One thing I’ve always been hazy about is exactly how my family was notified about my accident. I was carrying ID, so I figured it would have been straightforward for the police to figure out where I live, and then call the house. Apparently this wasn’t the case.
One way or another, the police got my name at the scene. It is possible that I gave them my name and place of employment, as I was apparently conscious for a short time. It’s also possible that they found my small running wallet with my ID, which I had tucked into the waistband of my bike shorts.
Armed with my name, Harborview Hospital tried to locate my family, to notify them about what had happened.
We think they may have done an online white pages search on me, and somehow gotten my parent’s number. Which is odd, since it had been a long time since I lived with my parents, and never in Washington state. In any case, they reached my mother, and told her that a Paul David had been involved in a bicycle accident, and asked her whether or not she could describe my wedding ring. This was apparently the only thing I was wearing by that time (my clothes had been cut away either at the scene, or in the ambulance). Mom suggested that they call my wife, as she was the most appropriate point of contact. They did this – Kris was easily able to describe my ring, because hers is identical. Kris picked my Mom and Dad up, and they headed to the hospital.
Presumably at the same time, another call was placed to Microsoft, also trying to get contact information for me. They must have said something about me being involved in an accident. The operator would not give them the contact information, but contacted our group administrator, who immediately spoke with Gilman, my manager. Gilman immediately contacted my friend Landy to tell him I’d been involved in an accident. Landy and Ben apparently arrived at Harborview within minutes of Kris, Mom and Dad. In order to get in to see me, Landy told them he was my brother :).
One of these days, I might try to contact the Harborview social worker who contacted my mother and Kris, to find out how this may have happened from her perspective. I assume she wouldn’t remember me specifically, but it would help me to know how they typically find the family in a case like mine.
And one of these days, I should try to piece together the whole first week on paper. See – that was the exciting part. Things got quite a bit more routine once I came out of the induced coma.