Thank you so much for your comments and emails from my last post. Your prayers and encouragement mean so much. It’s a strange thing – to receive that kind of news about your child. It gives us a better understanding of what’s going on with her, but it doesn’t really change anything. Rhema’s still Rhema, filling our days with challenges, joys, lessons in love… so it’s hard to know how to “mourn” it. Here, on this blog, I find a place to process it, and here I find so much support and love. I can’t say thank you enough.


I just found out these chairs have been recalled.

The trouble started when I decided to act on my need to go potty. It had already been a DAY, with an early morning meeting at Rhema’s school, then off to the hospital where we met with her neurologist for hours. I’d rushed back to her school in the pouring rain, dropped off a newly signed seizure care plan and scooped up the kids.

As we stumbled into the door, Rhema charged into the playroom downstairs. I should have followed her, but I’d been holding it in all day. Literally. My bladder was begging me for mercy, and I headed upstairs. Just as I entered the bathroom, I stopped. Better check on her first.

I hear shrieking before I get to the door. Rhema has managed to put her head through the bottom rungs of a children’s folding chair. Only now the folding chair has closed up and the rungs are clamped around her neck. Her face is flushed, and she’s starting to gag. And Hope is oh-so-casually playing with her dollhouse.

I’m screaming. Rhema’s freaking out. And Hope is playing with her dollhouse. Try as I might I cannot get the chair off Rhema’s head, and she’s not making it easy by flailing and fighting me. I get worried that she’s going to stop breathing. I call Brandon. Then I call 911.

Less than ten minutes later (which seemed like hours to me), four firemen and two EMTs arrive. They try in vain to get Rhema un-stuck. They finally grab wire-cutters and cut off the rungs.

Rhema, relieved, drops like a sack of potatoes.

I’m a babbling fool. Ohmygosh, ohmygosh. Oh. My. Gosh.

Hope steps in and asks the paramedics what their names are. She then informs the crew that her name is Hope, and that’s Rhema her sister. “Thank you for saving her. Can you fix my doll?”

She goes on to tell them that how Rhema lost both her front teeth and the toothfairy came and left her a princess puzzle (!!!) but the toothfairy also decided to leave something for her, the little sister who has not lost any teeth yet, but the toothfairy left her bunny bubbles (!!!), in fact, because she’s been so good at school and has not gotten any strikes in a week!

I thank the firemen profusely, and the paramedics stay behind to examine Rhema. She has broken blood vessels and brusies on her neck and shoulder, but she’s ok.

The EMT tries to ask her some questions, “Rhema, how are you? Are you feeling better now?”

She does not seem to hear them. She does not look at them.

They try to take her blood pressure. They try to check her ears for bleeding.

Not happening.

“Is this her normal?” one EMT asks.

Rhema is sitting on my lap, staring off into the distance, humming. It’s a peaceful hum.

“Yes, this is her normal.”

“So you don’t think she needs to go to the hospital. You think she’s ok?” His voice is kind.

“She’s just fine. Thank you. Thank God. She’s just fine.”

Mama, however? Needs a few drinks.

But even before that?

She needs to go potty.


Thank you to Babble for putting this blog on their Top 25 Autism Blogs List! And thanks to for adding us to their list of 50 Blogs You Should Bookmark for Autism Awareness Month!

28 thoughts on “Stuck

  1. As someone whose body never quite recovered from the first 9 pounder, I feel your bladder pain.
    I can’t imagine how scary that must have been for you all (apart from Hope ;-)). Glad that all ended well, and you made it to the bathroom.

  2. Holy moly! I totally have those chairs. Do yours have the little lock/latch under the seat too?

    Poor Rhema! Not knowing what is going on. And poor Mahi Mahi too. I’m so glad you are all ok. And glad that hope got to talk to the firemen and paramedics LOL

  3. Acck! We had two of those chairs!! But we heard about the recall when it came down a couple years ago, so they didn’t stay around long enough to make trouble.

    I am so glad that Rhema is OK. And that your bladder didn’t splatter. (So to speak.)

  4. The peace in the eye of the storm. Being thankful for the littlest and biggest things. Thank you, Lord! for opening my eye’s today as I read the blog. God opened my eye’s to see the applied true meaning of unconditional love unto a Spiritual Father. Who desires us all to see Him in this love each day, each second of our lives. The Taggart’s will continue to pray as God provides all things needed….. We thank Him now for it! As a mother I say, I love you and thank you for taking the time to write this blog. You and family are in my prayers. Strength to Strength!!!!!!!

  5. I got so caught up in the story that i forgot about the bladder issue until the end!!! Good grief…

    I wonder if one of the firemen was a Maggiacomo?!?!

  6. I dont know if perspective is helpful… but I’m going to hope that it is. I had not-that-different of an incident with a little one falling off the trampoline. He was sitting. I had one hand on him and bent down to my feet to pick up his shoes… and he was flat on the concrete, screaming. So, just that whole perspective thing… sometimes, Rhema’s just a kid, you know? I can see one of my favorite little guys (there are 2 of them, brothers, ages 5 and 2) doing that too!

  7. I can not imagine the terror of seeing her with her precious little head stuck in the rungs of the chair and then discovering that you had no power to free her. She must have felt so powerless to have no words to communicate this unexpected experience. I am so thankful that the firefighters and paramedics responded quickly and with tenderness for Rhema. You and your beloved Rhema and her spunky sister Hope are in my prayers, as always, but definitely for a more peaceful week.

  8. Thank God for police, firefighters and EMT’s.

    I am so upset that, although I subcribe to your blog, I haven’t been getting updates. Praying for you all, Jeneil. God transcends time so the prayers are for yesterday, today and tomorrow. hugs, gail

  9. Oh dear…I can’t imagaine what it would feel like to deal with a life or death situation while ignoring your bursting bladder and then chat with the firemen. That, mama, is some serious multitasking talent! You should run for president! I’m so glad that Rhema’s OK…and that you didn’t pee on the fireman’s leg.

  10. Thank God Rhema ‘s ok and you were able to hold going to the bathroom. How sweet for Hope to thank the paramedics for saving her sister. May God continue to place His Angels around you when you go through trials like that. May His strength continue to strengthen you. :o)

  11. For some reason your blog isn’t coming through my feed any more. I missed this frightening story! SOOO thankful Rhema is ok and that you’ve since had many potty opportunities. Holding you in my heart.

  12. the life you live with your daughters always amazes me, God is using your family to teach us all very valuable lessons, thank you for being available to Him and sharing your life with the world.

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