In case you don't know the details of what happened, here is a note that Katie (Harper's mommy) posted on facebook the week of the accident. There are also a few pictures posted at the bottom of the page from the past two months.
"sunday afternoon Ryan (Sunday June 5) took the girls to a local canoe outfitter for some Daddy/daughter time. i was home doing yardwork w/maitland. they got there about 15 minutes too late and they weren't renting canoes anymore. he called a friend of ours who lives about 15 minutes north to ask him if he and the girls could borrow a kayak. friend said "we're not home, but help yourself." when ryan got there, he realized that the girls were going to have a hard time getting into the kayak from the dock (it's about a 4 foot drop to the water). he figured he could lower the boat (which was lifted out of the water) and just have the girls step into the kayak that way (great idea, as far as i'm concerned). as he was lowering the boat, it got crooked on one side. he tried to straighten it out (motorized boat lift), not realizing that harper was holding the cable on that side. her fingers were pulled into the wench and 3 of them were cut off (right middle, ring, and pinkie). according to our friends' neighbors, ryan flew into action and did an incredible job of tending to her hand (tying it off and wrapping it and getting it above her head) and calming her down. he'd yelled at someone to call 911 and i'm sure they did it immediately, but they still had to wait 15 minutes for the ambulance. i don't know all the details of what happened when the ambulance arrived, but i do know that the EMT's were actually able to find 2 of Harper's fingers and put them on ice. the EMT's were already telling ryan at this point that they were headed to St Mary's, but she might need to be flown down to Miami Children's. they drove to a field where she was put on a helicopter (w/out a parent) and flown to St Mary's. ryan had called me from the ambulance, so by the time he got back home to drop layne off, i had all our bags packed and a dear friend here to stay with the kids until we had more information.
when ryan and i arrived at st mary's, harper was obviously glad to see us, but i could tell that she'd been doing a great job of being calm and brave w/out us. all the nurses kept telling us that she had been just awesome. she was weepy, but had been given some morphine so she wasn't in pain. we were told very soon after being there that she was going to need to be transferred to another hospital. we heard miami and we heard joe dimaggio. to be honest, i didn't even know where we'd ended up until 1/2 way through the surgery...thought we were in miami and then saw a sign that said memorial regional (hollywood). luckily, i was able to be on the helicopter ride from st mary's to memorial (joe dimaggio). harper did great and to be honest, enjoyed it...how could a 5 year old not enjoy a helicopter ride and wearing headphones and having 4 grown men totally make a huge deal over her and laugh at her jokes?! the staff at st mary's had given ryan a heads-up about the transfer, so he drove down and actually arrived in hollywood within 10 minutes of the helicopter. they did another x-ray of her hand as soon as we arrived (for some reason the first hosptial's files weren't good enough) and very soon after that we met with the surgeon in the hall.
when the dr was explaining the extent of Harper's injury and what the surgery would entail, i felt like i was going to pass out. i literally had to ask for a chair. i never had any doubts as far as trusting the dr's or nurses, and for that i am totally grateful...but it was just plain disgusting and hard to hear in regards to any 5 year old girl, much less MINE. the fingers that the EMT's had found were not able to be "re-planted"...they'd been through too much trauma, but the doctor said he might be able to use some of the tissue during surgery even if he couldn't re-plant them. her fingers had been torn off above the main knuckle, so there was still bone above her hand, it just didn't have any skin or tissue on it. the doctor told us he wouldn't know exactly what he was going to do until they were in surgery and he was able to examine everything more closely (they needed to see what the tendon damage had been as well). surgery lasted from around 11 PM until about 2:30 AM...ryan slept a little in the waiting room, and i tried, but i am such a light sleeper...some bra infomercial was keeping me awake. the first time i saw the surgical site, my eyes were as big as plates and it took my breath away. to promote soft tissue growth around the "degloved" finger bones, they buried them in her abdomen (just about 1/2 way between the belly button and the hip bone). they made a flap of skin and basically just covered the bare finger bones with the flap and sewed it shut. her good thumb and first finger are sticking out. there is a drain tube just on the outside of the site...it leads to a bulb that we have to empty once a day...it's not as gross as i'd thought it would be...just plain red blood. she has a cast on her entire arm to immobilize it and then a big elastic binding around her whole torso and arm to make sure she doesn't move the arm or pull at her hand at all.
she'll be in this position for about a month and then will have another surgery to seperate her hand from her abdomen. when the hand comes away from the body, the hope is that there will be a "mitten" of skin surrounding the little "half" fingers...that mitten (webbed skin) will be allowed to heal for about 3 months. then there will be a 3rd surgery to seperate the webbed digits and make them look as good as possible.
the doctor is extremely confident that she will retain ALL ability in her right hand. it was a HUGE blessing that her thumb and first finger were unharmed...HUGE. with those alone, the dr said she'd be able to do alot, but with the other 3 little digits as well, she'll be totally capable of everything any of the rest of us can do...except maybe be a QVC ring model or something...
bottom line: we are blessed. it's going to be awhile before we're back to normal, but the incredible things is just that: she will be normal again. i am SO excited to see how this injury will strengthen harper's character and how she will be that much more beautiful on the inside, thanks to a not-so-beautiful experience and what could potentially be a not-as-beautiful right hand. i have felt so fortunate to have the opportunity to start explaining some spiritual truths to her that she wouldn't ordinarily care about learning (i.e. God has a reason for EVERYthing He allows to happen).