Life’s Lessons. “Crash Course: A Survival Guide for Teens, Parents & Professionals” March 12, 2009 Liz Orlando & Greg Gecik. June 7, 2002 Before the Accident. It Couldn’t Happen To Me. How many people in the audience today have a best friend in the audience?.
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“Crash Course: A Survival Guide for Teens, Parents & Professionals”
March 12, 2009
Liz Orlando & Greg Gecik
How many people in the audience today
have a best friend in the audience?
What if you almost killed that person because
you decided to Speed, Drink and Drive
A beautiful, sunny Saturday morning. Saturday
errands were about to begin when an unmarked police car pulled into the driveway and two blue uniformed Officers made their way down the driveway …..
First Officer: “There’s been a terrible accident. Your
son has been lifted by helicopter to Morristown
Memorial Hospital. We’ll stay with your daughter.
I’m sorry. He is in critical condition. You need to
leave now. You need to hurry. He may not be
alive when you get there. We’ll stay with your
daughter. Yes, we’ll call her grandmother.”
We don’t plan as parents to have to say good-bye.
It is an unthinkable journey and one that you could never be prepared for.
Frontal skull fracture
Right temporal hypo density
Left pubic ramus fracture
Spleen and liver lacerations
Traumatic Brain Injury
Basal Skull Fracture
Eight of these were life threatening
Glascow Coma Scale: 3
3 being the lowest score – no response
3 being severe brain injury
At 8 or below for over 6 hours – 50% die
Doctor advises family and friends
come in to say good-bye
Next 48 hours will tell us if he will
live or die
Greg moves his left leg
Greg lifts his left hand
Brief periods of eye opening
The recovery begins….
High Speed Motor Vehicle Accident –
Clocked at 126 miles an hour on Rt 78 with impact
approximated at 86 miles an hour
Passenger (Greg) – Life threatening injuries
Driver – Walked away from the accident with
a chipped tooth
Driver found to be under the influence of alcohol
Driver was indicted on two criminal accounts:
-Deliberate act with the knowledge of a high degree of probability of harm and reckless indifference
-Indifference to Human Life
Driver faced 10-13 years in
State Prison if convicted at
Greg turns 17 and celebrates his
birthday in the hospital
What does the future hold?
What do I remember about the accident?
If I cram for my exam tomorrow, how much
will I retain?
What was it like after the accident?
How did my life change?
Permanent Memory Loss
But why I am really here today is to
talk about Choices.
The Choices each of us make every day
And how in a split second, lives can be
torn apart and changed forever
Choices and Decisions
Who do I hang out with? How old are they?
Are they a good influence or bad?
Am I doing this just to fit in?
Would my parents approve?
Distractions happen every second while driving – Be Alert!!
Don’t drink and drive … drinking causes changes mentally and
physically …you need to be able to react at a moment’s notice
Don’t text when you drive, don’t talk without a headset
Don’t play your music so loud that you can’t hear anything around you
Don’t say your parents don’t understand – talk to them – they have
already been through it
Don’t think what happened to me can’t happen to you
ALWAYS THINK ABOUT THE CHOICES YOU MAKE
I had a friend that I never really got to know. His name was
Aaron Hill. We were in the hospital together. Aaron was 17.
He must have looked away for one moment at a video he had
in his hand. His car must have started to drift. When he
looked up, he saw a person walking, he was going to hit
them. He instinctively turned the wheel to avoid hitting them
and slammed into the back of a truck.
My friend, Aaron, spent 6 ½ years in a coma and never left
the rehabilitation center.
He died last year on July 4, 2008.
We agreed to a plea bargain that we wrote:
10 months in County Jail
License revoked for 2 years
AA meetings for 2 years
200 Hours of Community Service
Drug and Alcohol testing for 2 years
Repay the family for out-of-pocket medical expenses
THE DRIVER MADE A BAD CHOICE THAT DAY
TWO WRONGS DON’T MAKE A RIGHT
Do something for someone else – you’ll be amazed at how
good you feel
Think Before You Act
Smile often, Cry More, Laugh Always ……Be Kind
If talking to you today makes even a handful of you think
twice about drinking and driving … I know my accident
Happened for a reason… it had a purpose and might help
save a life
We have cried a river of tears and the floods still come
The pain you’ve endured to hard to bear for some
Yet you have remained strong with your constant rebounds
You still have that smile though you don’t whisper a sound
Friends and family have been so dear
With their undying love as they stifle their fear
Some friends still come, some friends have gone
Life has a way of just going on
There is no why, no longer how come
These thoughts become so tiresome
We continue to have faith and pray for you to awake
Till then our memories will be our keepsake
Five years have passed since that frightful day
When the car crashed and the boy we loved lapsed into a
coma taking you far away
The doctors said you would not survive
It was a miracle you were still alive
So we put your care In God’s hands and prayed
That you would live to see another day
As time has passed you’ve had your good days and bad
Our hearts are heavy, we are forever sad
Not as much for us but you
Oh the things we wish you could do
To walk, to talk, to understand
To just reach out and grab my hand
We have missed so much not being able to share the joy
Of reaching milestones we dreamed of when you were just a boy
No graduation day, no senior prom
No more golf dates with dad, no late nights with mom
And your sister mourns for the brother she once knew
You two would argue as brothers and sisters always do
Yet you have always shared a very special bond
She’d do anything for you but she has no magic wand
In memory of Aaron Hill
If you are interested in having Greg and his mom, Liz, come speak to the students at your school, please email Liz Orlando at - [email protected], and she will coordinate this with you.