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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Wear your damn seatbelt. Always. Period.

TubaDad was supposed to get home from his latest business trip Wednesday at lunchtime, but Tuesday night, around 10pm, I got a phone call from him that started like this: "Hi it's me, don't freak out, I'm fine, but I'm riding in an ambulance on the way to the hospital right now..." What??!! I don't think I did so well on the "don't freak out" part.

Turns out he had been riding in a cab near the JFK airport in New York, he (stupidly) wasn't wearing a seatbelt, and the cab got in an accident. The cab was t-boned by another car, it went out of control and came to a stop when it met a telephone pole. TubaDad flew all over the back of the cab and got pretty mashed up. He ended up with bruised ribs, cuts all over, and a bone-deep gash that went from the bridge of his nose through the eyebrow and up to mid forehead.

He spent Tuesday night and most of Wednesday in the hospital, where they checked everything out thoroughly and a plastic surgeon worked on his face in the operating room to fix the severed muscle, repair (hopefully) any nerve damage, and stitch everything back together in multiple layers. He's home now, and pretty sore all over. The head damage looks much better now that it's been stitched and covered with tape, but it's starting to bruise and turn red. We'll have to see how it heals.

Well those are the facts. TubaDad asked me to post this because he says he's spent the last two days telling people what happened and frankly it would be easier to just point them to this post. And also, because we want everyone to know two things:

1. We were very lucky. Things could have been much, much worse.

2. ALWAYS wear your seatbelt. Always. It doesn't matter who's driving, how far you're going, whether you're in the front seat or the back, or whether it's "customary" not to wear seatbelts in the vehicle you're riding in (like a taxi). Buckle up—every single freaking time. Period.

Here are a few pictures to enforce the Always Wear Your Seatbelt message. Click the first two if you want to see bigger versions and all the gory details, bypass them if you're bothered by this kind of thing.
IMG00113-20091202-0100 IMG00114-20091202-0115

DSC02436 DSC_9013sm

There was one little funny, courtesy of the paramedic (his response was just SO New York). After the crash, TubaDad got out of the cab and put his Blackberry down on the back seat. Minutes later, it had mysteriously "disappeared" and the cab driver was the only person who had been near it. TubaDad, the paramedics, and the policemen tried to find it, to no avail. Later, when the cab driver tried to get in the ambulance, one of the FDNY EMT paramedics said "Listen up motherf*****, when you produce his cell phone you can get in the ambulance. Otherwise you can WALK your a$$ to the f***ing hospital!" The cell phone reappeared about a minute later. Heh.

117 comments:

  1. I am really glad he's OK.

    I am also laughing out loud over the Blackberry story, it is so NY.

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  2. Oh, dude. That is incredibly scary. Thanks for the real reminder that seat belts are the real deal. All the time.
    Glad your Tuba Dude is gonna be a-okay... I'm sure you're hugging him a bit tighter tonight :)

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  3. Totally freaky, my friend works in 911 communications and heard that call come in. (I live 15 min from JFK). Hope TD is feeling better soon.

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  4. OMG. That was close! I'm glad he's OK. And, yes, the Blackberry story is funny!

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  5. Thank goodness he is home safe and sound now. WOW not the phone call you want to get when your hubby is away.
    Sending healing hugs from all of us.

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  6. Anonymous12/03/2009

    Wow. Very brave of TubaDad to post picture and admit his lapse in safety. Hopefully it will cause someone else to think twice and buckle up.

    One other thing, I just want to tell you that your girls are the cutest things I have ever seen. Their sense of style is amazing. I always look forward to fashion friday just to see what your girls have come up with!

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  7. Oh my goodness! How scary, but I am so glad he is okay!

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  8. Wow! So glad he is okay! And yes, always where your seat belt, no matter what!

    I was reminded of it's importance just a week after I got my license and was in a pretty bad crash. They told me if it wasn't for my seat belt and the air bags, I might have been dead. I was just out running an errand and could have walked home from where it happened. Proof that it doesn't matter how far you are going.

    And then I got another reminder a couple weeks ago when a friend was in a crash. She got hit on the passenger side by someone pulling out of a parking lot, was set flying across two lanes of traffic, where she was hit head on, and then flipped twice back across, stopping on the roof, and was then rear ended by someone who couldn't stop fast enough. Because she was wearing her seat belt, she walked away. If not, she would be dead now.

