When My Mother Fell and Broke Her Leg I Wasn’t There

One of the worst feelings in the world is when a loved one is hurt and you can’t be there right away to help. Since I’ve spent much of my career moving around for jobs in TV news, there were quite a few times when my parents needed me and I had to drop everything to fly to New York.

Four years ago when I was living in Mississippi, I called my Mother one night and noticed something was different about her voice. She sounded like she was in bed, but it was too early in the event. I could tell she was lying down, so I asked her what was wrong.

Unfortunately, she tripped over her suitcase in the foyer and couldn’t get up. My Father (who at the time was dealing with his own health issues) didn’t have the strength to pick her up. He could only bring a pillow to rest her head on the floor and the telephone to call my brother who lives in the neighborhood.

I had to drop everything, fly to New York for a few days to care for my Father while my Mother had knee replacement surgery, as well as visit her in the hospital.

The trip wasn’t cheap, but it was necessary. Thank goodness I was in a financial position then to buy last minute airline tickets and take time off from work.

My Mother’s first knee replacement went horribly wrong. She didn’t heal well and is seeking legal action against the surgeon.  Nine months later she needed a second knee replacement – this time by a more reputable doctor who operates on professional athletes. Thankfully, the surgery was a success and she was on her way recovery soon after.

Since my Mother was my Father’s primary caretaker I had to fly back to New York after the second surgery. They both needed help around the house and getting to follow-up appointments that I took unpaid Family Medical Leave (FMLA) from my TV news job for four weeks to care for them.

Fast forward to 2009, when I was pregnant and my Mom fell again. But this time she was at the gym exercising to help rehabilitate her leg and knee.  This fall resulted in a broken wrist and more surgery.  Since I wasn’t working I flew back to New York on a discount airline to save money. It was a horribly uncomfortable flight.

Count your blessings if you haven’t had to take a last minute trip to care for a loved one or friend.

How do you pay for a last minute family emergency? 

Do you rely on frequent flier miles, savings or credit cards?

Disclosure: This post is presented by Genworth Financial 

where you can learn more about mortgages and planning ahead for your family’s future. 

All thoughts & opinions are 100% my own.

About Joyce Brewer

Creator & Host of Mommy Talk Show. Emmy award-winning TV journalist.Wife & Mommy; Mom Blogger; Social Media Coach; Long Island, New York transplant living in Atlanta, GA. Follow Joyce on Twitter @MommyTalkShow Author of Use What You Know: A Business Idea Guide for Moms featuring interviews with mompreneurs who created businesses using their skills & backgrounds.

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  1. Thank goodness you were in a position to be there for your parents in their time of need, as many people aren’t able to. Planning for those unexpected things is important. I think we put it off sometimes because we don’t want to think about the possibility of something bad happening to our loved ones. We are trying to get money put away (I’d like 3 months of living expenses), but it’s definitely a struggle. Getting a coffee or ice cream is so much more attractive than putting that $5 in savings for an emergency, but I know it’s worth it to make that sacrifice!

  2. I hope she is doing much better. I am one that if something happens I am not able to be their at a moments notice because I don’t have savings put aside for that but hopefully one day when the financial outlook in our home looks better I hope to put aside emergency funds just for that reason.

  3. Sadly, Joyce, I wouldn’t have any way of funding a trip like that now. Due to many different tragedies, I am tapped out and I believe my family is, too. If something were to happen to me Joelle would have a decent life insurance policy and SSI, but present day we are gonna be the ones with the heart attack at the emergency room as our plan of action.

  4. I don’t know what I would do if either of my parents got hurt and no one could help them. They are in Georgia but still. We have emergency contact numbers but that’s about it.