July 25, 2002 - July 28, 2007
Travis is in the Air Force and we were stationed at Scott AFB in Illinois for quite some time. Illinois was the only place Noah had ever lived…but he was use to moving. We had to move several times from one house to another. This time it was from one house on base (that was scheduled to be renovated) to a brand new house that had just been built down the road. We were all excited, we had never lived in a brand new house before nor one so big. Noah was worried about how we were going to get all of our stuff to the “Empty House”.
Looking back in my memory files, I realize that I don’t have a lot of memory of the day of the accident. Not of the little stuff. I don’t even remember what day of the week it was. Thursday I think. July 26, 2007.
There was a buzz in the air that morning.
Everyone was excited. Noah just celebrated his 5th birthday the day before, and he was anxious to play with his new scooter.
I had a lot of things to do.
Noah had some birthday cake for breakfast. Sure! Why not. I didn’t want to fuss and argue that day. Happy as a lark he was.
I filled up the back of the van with boxes of kitchen stuff to bring to the new house. Noah added a couple of things to put in his new room. The girls helped.
I brought several loads of small things down to the new house that morning. Setting everything up just right. The bigger stuff would come later when Travis could get off work and we could rent a truck.
I remember backing into the double garage with a little bit of difficulty because the driveway was curved. I didn’t think much about it.
I couldn’t bring much in the van because everything had to be weighed so we could get paid from the Air Force for this move. So I headed back home where all the kids in the Cul-de-sac were playing. It was a beautiful, sunny day.
All the kids got out of the road. I had my windows rolled down and I could hear the older kids shout, “Car”. Everyone would dart into the yards and wait for the car to go by and park. They had a good system going.
I backed the van up to the house and parked it. Noah was playing on his new bright colored scooter.
I walked down the driveway to check the mail and saw Noah at the top of the driveway, beside the van getting ready to take off like a rocket down my way towards the road.
I ran up beside him and gave him a “Smoochie” and told him “I love you.” “Thanks Mom” he said, and away he went. I will be forever glad I said that to him.
The girls were fussing in the house. That was nothing unusual. We were watching a friends dog. I had forgotten about that until just now. Lucky was the dogs name, and he happened to be hanginghangingout at our place so I didn’t have to go back and forth to let him out.
This is where I draw a blank some.
I just remember after coming home, that I went upstairs in my room and laid down in bed. I was tired already, and the thought of all the work ahead of me for that day made me even more tired. My ear bothered me. It was plugged and in a little pain. I thought I was getting an ear infection.
Travis came home. Noah was excited and followed him up the stairs to where I was. He wanted to talk about the money he got for his birthday. $30.00 is a lot of money to a 5 year old.
I heard Noah tell his dad…” You know dad I’m richer than YOU! I have a Million Dollars!”
Travis asked him what he was going to do with that Million Dollars. Noah said he was going to buy Orange Tick-Tacks. His favorite treat to get when he went to the Shoppette with his Dad. We all got a great laugh out of that. Noah climbed on the bed with me, and Travis started changing his cloths. Sooner or later Noah was told to go play outside. Travis and I made plans to go get the truck. Travis knew of a place to rent trucks in the town, not too far away. I kind of dreaded getting up off the bed, because I really didn’t feel well. But I did. I was excited to move into the new house, and there was a lot to be done.
I told the girls that we were going to go get the truck, and that I would have to drive the Van so their dad could drive the truck back.
I was outside by the van when I asked Beth if she would watch Noah. She didn’t want to and Noah wanted to go with us. I was perfectly fine with him going with us. I didn’t mind at all. It shouldn’t take long after all.
Noah was excited. He was dressed in new cloths that he got from Gramma, and told me after he got buckled into his seat that he “Looked Hot”. Something he undoubtedly picked up from his sisters.
Just off the base Noah wanted my attention and started in with the annoying “Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom” routine until I answered him. I had been talking to Travis who was in the seat next to me.
When we pulled into the truck rental place I wondered if the place even rented trucks, because it looked more like a place that just had storage units to rent. I didn’t see any trucks. The parking lot was covered with white rocks. They crunched when I drove over them and parked. Travis got out and went in to do business.
Noah hummed and chattered away behind me in his car seat. It was taking longer than he thought it should so he unbuckled his seat-belt and walked up to stand next to me while I was sitting in the drivers seat. Noah asked where we were, and I told him this is the place where we are going to borrow a truck so we can take all our stuff to the new empty house. Satisfied with that he wanted to go in and be with his Dad.
I told him that was fine, and I would watch him walk to the door. He went in and I called my mother on the phone to tell her that we were moving that day, and we talked a little bit. I saw Travis come out of the building. There was a vehicle on both sides of the van. So I couldn’t see Travis after a couple of seconds. I figured Noah was with Travis. Happily trotting behind him.
Some time went by and I saw a Travis driving the moving truck in my rear-view mirror. I thought they were ready to go, because it looked like Travis was setting up the truck to pull out into traffic. I assumed that Noah was in the truck with Travis. But Travis had told him to go wait by the doors to the building. I told my mother that I had to go, because Travis was getting ready to leave. I snapped my celphone shut and threw it in the empty seat next to me.
I put the van in reverse, threw my arm over the passenger side seat and backed out of the parking spot by looking out the back window.
I heard a bump. I thought it sounded like I ran over a box, but I thought to myself I hadn’t gotten out of the van to put a box behind the van. Suddenly I realized what might have happened, quickly, faster than I could ever explain, I threw the van in drive and parked it again in the spot it was in. Terrified, I jumped out of the van and ran to the back of it. I could hear Travis screaming “NO” as he got out of the truck.