    They invented seat belts for a reason, folks!

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  9. So glad Tuba Dad is OK.

    I'm a stickler about seat belts but have to admit that I sometimes go without in taxis just because they're stuffed in the seats or don't buckle properly or I'm just going a short distance or whatever. I won't give up so easily next time. Thanks for sharing the story, and I'm glad it turned out OK.

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  10. Oh M3 - how frigging scary! I have been in dozens of Manhattan cabs and I always think that they will crash into somebody somewhere. The ride from midtown to JFK can be the scariest thing on earth. Thank GOD TubaDad is okay. I hope the girls weren't too freaked. I am so happy you are all together and TubaDad is on the mend.

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  11. Thanks for the reminder. I ALWAYS wear a seat belt in someones car so why don't I put one on in a taxi???!!! It's crazy really. Thank you for the reminder! Glad Tubadad came out of this okay - the gash is pretty gruesome. Glad I had finished my dinner before I started reading.

    Love the blackberry story. Nice to have something to laugh about!

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  12. Oh wow! How scary! I'm so glad he's going to be okay.

    You're right. Wear seatbelts. I lost my 16 yo nephew to a car accident. He would have lived if he'd had his seatbelt on. Seat belts save lives!

    Too funny about the blackberry.

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  13. I'm so glad he's basically okay...although the blood on the shirt was horrifying. Feel better soon Tubadad! Little Ro and Ree need their daddy.

    And, too funny about the "missing" Blackberry.

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  14. Holy Cow! Poor Tuba Dad! That looks really painful, especially the before shot complete with spattered blood stains on the shirt. Yikes. So glad he's okay.

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  15. He is certainly lucky.....that was quite a bender!!! I am glad that he only suffered from some cuts and bruises.....to think what could have happened.

    I will definitely remember this next time I get into a cab. I never wear a seatbelt in a cab, but always, always wear one when I drive or get in someone elses car. Wierd, I know!!

    Only in New York would a paramedic say something like that.....glad it worked and he got the blackberry back:)

    Hope TD makes a speedy recovery!

    Lisa

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  16. Anonymous12/03/2009

    Thank you for the reminder. TD looks sooooo much better in the last photo, thank goodness he is healing.

    The blackberry story is pretty funny. Ahhhhh you gotta love new yorkers!!!! No one else like em in the world (and I mean that as a compliment, I love NY!)

    Glad he is home safe and on the mend. Must have been very scary for you. Keep us updated.

    Stace

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  17. Anonymous12/03/2009

    Yes,wear your seatbelt!!!!I lost my 11 year old nephew in a car accident because he did not have his seatbelt on during a short trip to the video store with the neighbor. Always!!!use a seatbelt!!

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  18. C is a 20+ year fireman and has seen lots of bad things from people not wearing seatbelts. Needless to say we never go without them.

    I'm glad TD is ok.

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  19. wow, I hope he is feeling better. Lucky son of a gun. Lesson learned, click it!

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  20. Well thank goodness TubaDad is ok. Hope he's on the mend.
    That Blackberry story is funny. I guess the cabby was hoping TubaDad would be disoriented and just forget about his phone.

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  21. Anonymous12/03/2009

    Praise the Lord TubaDad is okay! Were the photos from his Blackberry!? Of all the international traveling he does and then he gets all banged up in NYC!!! Glad he is home and hopefully healing okay! Imagine M3, Ro and Ree gave him some mighty big hugs and kisses when he got home!

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  22. oh gosh! i saw the photos on flickr and ran over here. so, so glad to hear that tubadad is okay.

    this is why i always, 100% of the time, wear my seatbelt and make sure everyone in my car does, too.

    loooove the blackberry story. good job, EMT!

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  23. Holy moly! I am so glad he is okay. Great reminder, DH is always taking taxis and I don't think he wears his seatbelt. I will make sure he does from now on.

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  24. OMG! So scary. Thank goodness for a happy ending to this story, except of course for the BIG "OWEE" on TubaDad.

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  25. Ditto everyone else's words. Thank goodness TD is OK. I think you have done such a wonderful service by posting this here, as awful as it is.
    Hope the girlies weren't too upset to see their Daddy bashed and bruised.
    Sending healing thoughts to all of you.

