How My Brother Got His Boo-Boo

My niece Makenzie sent her Giraffe to the hospital to help speed her dad's recovery. For those unaware, it has been scientifically proven that giraffes speed recovery. Anyone who says different is a quack or a charlatan.

Last night around 9:30pm I received a phone call from my mom. When the phone rang, I was just sitting down to a late dinner prepared for me by Dom (which was absolutely delicious, and also already delayed by me as I had spent some time on the phone chatting with my friend Matt). Anyway, when the phone rang I half considered not answering. I figured my mom was calling about my Christmas list – but then I remembered that I had already emailed that to her – so I picked up.

Hi Dan, I’m just calling to let you know that Bernie [my brother] was in a car accident. Becky [his wife] is on the way to the hospital. 

Unfortunately my mom really didn’t have too many details. I was left knowing only that he was taken to the Simcoe hospital, and Becky was on her way. My mom informed me that she would keep me posted, and asked that I tell my brother Aidan (whom she tried to reach but couldn’t).

As the event unfolded, I ended up speaking/texting Becky, and my brother Sandy. He was headed to the Hamilton General Hospital (as they decided to move him from Simcoe to HGH for better care). This made me a bit anxious because it made the event a bit more real, and seem a lot more serious. Of course, not having information made my mind race; something I try to control because I find it anything but helpful. Up until that point I think I just kept thinking it’s nothing. Sadly that was an understatement.

In the case of my brother's accident, the blue car would have continued through the intersection without stopping or slowing down, at the same time as the green car (driven by my brother) was passing through. Boo. Boo I says.

Between texts/phone calls with Sandy, my mom, and Becky, I learned that Bernie had been t-boned by a distracted driver at a t-intersection. The road Bernie was driving did not have any stop signs or lights. The other driver however did have a stop sign. From what I understand, she/he was smoking and dropped their cigarette. When they bent over to pick it up, they took their eyes off the road and slammed right into my brother. Unfortunately they hit the driver side head on. This sent my brother’s car into a roll. I’m not sure exactly how many times it rolled, but more than once is too many times in my books.

I still don’t know who called the police/ambulance, etc., but someone did (thank you to whomever that was). I don’t know who used the Jaws-Of-Life to cut the roof off of the car (but thank you to whomever that was). I don’t know who pulled my brother from the car (but thank you to whomever did). I also don’t know who took care of him and got him to the hospital (but thank you to whomever that was). I also don’t know all of the people who worked on him, took care of him, and kept him with us (but again, than you to whomever you were). And I have no idea of all of the people who will help him through the next few days, weeks, and months of his recovery (but a big thank you in advance for all that you are going to do).

All I know is that Bernie is still with us. He is banged up pretty bad, but it’s nothing that he can’t get through. I know this for several reasons. First, he’s a Gillis, and we are notoriously bull-headed. And if that isn’t enough, we are also Ennis‘ (on my mom’s side). If you think Gillis’ are bull-headed, you’ve never met an Ennis. So yeah, we are doubly bull-headed. Second, I’ve seen him deal with so much more and come out the other end with a smile on his face. I’m speaking of course about the month that he and Becky spent last year watching over their daughter, my niece, Haley, as she battled with the flesh-eating disease, sepsis, collapsed lungs, cardiac arrests, etc. And third, he has a family that will kick him in the ass if he thinks about slacking off or giving up (which of course I know he won’t do because of the first reason I’ve provided).

Of course, I also know the next few days, weeks, and months are going to be a challenge on many levels. But he will get through this. We all will. Because that’s what Awesome does. And he is, if nothing else, Awesome. And so are we.

Anyway, I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone that has already shown their love and support, those of you who have sent messages, and words of encouragement. Please continue to do so – they mean so much to all of us.

For now, I’m just happy to let you know that my brother is stable. While his pelvis has been shattered, while he has a collapsed and perforated lung, a fractured skull, a lot of bruising, and a broken collarbone, he is by no means broken. He simply has a rather large boo-boo. But nothing that he can’t and that we can’t handle.


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20 Comments Add yours

  1. Beth says:

    I guess the universe decided it wanted to make sure you had something to be thankful for on this American Thanksgiving!

    The pictures of Bernie’s car are crazy – he is so lucky to be alive! As you say, he’s a Gillis, so it’s not like some car rolling, jaws of life requiring, and pelvis shattering will get him down! Plus, he’s got the giraffe, so he’s good to go!

    1. dangillis says:

      People say laughter is the best medicine. I’m pretty sure it’s giraffes.

  2. Allison Overholt says:

    Dan I want to thank you for posting this! I’m a friend of Bernie and Becky’s (I worked with Bernie in Brantford). I heard yesterday about the accident and knew it was serious but was terrified when I saw the details! They’ve been through so much and you’re right, they can get through this too! It’s good to know he’s close to home though!

    THANK YOU for sharing this blog, I love to read about your crazy adventures and also to hear about the family (good and bad). I started following your blog when you were writing about Hailey and her scare last year.THANK YOU again!!! Please send my hugs, prayers and thoughts to Becky and Bernie and the family!!

    1. dangillis says:

      Done and done. I’ll be seeing them later today again, so I’ll pass on the message.

  3. Anne says:

    Sorry to hear about your brother Danny, he’s in our prayers!

    1. dangillis says:

      Thanks Anne. Much appreciated.

  4. Mike says:

    Hi Dan, thanks for keeping us updated on your brother. We heard yesterday, my thoughts and prayers to you and your family. Take Care

    1. dangillis says:

      No problem. I’m sure I’ll be spending a lot of time at the hospital over the next few weeks, so I’ll pass along any messages and update you as things progress.

  5. Lee Fraser says:

    Hi Dan, we’ve never met but I used to work with Bernie at Tibbett & Britten. I love that guy and wish him a quick and pain-free recovery. I hope your blog will be an inspiration to everyone who reads it to drive more carefully (and heck, maybe the smokers will quit smoking after reading this). Things like this remind us that even the safest drivers are still at the mercy of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Thanks for the update and please send Bernie a big hug (a virtual one, since I’m guess he’s not in great shape for receiving strong hugs at the moment).

    1. dangillis says:

      Done and done! I read him your message the other day. Thanks!

  6. david smith says:

    Hi boss. Hopefully you are doing alot better. Kathy and I wish you a speedy recovery, i know you are a fighter.

    We all miss you here at work, and hope the best for you over the xmas holiday, you and your family are in your prayers.

    We are all thinking about.

    1. dangillis says:

      Hey David, I’ll make sure to pass the message on to him today. 🙂

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