Answering the question, What happened to my friend Monica Stegall?

monica and I climbing mount tamalpais last november.

monica and I climbing mount tamalpais last november.

What happened to Monica could've happened to any of us at any given moment of time. This is why her accident is so tragic, heartbreaking, and scary. 

Monica had been working hard and long hours at her architecture firm -- normal for an aspiring Architect. Afterwards her and some coworkers went out for some needed fun, they grabbed a couple drinks and called it a night. They did what any responsible human being would do and ordered a taxi -- Monica arrived home safely, and dashed out of the car  -- she reached the Lobby of her apartment building, and this is where things become unclear as no one was behind her to see exactly how she fell.  We assume that she might of tripped, fell or passed out. Given the prior evening events we are concluding that having alcohol in her system effected her reaction time and she didn't stop her fall. Regardless of exactly how it happened, it was a horrible accident -- One that can happen to anyone.  

One of her coworker who'd shared the ride, along with the driver heard the fall and rushed to see what happened. They found her unconscious and in very bad conditions. They made sure not to move her and immediately called 911. She was promptly rushed to the hospital. 

This was Tuesday night. I'll spare you the details of her state during those first two days as they're the scariest aftermath I've ever seen or heard of from a simple fall. The good news is she wasn't alone. Her coworkers, Tim, Torin, Mom, and I were with her during those first few hours, and as the following day progressed, we watched her come back to life. 

The fall fractured her skull in two places and caused a brain hemorrhage. She was operated on immediately and from what we've gathered, we are lucky it happened in the city of San Francisco because we have some of the nations leading brain surgeons. 

How is she now? How long will she be in the ICU? Will she be the same Monica we all knew?

The doctors are slowly reducing the sedatives to watch her responses. They don't want her to wake up completely as she is still in very delicate conditions with devices on her that can't be moving around. However, she is responding to all stimuli, and doctors and nurses are very pleased with her progression. We also learned that because of her active lifestyle, doctors anticipate that it will aid in her recovery.  I'll make sure to remind her that our month's of crazy Insanity (a crazy workout program) is probably paying off right about now.

Once she is completely in stable conditions she will leave the ICU and be transferred to her hospitals Neurological Unit, where she can start the recovery process and we can start getting a sense of the extent of her injuries and how long she will be held in hospital care. The Hospital representative did warn us that brain trauma comes with a long road to recovery which can take as little as a few months to over a year.

What now?

Now we help Tim and Torin out because those guys will need all the help they can get (emotionally and with the everyday life things that Mom use to take care off). If there are any mommy's reading this, you know that is ALOT!

Thankfully her coworkers came up with a way to keep us all informed and engaged during the recovery process. 

Follow the link below and become a member. "Lots a Helping Hands" is a way for us SF locals and even friends from a far to support Tim and Torin during these hard times while mommy is recovering.  

https://my.lotsahelpinghands.com/community/monica-tim-and-torin

The mushy Sad part....

I haven't cried yet (she probably be extremely shocked by this). I cry very easily, but something about seeing her in that bed, in that state, just screams to me this is not my friend. So instead I've been trying to keep it together and staying strong for Torin, her son. He was in my care the first two nights so I couldn't be too sad around him. I know once she eventually is conscious and recognizes me, her first words will make me lose it.  For now I've been writing her a letter a day to keep a journal of all that is happening while she is sedated. 

Our mutual friends know Monica is one of my rocks. We jokingly call each other Dear Diary (we are silly). We tell each other everything (like 10 year olds). We have no secrets amongst each other and we are never afraid to tell each other when one of us is being stupid. We know our friendship is strong and we only want the best for each another. I'm currently num and cannot believe that this is happening. I know she'd feel the same if it were me. I'm trying to stay positive but the fear of the unknown does keep me up at nights. I miss my friend. I want her back whole. I want her back with all her smarts, passion and dreams. I know she is strong and will come back soon. Like a selfish human, I day dream of the day that this is all behind us and her and I planning our next crazy adventure together and checking stuff off our joint bucket lists. Nevermind guys, here they come....I'm finally able to cry. 

UPDATE: For current status reports of her condition you can find them at "The Lot's of Helping Hands" link above.