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  26. Thank God he's okay!! Great reminder as a cab ride would be a time you might not wear a seatbelt.

    Love the blackberry story, those New Yorkers crack me up!!

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  27. k1polzin12/03/2009

    WOW! So glad he is ok...what scary ordeal.

    I did have to laugh at the response from the Blackberry story....oh boy we can relate! My b/f is a paramedic for Detroit....same ole stuff. Glad to hear he is ok!

    WEAR SEAT BELTS!!!

    Kim E

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  28. OMG! Poor Guy!! Im so glad he is ok though! And your right, things could have been SOOO much worse.

    And I love the paramedic! Go Him!


    Squeeze him extra hard. That was a little close for comfort!

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  29. Anonymous12/03/2009

    Glad you're ok, Tuba Dad. And glad you're home with your 3 girls now.

    SIL Jane

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  30. Anonymous12/03/2009

    I am glad TubaDad is ok, but I've got to say that EMT made be proud to be a New Yorker.

    Feel better -Jennifer

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  31. OMG..how scary for all of you. I am glad he is doing OK. I have to say I am a really good seat belt wearer BUT if I am in the back seat of a car I don't wear one..WHY WHY WHY!!! Thanks for the reminder!!

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  32. Anonymous12/03/2009

    Wow. The "before plastic surgery" pictures were really bad and I am glad that he is okay, although badly bruised I would imagine.

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

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  33. So glad that TubaDad is ok! I hope his injuries heal quickly.

    It's SO New York about that Blackberry...

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  34. OMG, so happy to hear that TubaDad is okay, so scary. Hope that he heals quickly. Hugs to all of you.

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  35. so glad he's ok! praying for a speedy recovery!
    -linda

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  36. oh my gosh!! I'm so glad he is ok! That's scary. How's his face? Will he still be able to play tuba alright?
    Thinking of you guys tonight! And, yes I always wear my seatbelt!

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  37. Wow........Unbelievable!! So glad to hear Tubadad is ok!!! I'm sure the "what if's" are driving you crazy but just hold him tight and love on him! That will heal him the fastest!! :o)

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  38. Wow. So glad he's okay. Love the story about the driver and the cell phone. Ridiculous.

    On a totally unrelated note...that picture of him where he's okay? He has really beautiful eyes!

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  39. So glad he is ok...what a scary phone call.

    The title of your post.....is that one of the first things you said to him??

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  40. Holy crap...how scary! Glad you are all together again and doing well.
    I heart that EMT. Ha!
    M.

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  41. Yikes... poor tubadad! Hope he is in the mend soon!

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  42. Very scary. Glad that he is better. He is very lucky.

    So funny about the blackberry.

    Laura

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  43. Glad TubaDad is ok! Very scary, how are Ro & Ree reacting to his stitches?

    I always wear my seatbelt in taxis, driving in NY is bad enough, taxi drivers are kamakazes. Gotta love FDNY, those guys are the best, glad they "helped" get the blackberry back.

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  44. Hugely relieved that your man is going to be okay. What a harrowing tale!

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  45. Oh my dear Lord. That is awful. He must be in so much pain.

    Thanks for sharing that reminder.

    Jill

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  46. Ouch, ouch, ouch - so glad he is OK. The nerve to try and steal a phone after what happened. Love NYC cops! We always wear our seat belts in cabs, but sometimes it's a major hassle to even find them or get them to work. Thanks for sharing this very important reminder.

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  47. Oh wow, so sorry to hear about Tubadad's accident. I will be sure and show my husband (who according to our girls tells me he sometimes doesn't wear his seat belt to take them down the road to school! Argh) these pics.

    Tubadad looks much better now and I hope he's feeling better. Wow, what a funny NY story. Only in NY, LOL. Gotta love it, Taxidriver taking the Blackberry.

    Molly

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  48. wow! so glad TubaDad is going to be ok. Sending healing thoughts your way!

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  49. So glad he is ok!! How scary!!

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  50. Glad to hear TubaDad is ok and back home where his 3 nurses can take care of him.
    Hope he is feeling better soon and all heals well.
    The twins hugs and kisses I am sure will help the healing.

