope you know MANY people are praying for you, donating their change in random stores, and much more. We are all cheering for you to get well and to be able to grow into your new "normal".

    Thank you for allowing us readers into a very harrowing and intimate place of your life. I'm thinking of you and praying for your beautiful family.

    ~Kristy Phelon Edwards

  4. My heart has ached for your family since this accident. I still pray for each of you daily. I am so sorry for your loss of sweet Colum. I pray that you often feel his angelic sweet spirit with you. May peace and love be with you and your family through your emotional and physical healing. Much love! -Angela Keddington-

  5. Kelly, I don't know if you remember me, but I went to the Aquarium in Sandy with you and Amber Brodrick about a year ago. I also just live down the street in front of your house. I am so sorry for your loss and we are praying for your family every day. I don't even know how you get through something this tragic, but I hope you know that a lot of people want to help you guys out. My # is 801-361-6420 and when you guys get home I would love to help in any way I can...meals, watching Finn, whatever you need.
    Brittany Tuckett

  6. Kelly,
    Your pain has affected many people. Your strength has given new meaning to my mothering. You are an example of true perseverance. I know we haven't had the chance to become friends however my husband and I have been doing all we can in our home to help. We are more than willing to do MORE, lots more. John has been just sick about all of this and we would like you to know that you have impacted our lives more than you know. Keep moving ahead, you are doing amazing.
    Your love for your family shines through the words of this post and I will continue to follow your progress.
    Again, we are here to help... With your dogs, meals or whatever else comes along.
    John and Lindsay Barratt

  7. Kelly,

    I don't know you, I found your blog on a friend's blog list. My heart hurts in ways I didn't know it could reading about the accident. I ache that you have to go through this. Reading your posts have made me treasure every moment I have with my family even more. Thanks for your bravery, and incredible strength in posting your story. You, and your beautiful family will be in my prayers.

    ~Mandy Merriman
    Provo, Utah

  8. Dear Kelly,
    I am SO sorry you are having to re-live this nightmare by writing about it, but maybe it will be a catharsis for you and help you somehow to put some of the pain behind you. I know from Jonathan's accident 4 years ago that documenting this is an important step especially in terms of whatever legal dealings may come in the future.
    A friend of mine approached me at church yesterday and gave me a donation for your family. Keep in mind, this is at least 800 miles away from someone who has never met the wonderful Packs. You have touched so many, and your courageous first steps today, upright, putting weight on one leg, is inspiring! I can't imagine the pain, but you are one strong lady! Thank you for forging forward and working so hard to get well. That little guy at home is so counting on you.
    We love you and are praying for you,
    Nadine Pinkerton

  9. Dearest Kelly,
    Words can not express how sorry I am for you loss and pain. I have cried and cried for you and your family. Your story has touched so many lives. I am impressed with your courage and bravery to donate your sons heart to another sweet child. What a gift that family received! All because of your handsome, sweet little boy. I will always remember you and your family.
    Prayers are being said for you all over this world!
    Colfax, WA

  10. Dear Pack family,

    I just wanted to say I am praying for your families recovery physically and emotionally.
    Taylorsville, Utah

  11. I cringed when I read your post. That must have been a devastating event for you and your family. And the fact that it was Christmas time when it happened definitely made everything harder to accept. We are so sorry to know what happened, but we are praying for your quick recovery.

  12. Kelly, I read through all of the parts, and just as with everyone who has read your story, I am very sorry to hear about your accident and all the physical and emotional pain you’ve gone through since it happened. I sincerely hope that the financial trouble is being sorted out. It is nice to know how bravely you handle things with such a heart-breaking story. I wish you all the luck in the world as you and your family continue to heal from this life-changing tragedy.

  13. I don’t know if it’s appropriate to say, “I enjoyed reading it”, but I really felt like I was transported to that scene. After incidents like these, we can only be thankful that we can still do things like write. :] I hope you and Ryan have totally recuperated now in all aspects. Accidents do have the power to renew us in more ways than we can think of.

  14. You have done a amazing job with you website.

  15. It was certainly interesting for me to read the article. Thanks for it.
    http://easigo.co.uk - car accident claim

  16. Those are harrowing memories to look back on. That is why it's important for us to preserve the memory in some form or another, such as an account. That is a pretty comprehensive one there. It's good because it allows you to be able to check back on the incident, and find things that may help you appraise the situation further, and be further illuminated by it. Like identifying more factors and such like.

    Howard Kurtz @ Kurtz & Blum, PLLC