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Devastated - my little boy was injured while with his dad

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Yesterday my kids went with their dad to a holiday party. There were fireworks around and my 9 yo son got hit in the face and eyes with a bottle rocket. He will be okay, but is in pretty bad shape right now, in pain and with a patch over one eye and several kinds of medicine going in both eyes every hour for the next few days. His vision should be fine and he had no head injury. This kid a pretty reckless guy, so hopefully he will learn a lesson from this, but I feel just awful for him. My exh, however, is old enough to have known better than to allow my kids free rein around fireworks, and will probably not learn anything from this ordeal. I am enraged that he could have been so irresponsible. And there's more...

My exh and my 9 yo and my 6 yo spent the night waiting for treatment and testing in the emergency room while I cavorted on the beach all night. I was not notified of what had happened until I picked my kids up this morning, twelve hours after the event. TWELVE hours went by and not a phone call or a text to tell me there was an emergency. My 17 yo son was at home wondering why they were gone for so long and didn't receive any notice either. I would have immediately gone to the ER if I knew what was happening and my ex is acting like I'm an ass for being upset that I wasn't notified and for holding him responsible for this "accident".

Right now I'm trying to focus on making my son as comfortable as possible, but I am so emotional over all of this. I have 50/50 custody with my exh, who basically behaves like a 40 yo teenager, and I feel like I have let my kids down by allowing their irresponsible dad have so much control over their lives. This never would have happened if I had been with them. I could have protected my son, but instead I was out doing my own selfish and frivolous thing. At this moment, I am seriously considering starting the process of changing our parenting plan and custody arrangement. And I really wish I had somebody to hug me and tell me it will all be okay, like I'm doing for my kids.
post #2 of 15

You weren't doing anything selfish. How you ex handled this is just awful, but that is in no way your fault. So sorry that this happened.

post #3 of 15
This didn't happen because you were having fun it would have been just the same if you had been home scrubbing the toilets and ticking away the minutes until you picked up your sons. Your ex handled.this badly but I think you should cool.down before you decide to challenge custody over this. Im sending healinghoughts to your son.
post #4 of 15

oh, sweetie, I am so sorry. Your poor baby =(

 

the PPs are right, this didn't happen because you were having fun, it happened because your ex is a twit. I do think it might be a good idea to revisit your visitation schedule to make sure that the kids are getting the best care, but also a good idea to calm down and let your little one heal from this before going there.

 

hug2.gif It's gonna be ok =)

post #5 of 15

The worst injury my son had happened while he was holding on to my skirt. My husband was at home cleaning.

Accidents happen. The accident is not the issue, the issue is that your ex did not inform you STAT>

post #6 of 15

I agree with others that you should take the time to calm down before addressing issues. Accidents do happen and since you weren't there you have no way of knowing whether Ex was negligent or not. But I do think there needs to be a change to your agreement to add that in the event of an accident or injury to your children- the other parent should be notified ASAP.

 

post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alenushka View Post

The worst injury my son had happened while he was holding on to my skirt. My husband was at home cleaning.

Accidents happen. The accident is not the issue, the issue is that your ex did not inform you STAT>


Exactly. Accidents happen. Some are avoidable (if, for instance, your ds was allowed to be shooting off the fireworks or standing right next to them than that's not really acceptable). Some accidents are not avoidable (that is, afterall, why they are called accidents). But it's how you handle the accident that matters. The worst injury ds has received so far was actually in the care of my now-dh (about a year after ds and I moved in with him). It was totally a freak accident (ds was 4 years old, sitting on the toilet and fell in. The shock of the water on his butt made him jump up, which caught his penis on the toilet and he got quite the large cut at the base of his penis). DH called me immediately and followed my instructions exactly.

 

After you've had time to cool down, I would talk to your ex politely and explain that you need to be called immediately if one of the kids is sick/injured. If he seems apologetic and receptive, great. If not, go ahead and take it to court to ask that it be added to your court order.

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
This was an entirely preventable accident, not the kind of accident that happens to kids on a random basis. My exh was very clearly grossly negligent. Both of my kids are reporting that Dad was drinking beer and talking with the other adults present while a group of kids ran around with illegal fireworks. He allowed my child to be unattended in close proximity to explosives. But you are right, I will wait until the healing process is complete before I seek legal action. For now, I am not going to worry about assigning blame, which does no good anyway.