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  51. That is bad, really bad! So glad he is okay and thanks for the EMT story. I had to read it to my sister. Interesting folks out there!

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  52. Yikes!!!! So glad to see he is doing fine. How freaking scary!!

    And the cell phone story is hysterical.

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  53. OMG!! I'm so glad everything is OK...

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  54. I don't know why when I ride in a cab or limo (like that happens often!) I never wear a seat belt. I guess I figure there is like a magical force that protects you when you pay a fare to ride. I never drive my car without a seatbelt. Good reminder. Glad Tuba Dad is okay!

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  55. I hope TubaDad didn't send you that picture before you could see how much better he looked after surgery and being stitched up. Very, very scary. :( I'm glad he is ok. *hugs*

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  56. Oh my soul - how awful. (And scary for you that he was so far away when it happened too.)

    TD looks so much better in the after picture. The before is scary.

    Glad it turned out OK and thanks for the reminder. I never wear one in a taxi.

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  57. Oh no. I'm so glad TubaDad's ok.
    Just got out of the car that took me to Heathrow. Did wear a seatbelt...

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  58. Wow! That's a phone call you don't ever want to get. Staying calm wouldn't have been easy to do, that's for sure. SO glad TD is ok and will pray that he heals well with no nerve damage or scaring.

    LOL....the Blackberry comment by the EMT is the best! And...it worked!

    Lesson learned. I always wear my seatbelt unless I'm in a taxi. That won't be happening again.

    Take care TD! Praying for you.

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  59. WOW...I'm so glad he is ok.

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  60. Oh Geez! SO glad he was ok. Hopefully the girls weren't too scared of all his bumps, cuts and bruises. Definitely puts life in perspective.

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  61. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. You guys are so blessed. He definitely had his guardian angel with him.
    I made Daddy read this since he travels a lot too.
    I hope he feels better now that he is home and getting a lot of mini hugs and kisses.

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  62. So glad he's okay!

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  63. poor tuba dad............good PSA
    hope the girls weren't too freaked

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  64. Kristina12/03/2009

    WOW!! So glad Tubadad is okay and I know he will always wear a seatbelt now. Good for you M3 for not freaking out too much....so many thoughts probably ran thru your head since you are so far away. Great job for keeping it together! Hope Tubadad is resting and on the mend soon!

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  65. Anonymous12/03/2009

    omg so glad he is ok!

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  66. Anonymous12/04/2009

    im glad that tubadad is safe!

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  67. So glad he is okay. I can't believe that cell phone story! Now I feel like an idiot for not wearing my seatbelt in the cab we took in NYC over the weekend. I wear it religiously....just not in that dang cab.

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  68. OMG, I'm so glad he's ok!
    We just returned from NYC with our 2 kids, and there were times we rode a cab without buckling up (couldn't find them, etc). I will NEVER again ride the back of a New York cab without a seatbelt... much less let my kids do it!

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  69. WOW! I am SO GLAD to hear that Tuba Dad is okay. Thanks for sharing, it was an important message for all of us. How are the girls with all of it?

    PS. As I am an East Coast Gal, I Heart NY! Sidenote: Have you ever watched Rescue Me??? It's FULL of firefighters who are just like the EMT you described. It's gritty, raw, outstanding with plenty of NY firefighter eyecandy. Check it out immediately before you forget. My hubby and I are addicted!

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  70. Oh my goodenss - I'm so glad he was able to walk away from that with no more severe injuries. Definitely a good lessen learned here and thanks for sharing it!

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  71. OMG that was heart in mouth reading. Soooo glad that Tuba Dad is doing okay, seriously, seriously scary for all of you.

    I will think of this next time I'm in a taxi, as a rule I do always wear the seat belt but sometimes if its a struggle to find both ends of it I'll give up - not any more!

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  72. Ohmahgosh....SO glad he's ok.

    Thank you for the reminder!

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  73. I am so glad he's okay. I can't imagine that I would have done well with the don't freak out part either.

    I do love the blackberry story, Gotta love New Yorkers!

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  74. Good lord! I am happy to see that Tuba Dad was not hurt enough that he could call you and also to see that he's all patched up and looking pretty good for someone who just got side swiped. I'm from NorCal but lived in NY for two years a while back. The Huz and I would get in a cab (sometimes sharing with friends) and we'd always tell them to put on the seat belts. They thought we were nuts but did it anyway since we gave grief. Sending healing vibes to TD.

