Tragedy comes calling

Life is so fragile. Why it is necessary to be constantly reminded of this is beyond me, but it’s like we are walking on a thin layer of slate, you know, the kind that looks like a sturdy, solid rock, but breaks away when you strike it on the sidewalk.

Tonight, tragedy came calling, and the ground beneath us crumbled. My eight-year-old nephew had a new bunk bed, up only one night. He was in his room, playing with his football gear, and somehow tied the belt around his neck. We are unsure what happened, but his sister thinks maybe he was trying to watch the TV he had on the floor, and maybe fell forward. The result is he hung himself from the bunk bed.

We don’t know how long he was there before he was discovered by my sister and her daughter-in-law.

His father and brother did CPR for ten minutes before the paramedics arrived, and he was Lifeflighted to Primary Children’s Medical Center.

We have just returned home after a vigil at the hospital. We are now in “wait and see” mode. They said he was “posturing” which is a bad sign, and usually indicates severe brain damage. However, the last news we got was that he was making movements and seemed to be fighting the medicine and the respirator, and possibly squeezed my sister’s finger. I went in to see him, and nearly broke down as I stared down on his still little body.

He is in a coma, and they are keeping him sedated. Right now, they say he probably could breath on his own, but they don’t want him to struggle because they are trying to keep his brain from swelling.

Life is fragile. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring.

Every time I close my eyes I think of him, and how terrified he must have been, and I break down and cry.

He is only eight.

Pray for James. Light candles. Do voodoo dances. Whatever it is you do, please do it. He is too young for this.

I don’t like tragedy.


About Natalie R. Collins

Natalie has more than 30 years writing, editing, proofreading and design experience. She has written 20 books (and counting), has worked for the Sundance Film Festival, and as an investigative journalist, editor, and proofreader. She embraces her gypsy-heart and is following her new free-thinking journey through life. Follow her as she starts over and learns a bunch of life's lessons--some the hard way.
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14 Responses to Tragedy comes calling

  1. Todd says:


    My heart goes out to your nephew, your family, and you. We will pray, light candles AND do voodoo dances!

    These kinds of life-altering events really do drive home the point about how fragile life really is. We should really treasure every moment we have with our loved ones, because you just never know…



  2. Sheyedaisy says:


    I am so sorry for your nephew and family. My 13 year old nephew died in much the same way last November. In his case though he was trying to play some game to get a high called the choking game. I know some what how you feel. The helplessness and the constant questions, why? How? and for what? You and your family are in my thoughts and heart. Life is so precious we have only so much time to spend with those we love. We need to cherish every moment. If I can help in anyway please feel free to email me.

    My sincerest sympathies,


  3. Renee says:

    Prayers flying out for James. Natalie, I am so sorry…I can’t imagine. Miracles aren’t out of the question, even these days so let’s hope for one now, certainly.


  4. azteclady says:

    Natalie, James is in my prayers and thoughts, and so are all of you.

    I wish there were something more tangible I could do.

    May God be with all of you and grant you strength every moment.


  5. WendyP says:

    I’m so sorry. I’m paranoid about just about everything and am always worrying abort what could happen or go wrong. You just can’t foresee some things. Poor James. I hope he’ll be okay. Hugs to you.


  6. K*tty says:

    Natalie, you and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. I pray that your precious nephew will be spared and be made whole again. Tender hugs, Kitty


  7. Tracy says:

    Natalie, prayers sent for your nephew, and the whole family.


  8. I’m so sorry, Natalie. I’m praying.


  9. Mimi says:

    Lord have Mercy, Lord have Mercy, Lord have Mercy. Be assured of my prayers.


  10. anarla says:

    Oh gosh! How awful. Prayers for peace and comfort during this time….


  11. Kathie says:

    I am so sorry. I just lit three candles- one for you, one for your sister, and one for James. Stay strong. Your sister needs you.


  12. Cele says:

    Oh Natalie, my deepest wishes and prayers for James’ recovery. How incredibly tragic.


  13. Justme says:

    This really hurts. My boy is 8 years old, and this really hits home. My prayers to the family and for James.


  14. Kris says:

    OMG Natalie, certainly my family will keep him in our thoughts and prayers. I have an eight year old, I cannot imagine. Hugs and positive thoughts coming your family’s way.



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