But we just got back from the doctor a little while ago and it's much worse than I was told initially. His lens is displaced and they can't yet determine how much damage there was to the cornea and the retina. He will very likely have to have surgery later this week and is definitely going to have permanent vision impairment in that eye, possibly blindness.

And thank you for your kind words and thoughts, mamas. My family is really supportive, but I'm feeling pretty alone right now anyway.
post #9 of 15

The calmer you are, the more details of teh story you collect, the more effectively you legal strategy will be.

 

I am very sorry about your son.  Get second opinion for the surgery. Look for a doctor who does many of same kind of surgeries a year.

post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mimim View Post

This was an entirely preventable accident, not the kind of accident that happens to kids on a random basis. My exh was very clearly grossly negligent. Both of my kids are reporting that Dad was drinking beer and talking with the other adults present while a group of kids ran around with illegal fireworks. He allowed my child to be unattended in close proximity to explosives. But you are right, I will wait until the healing process is complete before I seek legal action. For now, I am not going to worry about assigning blame, which does no good anyway.

But we just got back from the doctor a little while ago and it's much worse than I was told initially. His lens is displaced and they can't yet determine how much damage there was to the cornea and the retina. He will very likely have to have surgery later this week and is definitely going to have permanent vision impairment in that eye, possibly blindness.

And thank you for your kind words and thoughts, mamas. My family is really supportive, but I'm feeling pretty alone right now anyway.


I'm so sorry to hear that not only was there severe damage, but that your ex was- in fact- negligent. Have the children told any doctors/ER staff what happened? I would try and find a way to get it on record (with a professional, not just with you) what exactly happened. Then I wouldn't hesitate to bring it to court- after your ds has healed. If there is permanent damage or blindness, that will likely hold more in the eyes of the Judge than you just standing up there and saying "ex let my kids do something dangerous", ya know? Do you know anyone else who was at this event? Can you get any other witness to write out exactly what they saw (ex drinking beer, kids running around with fireworks)?

post #11 of 15

hug2.gif  I would seek the advice of a lawyer, and unlike most here, I would NOT wait until the damage has healed.  I would not want to send my child with him ever again until he has been sufficiently warned by a judge, or at the very least knows that there is legal action underway to take away his custody (not visitation, just custody) rights.  I'm so sorry, thats awful!!

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post

hug2.gif  I would seek the advice of a lawyer, and unlike most here, I would NOT wait until the damage has healed.  I would not want to send my child with him ever again until he has been sufficiently warned by a judge, or at the very least knows that there is legal action underway to take away his custody (not visitation, just custody) rights.  I'm so sorry, thats awful!!


Ya, what goes through my head is will dad be responsible enough to give HOURLY meds and care for him?
 

 

post #13 of 15

I'm so sorry for your DS's Pain and Injury! How horrible and scary!! I will keep you and your family in my thoughts. I send you a cyber hug- this is so very difficult.

post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Update: Surgery was yesterday and went as well as could be expected. He can still only see movement in the injured eye, but he claims that it's a little bit clearer. He will be fitted with a contact lens that should restore partial vision once he has healed some and will have another surgery to give him a prosthetic lens in his injured eye down the road. And no matter what happens in the long run, he still has perfect vision in his other eye. He only has a little bit of pain today, but it was just tragic watching his extreme fear and pain before and after yesterday's procedure. I wanted to kick his dad out of the hospital so badly, but I was polite to him the whole time for my children's benefit.


For the next few weeks, my kids are only visiting their dad for a few hours here and there during the daytime and spending every night with me. I'm calling the shots 100% and my ex is cooperating with that, although legally he has equal say. Also, the visitation schedule that we have been following for the last year or so is based on a verbal agreement, not our legal documents. Some time next week, I'm going to give him a new visitation schedule and tell him that I want to gain sole legal custody. The proposal that I am going to present to him will actually still be more financially lenient on him than than the divorce agreement or the state formulas for support, so I expect to not get a lot of argument. I don't expect him to actually comply with payments, and I imagine I will have to take legal action on it eventually, but I'll cross that bridge when I need to.
post #15 of 15

I say get this plan down LEGALLY, and then file for child support. What a horribly neglectful "man". How did he react the times you've seen him since? Do you think he knows how bad he screwed up? Also...if he was drinking beer, he likely drove drunk to the ER. Any chance of getting a witness to say he was inoxicated?

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