Our Journey

Welcome to the new home of the Mackall Family Journey!  If you are new to the family of followers, we welcome you to our story.  For those of you who have been with us since January, we appreciate you visiting us here, as well as Caring Bridge.

Our journey began like any other journey - with a beginning.  A family, living the fast paced life of two working parents, on opposite shifts, three children with multiple activities and sports, and a spousal relationship built on a foundation of text messages and quick phone calls.  Add to that mix that one of those parents is a police officer, with an ever changing schedule, trainings, and court dates, and it leads to a family often managed by one parent.

On January 2, 2012, Officer Frank Mackall was on duty, driving to assist his partner on a call.  His car hit a patch of black ice, spun out of control, and slammed into a tree.  Another one of his partners was quickly at the scene, and after Frank was airlifted to the hospital, we were notified about Frank's accident.

What followed was an unprecedented outpouring of support, prayer, love and guidance.  For us, it was our first true experience with the thin blue line of law enforcement family membership.  For those around us, it was an opportunity to see law enforcement at its best, surrounding a family at it's lowest point.

Many changes have occurred since that night so many months ago - Frank is home, and continues to recover from his injuries.  Our family is learning to live with a different Frank, one focused on recovery, and driven forward by his strength and determination to return to his work family.  A Frank that gets frustrated by his every changing cognitive abilities, and by what he views as weakness from parts of his body that he has always been able to depend on in the past.

We welcome you to our world - a world that has survived an intense trauma, brought us moments of pure terror, and countless memories of joy, hope and honor driven compassion.

21 thoughts on “Our Journey

  1. doreen nolan

    lisa, i a pete's mom and i read every word i can about frank and how you yourself are doing. my love and prayers are sent to you each and every day. i have read of franks progress and your pain. you have all come through so much and have more to deal wit h. i play words with friends with frankie everyday and keep challenging him. i love this guy as if he were my own. i think that in the times he brought you to our home you could see what he meant to us. l want you to know that i feel like his second mom and i will always be here for you as well. tell him that i am still waiting for new pictures of the kids. your friend and frankies other mother, doreen

    1. LisabethMackall

      Post author

      Hello Pete's Mom!! Such a pleasure to hear from you. Thank you for playing Words with Friends with Frank. I always know when he is playing you from the cussing in the bedroom :) Each game makes him think and helps his recovery. I hope you like the new website, let me know what you think would make it better.

  2. Tana Kes

    I am officially on board on oyur website. Looking forward to reading your posts. When is the Neuro testing? Your family is in my prayers.

    1. LisabethMackall

      Post author

      Thank you so much for your post. Neuro testing is February 20th, and we appreciate all of the prayers. Thank you for your support. We wouldn't be where we are today without it. Lisa

  3. LaDonna Joseph

    My daughter was diagnosied with Psuedo Tumor Ceribri eight years ago, she was 23. She makes to much spinal fluid, putting to much pressure on the brain, and everything in it, including her optic nerves, causing blindness in the left eye and partial in the right eye. She has had 32 surgeries, just had her 97th spinal tap, staph infections, MRSA, and just diagnoised with her second round with menegitis, viral this time. Also just finshed a bout of "blood poisioning", being septic. She is dependent on narcotics. She hasn't had a brain injury like Frank's, but her personality has changed, just as if she had an injury. I will be following and trying to get support from others that are going through this too.

    1. LisabethMackall

      Post author

      LaDonna - You have such a strong daughter to have gone through so many changes and surgeries. I know that any brain injury, medical, physical or chemical, can cause changes that affect our loved ones and the way that they used to be. I pray for continued strength for all of your family. I will be posting a meeting date as soon as I find a location. I hope that you will come.

  4. Frank and Lisa, I know last year you allowed me to take Frank out of the hospital to take him to my office to shoot some Laser Shot involving video scenarios and hand eye challenges. But im here to ask for a real challenge, LETS GO SHOOT and challenge each other again! We can do both video and live fire at the office. Im waiting for an acceptance!!!!

