A Parent's Plea...

A Parent’s Plea…

The David Francisco Story

by John Platillero | Father of Singer/ Songwriter, David Francisco

My wife was at her desk when her phone rang, and she saw the face of our son, David, appear on the screen. He had moved away from our city, Knoxville, just three weeks prior, so she enthusiastically took the call exclaiming, “Hey Dave!” However, the voice on the other line wasn’t David. It was a lady who proceeded to encourage my wife to come to Nashville as soon as possible. David had been hit by a car while he was on his bicycle.

I was in the parking lot of a shopping center about to go into a store when my phone rang. It was my wife, Mitzi. She was a little frantic but very emphatic that I return to the office right away. She mentioned the phone call, with very few details other than David was seriously injured while riding his bicycle. When I asked Mitzi how bad the crash was, she told me that the woman said all she saw was the bicycle fly over the top of the car and please hurry.

My heart stopped. My mind started racing. I started the engine and sped back to the office. Nashville was a three-hour drive away, and we had no time to waste.

What are you struggling with right now? What weight seems to be too much to bear? What mountain seems too hard to climb? Have you gotten a similar phone call? An “interruption” to your day?

We sped to Nashville, still wondering how bad his injuries were. During that frantic trip, we received a call from the ER doctor who, in his words: “I’m sorry to inform you that your son has a very serious spinal cord injury.” My wife and I were stunned and honestly did not know how to process the information. Many thoughts were rushing through my mind, but the driving forced me to focus on the road. To get there safely. To be there for David. And to accept and love him no matter what his condition would be for the rest of his life.

What happened at the intersection of Berry Road and Franklin Pike that fateful day? Who had done this to my son? Did they realize how badly injured he was?

I found out later that the young driver was very distraught at the scene of the crash. She was crying hysterically. Evidently, she didn’t see the light and never even hit the car brakes. David didn’t see it coming. He was broadsided. The impact sheared the pedal off the bike and bent the frame. He flew into the windshield while the bicycle toppled over the top of the car. His back snapped as his head smashed onto the roof of the vehicle. The windshield broke and gashed his arm badly. As the driver slammed on her brakes, David’s body was then propelled forward and thrown onto the pavement.

What mistakes have you made that you wish you could take back? Was it really an accident or something that could have been prevented?

The driver shouldn’t have been driving that day. She had not taken her medications. She was upset, and her mind wandered. Her drug addiction was a constant curse. She was distracted. She was not paying attention to the road.

One decision from her to not drive that day, and my son wouldn’t have almost lost his life. He wouldn’t have to be limited in his mobility. He wouldn’t have to deal with bowel and bladder issues that most people take for granted.

What decision will you make today that could be life-changing for you or someone else? Stop. Take a quick second to recognize that what you do affects others.

It has been almost five years since the crash, and much healing has taken place. But I will never forget the feelings of that day. How, in just one instant, everything changed.

Please, make wise decisions, especially behind the wheel.



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