Boy vs Wave: Boy – 0, Wave – 1

We were wrapping up an end-of-summer day at Robert Moses State Beach when we heard screams from the water’s edge. It was Tristan. When it didn’t stop, we all ran. Tristan was standing there still screaming. It was obvious something was wrong. He wasn’t standing correctly and his shoulder didn’t look right He laid down on the surfline but that didn’t last long as the waves were lapping at his face.

We calmed him down a bit and Jeannette and I went off to the Ranger Station to get some help. Theoretically, it was just over the dunes but when we arrived, no one was there. As Jeannette tried calling around for options, I headed off to the lighthouse for help as they were about to close up for the night.

When I got there, it appeared that Jeanette had already called and they were trying to contact the rangers. I went back to the station to wait. It wasn’t too long before the ranger showed up in a pickup and we were off for the beach.

There wasn’t much room in the back seat of the pickup. It was mostly set up to store gear, but it was OK for the quick trip back to the beach. Oddly, the ranger drove away from our location on the beach, apparently heading to an access road. The entrance was roped off, but the ranger just rode over the posts. The scariest part of the ride was as he was fishtailing across the beach.

When we arrived back at our spot, the police were already there. Apparently, one of the cops was also an EMT and was helping Tristan with an improvised sling.

We finished packing up the beach stuff and while the Richardts and I carted the gear back to our cars (a good 15 minute hike), Jennifer headed off with Tristan and the police officers to meet an ambulance at the parking lot. Initially we thought we would just head to an Urgent Care, but apparently we were off to Good Samaritan in West Islip.

Along the long walk back to the cars, we saw the ambulance head in the wrong direction, but by the time we got to the cars, Jennifer and Tristan were in the ambulance heading to the hospital.

William went with Jeannette and Rob back to their house and I made my way to the Emergency Room. When I arrived, they didn’t know where Jen and T were, so I waited. I called Jen and she said they were waiting for a space. Eventually a nurse showed me where to go.

I found Tristan and Jen in a Fast Track bed waiting to be seen by a doctor. A resident came in to help. She was nice and was calming to Tristan. She was pretty non-committal in the bay, but once outside, Jen clearly heard her note to a colleague, “Clearly a broken collar bone.”

Next, a pediatric specialist took a look. Nothing much came of that but next he was off to the X-Ray room.

The resident returned and told us it was a pretty bad break, gave us a sling and suggested we see an orthopedist in the next week or so. They had consulted the on call orthopedist who wouldn’t say if surgery would be needed. But be sure to dangle the arm at least once a day to prevent locking the shoulder.

We asked for copies of the x-rays but she said she could not provide the files. She did let us take pictures of the screen. Even a non-professional could tell it was a pretty bad break.


There was surgery the next week to correct the break and improve Tristan’s chances of a full recovery. “I am Ironman” comes immediately to mind…but this is titanium.

Tristan’s School Play

Tristan played Peter Pan in his nursery school’s production of “True Colors”, a ensemble play created by his teacher, Judy Tonkel. In the play, the class goes on a trip to a museum where the students imagine they are characters from the various paintings they see. Characters from the Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, Cinderella and Red Riding Hood appear in the play.

Mommy. daddy, Kate, William, Grandma and Aunt Debbie were in the audience.

The entire class had a great time, although there were some moments of stage fright. Congratulations to all!