guarantees whatsoever about how this particular story would
unfold. It was a severe surrender.
Very soon the EMS team arrived, and they asked lots
and lots of questions of my daughter and of me. She was
extremely confused, but she was talking and conscious on
some level. “Altered state” is how they described it. How far
up was she? I literally could not make myself look up to the
height of the nest that she excitedly told me about just a day or
two before. After an inspection of the magnolia tree and
conversations with the three 9 to 11 year old witnesses to the
fall, we learned that she was about 15 feet high when the
branch snapped. The nest she shared with me was located at
least double that height in the same tree. The EMS team kept
saying she fell 15-20 feet. I now believe that they knew that a
30-40 foot drop would have played out in a much different
The EMS team was amazing. As we loaded up into the
ambulance, the driver spoke incredibly gentle and merciful
words to me. “Mom, we don’t see anything too critical at this
point, but we are going to use lights and sirens to get there
ASAP.” “PLEASE DO!” was my reply. “You don’t have to
explain anything. I want her in capable hands as fast as
possible.” I later learned that he did not have great confidence
in the reassuring words that he spoke to me.
The pediatric trauma team was professional and gentle
at the same time. They put on a cervical collar in case of spinal
cord injury and began to approach her from all angles and
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