Brandon's co-worker, Jeff, was the first to arrive, shortly before 3pm. The second guest to arrive was Cristine, another co-worker of Brandon's, at 3:02. The times didn't seem relevant until we put together the timeline of the afternoon. When Cristine arrived she noticed that our dogs were acting really strange. Upon further inspection, Brandon noticed that they were attacked by yellow jackets. When he saw this, Brandon ran into the dog run to save the dogs. Unfortunately, he was attacked in the process. He had a really serious reaction and we called 911 at 3:08 on Saturday afternoon. The eight minutes it took for the paramedics to arrive were the longest 8 minutes of my life. During that time, Brandon was in and out of consciousness and he went into cardiac arrest. The paramedics had to give him three epipens and use the defibrillator. He left for the hospital at 3:41 on Saturday afternoon. When I got there at 4:30, I found out that Brandon had a rough ride to the hospital and had gone into shock BUT he was responding well to the medications. When we got to his bed, he was awake but sore and groggy. The doctors said that he was stung at least 22 times, but he did not have a normal allergic reaction. His throat did not close and he did not have any swelling, at all. The doctors think his reaction was a combination of the toxins from the bees, dehydration and a weakened immune system from fighting off poison ivy. At 6:55 on Saturday evening, we were headed home. The doctors were incredibly impressed with how well he responded to the medications and how quickly he bounced back. We left the hospital Saturday evening with a very clean bill of health and one of the best post-trauma blood pressures his nurse, Carrie, had ever seen. The nurses were in awe and made sure to tell him what a bad ass he is. While still a little bit sore and tired, he is otherwise okay; however, the healing from the emotional trauma is going to take some time.
I have had people ask where Natalie was in all of this. We were incredibly lucky that somehow Natalie missed all of the commotion. Cristine's daughter, Michaela, decided at the last minute to come with her to the picnic. Michaela kept Natalie entertained in the kitchen while we were in the bathroom. Before the paramedics came, Natalie asked to take a nap so Michaela scooped her up and snuck by the bathroom to the playroom. She got Natalie her blanket and pacifier and Natalie was asleep within 5 minutes, before the paramedics even arrived. Natalie slept for a solid 40 minutes and woke up shortly after Brandon left for the hospital. My older sister and her boyfriend, Jon, and a couple of friends stayed with Natalie while we were gone. Natalie blew bubbles, ate hot dogs with her puppies and ran through the sprinkler with her buddy Mr. Jon. She was absolutely none the wiser and we are so incredibly lucky that things played out the way that they did.
We are so incredibly thankful for the outpouring of support we have gotten. The phone calls, text messages, IG messages and facebook posts have been so incredibly heartwarming. Thank you all so much for your love and support during this crazy time.