Let me start by introducing myself, my name is Trish Dodd, and I am Jack’s Mum. Other sections of this website already tell Jack’s story and how the Foundation has come to be. I want to expand a little about the concept of the Foundation and why it exists by telling a little of my story.
One phone call or knock on the door can change your life forever. It could be losing someone you love or the essence of someone you love. It could be life-changing injuries that will have a ripple effect on all who love or work with that person. Whatever the circumstances, that phone call or knock is every parent’s nightmare and the cause of much eye-rolling from every parent’s child.
For us, it began with an early morning phone call from one of Jack’s friends to tell us our handsome, funny boy had been in a crash. All the doctors would say to him was that he was alive. So began an ordeal that would last nine days in Maastricht University Hospital, we were never alone. With family and Jacks friends, we took up two waiting rooms in the Intensive Care ward. The staff were incredible, and his doctor is still in contact with us to this day, but the outcome for us was the loss of our only child. For others, it can be a brain or physical injury that will affect that person and extended friends and family for a lifetime. Whatever their circumstances in life, they are going to need medical, legal, financial and logistical support, immediately and often continuously. We shared these days with wonderful friends; we had second opinions from top neurosurgeons, we had the best legal advice, we had the daily support from the Irish Embassy. All David and I had to was concentrate on Jack.
As the days passed, hope faded of him making a full recovery; he never regained consciousness. But even the smallest bit of hope, well you cling to it and rightly so. Doctors can be the bearers of some terrible news, but by our nature, we would concentrate on the little bit of good news. Nobody has the right to take that away hope, so we hoped. Then, as Jack deteriorated, we began to plan a very different future for our family, and this was a very frightening time for all of us in those waiting rooms. When these plans also fell by the wayside, we were asked to make the decision to turn the machines that were keeping Jack alive off. Almost immediately after, we were asked about Organ donation. Looking back now, 15 months later, I know as awful as the days and nights were in the hospital, I would not have missed one of them. Each was another day with Jack, with our sunshine. It gave us time to say goodbye, time for one last chat, and to share one last laugh. When some people get that phone call or knock on the door, it is too late. For more, it is the start of a long and difficult road to recovery and/or caregiving.
Jack spent a lot of his working life driving; he liked to be first into his yard in the mornings. He drove home that night, tired, he didn’t have to, and we all paid a terrible price. But we can minimise the risks.
Make sure you or your friends are fit to drive
Wear your riding hat
Look after your health and body
Maintain a good work-life balance
Be aware of the physical and emotional demands of our industry and treat these demands with respect. Running a business, managing time, staff and finances. Having the responsibility of valuable animals and competing takes its toll. With the Website database, we intend to have a network available that will lessen the demands on peoples time and provide outsourcing and advice.
Till next time,