Family, Random DJB Thoughts
Comments 4

The Ambulance Survivor’s Club

Nancy and DJB

Nancy and DJB – the charter members of the Ambulance Survivor’s Club – toasting our good health at Jackie’s Restaurant in Silver Spring

If you know me, you know that I fractured my shoulder on March 3, 2015 – the night before my 60th birthday – after being hit by an ambulance.  Tonight, the two charter members of the Ambulance Survivor’s Club joined family and friends at Jackie’s Restaurant in Silver Spring to celebrate our recovery.

To take you down memory lane, here’s how I described it at the time:

Some people will do anything to avoid going to work on their birthday. My excuse? I was hit by an ambulance while helping a friend who had fallen on the ice. Yep, you read that right.

We made the local news. (A colleagues’ husband had seen it on one of those small screens they now have in cabs, so she wrote, “You’re famous in cabs!”)  A friend (Nancy) who was staying with us went out to dinner with a client, and she slipped and fell on the road behind our house when she returned. An angel of a neighbor found her and called us. We went out to help Nancy, and as she couldn’t get up we called 911. I was kneeling behind her as she sat where she had fallen, to keep her upright and to keep her alert. The ambulance arrived and couldn’t stop on the ice as it headed towards us. We couldn’t get out-of-the-way. I was hit first – my left shoulder against the front of the ambulance – and was tossed into a snow bank. Then the ambulance struck Nancy and pushed her down our hill. I could quickly tell I was okay except for shoulder pain but Nancy was obviously in a worse condition. They took her to the trauma unit at a local hospital and I was taken to ER at nearby Holy Cross.

To cut to the chase, I now have a fractured Humerus in my left shoulder. Nancy has some broken bones.

That was the story from More to Come… on March 6th.  But thanks to our wonderful families and friends – along with the medical professionals who have taken care of us over the past six months – Nancy and I are well on the way to full healing.   Because they took us to two separate hospitals after the accident, our good mutual friends Steve Campbell and Sarabeth Watson stayed with Nancy in Suburban Hospital and focused on her medical needs in those first hours and days while Candice was at Holy Cross Hospital with me.  All three of them then took great care of the two of us as we moved through the medical process.  Our recovery is going so well that Candice and I joined Nancy, Steve, and Sarabeth tonight for a celebratory dinner.

Pork tenderloin

The pork tenderloin at Jackie’s Restaurant

We spent the evening catching up, with Nancy and I comparing notes about physical therapy and the time it takes for bones to heal. All five of us told about what we remembered from that night and the first few days afterwards. We did all of this at Jackie’s, which is quickly regaining its reputation as the best restaurant in Silver Spring.

After working through a less-than-satisfactory chef or two, the kitchen has more than regained its footing since Adam Harvey’s arrival in May of 2013 and now regularly turns out meals that rate 4 stars in our book.  Tonight, Candice and I enjoyed the pork tenderloin, while Nancy raved about her Sweet Corn Risotto with grilled prawns, English peas and summer truffles. Steve was delighted with his Housemade Meatballs, and Sarabeth exclaimed over the pan roasted Arctic Char.

Putting the dinner aside, the important thing is that it was so good to see Nancy doing so well.  Six months ago, I’m not sure what I would have said had I been asked to speculate about our conditions in August.  But we have been blessed with loving support and care, and you can’t ask for much more in this life.

With (thankfully) more to come…


This entry was posted in: Family, Random DJB Thoughts


I am David J. Brown (hence the DJB) and I originally created this personal blog more than ten years ago as a way to capture photos and memories from a family vacation. After the trip was over I simply continued writing. Over the years the blog has changed to have a more definite focus aligned with my interest in places that matter, reading well, roots music, and more. My professional background is as a national nonprofit leader with a four-decade record of growing and strengthening organizations at local, state, and national levels. This work has been driven by my passion for connecting people in thriving, sustainable, and vibrant communities.


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  2. I must be one sick woman! Re-reading your account of how the accident happened, I laughed, and laughed, and laughed (out loud)! (Sorry!) I think I laughed the first time too.

    Of course if I knew you hadn’t come out of it alright, I would not have laughed at all. (I am not TOTALLY sick)…So to me, the main point here is: you really can write, David. It is not easy to make people laugh out loud. Especially more than once, reading the same thing…


    • Janet,

      What a hoot! I don’t think you are sick…I’ve just tried to approach this as one of those things that happen in life. I was telling my Primary Care Physician about this accident a few weeks ago, and she was aghast. Then she saw Candice a couple of weeks later, and she said she couldn’t believe how calm I was in telling the story and – in fact – how I tried to put it in a funny light. I have to say, getting hit by an ambulance is a great conversation starter in almost any situation! And the poor driver was so distraught, and all he was doing was trying to do his job. I need to find a way to tell him that we both turned out okay.

      But you know, Janet, I’m so appreciative of your compliments about my writing. I get a great deal of pleasure out of telling these stories, and you have been so supportive of my writing on this blog. I really appreciate it – especially coming from a pro like you!

      Hope you are having a great time in France. Candice and I head to Cambridge for about 9 days in a couple of weeks, then we’ll be in Rome for six weeks next winter/spring. We’ll have to get together when you are back and pick your brain about living in Europe for multiple weeks.

      Take care, and hope to see you soon.

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