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  75. Also, a good thing to remember is that most taxis (no matter where you are) are usually older model cars, or at least you should look to see if it's an older model car. These older model cars will likely not have side impact air bags.

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  76. I am so glad he is ok.

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  77. Anonymous12/04/2009

    So glad he's okay, how is he feeling today? I have to admit that while I always use my seatbelt in our cars, I sometimes don't buckle up when I'm riding in a taxi - I can assure you that I will from now on!

    Julie

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  78. Anonymous12/04/2009

    So glad Tuba Dad is home safe and sound in one piece. Hats off to him for his courage in disclosing his error and turning it into a teachable moment. Give him our best regard.
    Sending you all peace, healing and beauty that you share so freely.
    Jen

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  79. Okay, I'm originally from NY and I can attest that the phone story really IS so NY!

    Seriously, I'm glad he's okay, it really could have been so much worse the way those cabbies drive.

    Donna :)

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  80. Holy shit! Um... at least the scar is going to look really cool?

    How are the girls handling it?

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  81. Oh my goodness!!! Praying for you guys :) Thank God he's okay!!!

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  82. Anonymous12/04/2009

    omg so Glad TD is okay !
    I didnt know Taxi s had seat belts.
    I guess its been awhile since I
    have been in one.
    Thanks for the reminder.
    We do not put our car in gear without seatbelts !!!

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  83. Message heard. I am so glad TubaDad is okay. Thank you for sharing the lesson.

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  84. Glad TD is doing well.

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  85. Oh my...I'm glad that he's doing well in spite of it all! What a great testimony to seatbelt wearing, even in situations where it doesn't seem necessary!

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  86. OMG that is so scary! Thanks for the message! I am so glad he is okay :)

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  87. Oh, Oh, OH! That is awful. I am so thankful that he is okay. SO thankful!
    And I'm glad he got his phone back. That is too funny!

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  88. I'm glad he's doing better and I hope he heals quickly. Wearing a seatbelt has saved my husband's life twice now (once when he was hit head on by a drunk doing 70mph and once (just last month) when someone hit him and flipped our Jeep) so I'm a big believer.

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  89. Bless him! So glad to read he will be okay. Thanks for the photos to reinforce an important message. Barbara

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  90. OMG! I am so glad Tuba Dad is OK. As a New Yorker I admit I NEVER wear my seat belt in a taxi but that will change after seeing this. Three cheers for the EMT guy- freaking taxi driver. Karma will get his a$$

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  91. Tuba Dad- so glad that you are okay!! My heart was in my throat until I read enough to figure out that you ar okay. Please take care - those twinadoes need you!

    Only in New York will one person try to steal the cell phone right off of an injured guy and then turn around to have medical care be threatened by a medical professional- to set things right. Love that town!

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  92. Oh my gosh. I am so glad TubaDad is fine. Hope he heals well and without too much pain.

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  93. Anonymous12/04/2009

    Thanks for the PSA. You have most likely saved many others. I don't even have my toddlers buckle in taxis. I sure will now.

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  94. Arnica Montana will great help with the bruising and aching. it's a homeopathic, you can get it at most drugstores, little beads you put under the tongue.

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  95. Theresa12/04/2009

    This post made me cry. I must be PMSing because TubaDad is ok, but maybe it is the time of year so close to Xmas or maybe it brings back a few scarey moments of my accident.

    Yes always wear a seatbelt everywhere. I was hit right in front of my house. Stats say people get in more accidents within a 3km radius of their home

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  96. I'm glad he's ok. My daughter's teacher and her husband were in a taxi in Pakistan without seatbelts on and were both killed in a terrible accident. ALWAYS wear your seatbelts. I know you must be thanking your lucky stars right now.

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  97. I'm glad he's okay. I would have been a basket case.

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  98. Glad TubaDad is doing better. I certainly think the after shot is much better.

    Man if I ever get into an accident in NY I hope I get that ambulance driver.

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  99. That is CLASSIC NY! They don't take any cr**from anyone and they will stand up for what is right. THere are lots of things to dislike about a big city like NY, but they will risk their lives for an innocent person.