Noah was laying on his belly with his head turned to the left side on the hot rocks that made the parking lot. I tried to pick Noah up, but Travis screamed for me not to. Noah was then on his back, unconscious. I ran into the building where I screamed for someone to call 911! I couldn’t speak anything but that. “My son has been hurt, call 911”
I know someone called, I remember seeing them calmly talking on the phone, but I couldn’t calm down. Travis stayed with Noah, shading his head from the sun. I could not compose myself and ended up crumpled on the floor in the building screaming.
It seemed like it took a very long time for the ambulance to come. I couldn’t watch when they did get there. I was far too out of it. I know they took Noah into the ambulance and they were breathing for him and doing what they could until the helicopter got there. Again it seemed to take a long time. I didn’t feel like we had this kind of time to waist waiting…Something had to be done. I tried to go in the ambulance to keep a eye on my boy, but the police officer wouldn’t let me. He told me it would be better for Noah if I was not in there while I was so upset.
Travis was talking with another police officer. I went back into the building. I think I passed out. Blood was on the walls. My glasses were gone. A police officer came in and talked to me. I remember telling him that I didn’t see Noah. I didn’t know he was there! He tried to comfort me, but I think I was beyond needing a pat on the back. I heard the helicopter coming. Before it landed in the road, I tried to see Noah again. The officer standing by the ambulance still would not let me get in. The wind from the helicopter kicked up a lot of dust. Quickly they moved Noah from the ambulance to the helicopter and away he went to Childrens hospital in St. Louis. I was left feeling panicked with a strong need to GO! I needed to GO to the hospital. But we could not drive because Both Travis and I were too upset. Someone from Travis’s office came to drive us to the hospital. By this time, almost everyone who needed to know what happened knew. The drive to the hospital was painfully long. I just cried.
When we got to the hospital I plowed through the front doors, Travis was behind me with my purse. I didn’t even realize I had gone through a security check point until Travis told me to wait up. He was stuck there. I remember just grabbing my purse and going through without doing what ever I was suppose to do. I didn’t care. I just needed to get to my son! I asked someone?? Somewhere??Where Noah Allen was. They knew who he was and was expecting us. I remember being led to a small waiting room. No one else was in there. It was quiet. Just Travis and myself. I sunk to the floor. Travis stood crying. I couldn’t be still. I had to do something. I hugged Travis, and he embraced me back. I didn’t want to be in that room. I couldn’t believe what just happened. I don’t know how much time had passed when someone came in and gave us a update, and told us that Noah was in a comma. I was somehow relieved that at least he was sleeping and not feeling any pain. She took us to the trauma room where they were working on Noah. They were getting him ready to have a CT scan done, and bring him into surgery.
My poor boy lay there on that bed. A nurse breathing for him, and other nurses and doctors rushing around fussing over things I couldn’t even begin to understand. I felt better that I was with Noah. I had decided that he was going to be OK. And we are just going to have a long road of recovery. He might never be the same, but at least I would still have my son.
I don’t remember if they took him away, or if we were taken out of the room. I do remember being back in that little waiting room. In defiance I stood just outside of the door. I wanted to see everything that was going on.
A nurse approached me and asked if I was Dawn Allen. Just like in the movies, I started crying. I thought she was going to tell me that Noah had passed away. I didn’t recognize her as one of my friends until she told me who she was. Travis had no idea who she was because he had never met her. She just happened to be working in the ER that day.
It was time to go to another waiting room on another floor. Because Noah was going into surgery. The next thing I remember is being wheeled out of a different ER room where I was admitted as a patient. Evidently in the elevator on our way up to the next floor I passed out. From what I understand I was not a very good patient that day. I just wanted to go to Noah.
When Travis wheeled me out of the room there was a lot of people from the base there to support us. I remember seeing them and feeling comforted by the fact that they were all there. Time must have passed because the next thing I remember was being in a conference type room with a lot of people from the base, and Pastor Doug from the church. Everyone introduced themselves. I remember that most everyone who was there, was Pastors, Fathers, and the such. We were waiting to talk to the doctor.
We didn’t wait very long. The doctors came in the room. Still in their surgical garb.
The only thing I remember is one doctor telling Travis and I was that Noah was a very sick little boy. Everything after that is a blur.
Noah was in Children’s ICU, being kept alive with life support.
During the next couple of days Family showed up from out of state, and we had a huge amount of support from the base, and the local church we attended. There was always two people at the hospital with us for the whole time we were there. Sometimes more.
I hardly left Noah’s bed, as his body continually got worse.
Finally on Saturday, July 28th 2007, tests had shown that Noah’s brain was no longer functioning. We had life support turned off. Family and friends gathered around his bed. Noah’s “million dollars” and his Orange Tick Tacks lay next to him. We all said our goodbye’s.
We had two funerals for Noah.
One for our Air Force family and our Church family in Illinois.
Then the next day Noah’s body was flown to Maine for his final funeral at his grave side.
This is where I draw a blank. I have almost no memory for about 6 months after we had the life support turned off.
I rely on what my family and friends tell me happened.
Travis remembers it all. He was/is my rock. Travis had to make the arrangements. I was useless with grief and guilt and the desire to end my life.
I do remember feelings more than I remember events. I remember I hated waking up. It meant I was still alive.
To this day I still struggle. I have terrible memory problems, major depressive episodes, guilt, hallucinations andanxieties. Sometimes I feel as though I am a terrible burden to my family.
Travis is still my foundation…my rock. We share a bond stronger than ever. I am so blessed to have him.
I am told I am my own worst enemy. No charges were ever brought upon me because it clearly was a horrible accident that I had no idea was about to happen. Guilt and sorrow are overwhelming at times, and there are still times when I wish someone would run over me and I could be done with this world and go to my baby boy in Heaven Lord willing.
For now, until I can meet with my son again I have sentenced myself to life.
Dawn R. AllenDonate in honor of Noah