  5. Christina DiPietro-Sokol

    Hello Lisabeth, my name is Chrissy DiPietro-Sokol, and I am the sister of deceased PO Christopher DiPietro, here in Philly. I found your name and story through Mr. Robert Douglas, with the National Police Suicide Foundation. I am inspires by the work you and your family is doing and would love to further discuss your ministry.

    I met Robert at a local conference and he thought that we should connect and chat about the work we are doing in Law Enforcement in our areas. Please feel free to contact me at your convienence. My email is CDiPSokol@yahoo.com

    I look forward to chatting with you!
    Sincerely,
    Chrissy

  6. I had a great time meeting and visiting with you in Outing yesterday. I read 4 chapters of your book last night and it brought back lots of memories for me. I also caught that AJ has a birthday on January 30 and my grandson RJ has the same birthday. Lots of other points where we have common ground. Will follow up on the ideas we talked about yesterday.
    Thanks again.

  7. Brian Wondra

    I am a disabled Scott County sheriff's deputy, and this is my story in a capsulated version.
    On 8-25-1997, I responded to an alarm, lights and siren, per our department policy. It was just after 5:00 p.m. during rush hour traffic, and I was entering the intersection of two major highways when a semi-truck, traveling 50 mph, slammed into the driver's door of my squad car. I had to be cut from the wreckage and air lifted to the HCMC trauma center in Minneapolis. I was later told that no one at the crash scene believed I would survive my injuries, which were 6 ribs broken front and back that caused a flail chest and enabled a rib to puncture one of my lungs. My other lung had collapsed. I had a head/brain injury, a broken jaw from my ear to my chin, internal bleeding and a neck injury.
    I later found out that an ambulance paramedic performed a procedure on me, which he had never before done in his paramedic career. Because both of my lungs were down, he cut me open in order to insert a chest tube to drain the blood from one of my lungs keeping me alive until the helicopter arrived.
    I was later told by two HCMC surgeons that I should not have survived the flight to the trauma center. I was also told I should have died two more times while I was in intensive care. While in the ICU, I developed blood poisoning from the many blood transfusions I received, and later I contracted pneumonia.
    I had to undergo physical, occupational and speech therapy. Because of my brain injury, I basically had to learn how to take care of myself again, which meant being taught such things as how to use a knife in the kitchen and so forth. I had to build stamina and do exercises for my neck and spine. During speech therapy, I was taught how to form certain words because I had trouble speaking.
    The accident devastated my life. I had anger issues, which I was told were due to my head injury. Those anger issues cost me my marriage and family.
    I had neck surgery, which wasn't successful, so, because of that, every eight weeks I get 37 shots of Myobloc in my neck, behind my ears and in the back of my head. The shots are painful, but they are supposed to help me be able to swallow. Even after years of receiving the shots every eight weeks, I still often choke on food.
    Although Frank worked for a police department located within Scott County, I never met him because my career ended before he became a City of Savage police officer. However, Frank and I are brothers. We are family linked together by a thin blue line. His pain is my pain, and I sincerely hope he can fully recover and get back to being a fully functional police officer again.

  8. Trina Bradlee

    I am a brain injury survivor, and I have a support group, through Facebook, of other survivors. I've just shared a link to your page. Thank you for creating it! Trina C. Bradlee

  9. Leonda Gottwald

    I just wanted to say Thanks for coming to the conference for REM and Brain Injury Specialists! It was very helpful and informative. On a personal note-your story brought back a lot of memories for me..my husband was in a car accident in 2002 and I remember feeling exactly what you felt. We were not married at the time, but it still was difficult. He is doing very well compared to their prognosis at the time.

  10. Christian Dobratz

    My thoughts and prayers are with you all. I am a medically retired police officer and had my career taken at the 18 year mark. I am fortunate that new paths opened and I now teach collegiate LE students so I able to still be involved. Never give up, never stop forging new roads, new memories, and new experiences.

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