    I am so glad it wasn't worse! WOW, how scary. Christmas will have a special meaning this year.

    I think most people don't bother with a seat belt in NY because traffic is usually not moving :)

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  100. Oh my gosh! Poor TubaDad. I'm glad he's ok. And I can't help but wonder who the heck took the picture of the cab? Did he take it?? He must have or how would you have it? So supportive of the blog!

    Jamie S

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  101. Feel better TubaDad.

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  102. Wow, that must have been a scary phone call to get! I am so glad he is okay and back home safe with you guys!

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  103. LMAO at the blackberry story. You are right, only in New York.

    Speedy healing to Tuba Dad. It looks like the plastic surgeon did good work tho.

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  104. I am pleased to hear he is ok, I always wear my seatbelt in a cab, but have occasionally taken the kids in one without a carseat (since it's often logistically impossible).

    I've never really understood whey people think there is a magic forcefield that protects a cab, but there does seem to be that perception.

    Hopefully the message will get out.

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  105. I am so glad he is OK. Love the phone story.

    Love to you,
    Deb

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  106. Anonymous12/05/2009

    So sorry to hear about his accident, wow he was really blessed to come out of this as good as he did, God is so good.Things could have been a lot worse.I know it rocked your nerves for awhile, hope he recovers quickly so those precious little girls and you can have back your knight and shinning armour.

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  107. OMG!!! I was just catching up after a few days away from my best blogs and I see this post!! I am so sorry that your hubby had to go through this. Bravo to you and him for posting about the seatbelt and I would be remiss if I did not LOL about that Blackberry story. That is classic NYC!! New Jersey too says my hubby. xxoo

    PS I will keep a positive thoughts flowing for a good outcome on all of the wounds healing!

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  108. Oh my gosh. So glad TubaDad is alright. I am soooo sorry and feel your pain. Had to be sooo hard being at the other end of the country.

    Blackberry story is hysterical. So typical of NY. I can say that because I am a NY transplant and can speak to this. heh.

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  109. k1polzin12/06/2009

    After I posted to you yesterday the b/f and I started talking about all the crazy & funny stuff that happens in the EMS world....you should start a thread on this to know you are not alone!

    I would love to share a quick funny about a call that went out in Detroit. My b/f was the paramedic on call for this run. Lady having chest pain, once they got her into the ambulance they tried to put a 12 lead on her, she was refusing to let them! Did not want them any where near her chest...they just thought she was embarrassed about having to lift her shirt in front of them....off they drove to the hospital. They bring her into the exam room and try to get the 12 lead on her AGAIN and start to help her get undressed and realized she was hiding 2 slices of cheese under each breasts.....my boyfriend looked at her and said WHAT? She looked at him and said you never saw a black woman with cheese in her breasts before?! hE LOOKED AT HER AND SAID "NO,AS A MATTER OF FACT" by now she has a room full of nurses and they are wondering why the cheese under the breasts.....ready for this. She knew she would be staying over night and they have good turkey sandwiches with no cheese ;) If you need any more good Detroit EMS stories we can share.....oh geez maybe TubaDad should not read...he may laugh and it will hurt!

    Kim E

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  110. Anonymous12/07/2009

    Wow, so scary. I would advise you to monitor him closely for cognitive/executive function (attention, memory, focus, etc) changes. A mild concussion can occur without a loss of conscientious.

    I'm sure he informed his regular doctor, but as his wife you would witness any changes in him that may indicate a need for a thorough follow-up. Here's a link for more info.
    http://www.traumaticbraininjury.com/content/symptoms/mildtbisymptoms.html

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  111. This is why we LOVE New York. Take care of yourself Tuba Dad...it's the most wonderful time of the year.

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  112. Poor Tuba Dad!! I'm really glad he is ok.

    And that is too funny about the blackberry and the EMS dude!

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  113. Glad TubaDad is okay!!! I'm a sucker for photos and details! Great Blackberry story. All in a days work for THAT NYparamedic I bet!! :)

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  114. I about DIED when I saw TubaDad on flickr all bloody and cut up! I'm so glad he's ok. LOVE the FDNY EMT and the cell phone story. Awesome.

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  115. Anonymous12/17/2009

    The Blackberry story is hilarious. My DH is a paramedic, an I know there are times he would like to say something like that.

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