The year was 1998, seems ages ago, maybe because I’m closer to 40 at this time in my life! During this time my life was full of promise and opportunity. I had just graduated a year early from high school, had my soccer jersey retired, and received college scholarships, and wanted to be the next Billy Graham of evangelism. To say I was goal oriented would be a huge understatement.
The summer of that year was going along as planned; working two jobs and preparing to go to a well respected Christian college that coming fall. You might say things were going smoothly.
1…2…3… That is all it took for those plans to go up in smoke. Going home from work from my second job a dump truck driver decided that rather than break on a hill and check for traffic it was late enough that he could pull out onto the main road without looking! The next sound was that of a small convertible hitting a rear axel of loaded down dump truck! (The following are mostly third person accounts from other witnessed; I was conscious, but delirious)
While the truck driver walked to make a call, as I choked on my own blood, a nursing couple nearby had heard the commotion, and thankfully proceeded to save my life. I once wrote a brief note thanking them; to this day I do not know if they received it, but if by some chance they happen to read this THANK YOU!
They were able to stabilize me till the ambulance came. I vaguely remember that ride, the shaking, noise, and sense of urgency. Once I got to the ER the doctors starting working; because as my father put it, “you walked in a literally cook see my brain through my crushed skull.” I had my father, mother, and two nurses hold me down for roughly 51/2 hours. Due to the type of injury they were not able to completely sedate me. My personal memories of this time are vague to say the least, but they are full of pain, confusion, and wanting to leave.
Once I was done in the E.R. I was moved to I.C.U. and watched over constantly. The medical staff did not want me to slip into a coma. Again the memories of this are partial to none.
The next step was to do reconstructive surgery for the front portion of my skull. Though we (my family) had no idea the journey, or what it even meant I had a Traumatic Brain Injury!
From there I was moved to the top floor of MCV medical center. This floor was where those who weren’t going to make it were placed. The doctor informed my parents that I would either die or remain in a vegetative state.
The year that started with opportunity and promise had ended in despair and confusion. The journey that followed is full of twists and turns. However, as I continue the story keep this in mind Hebrews 13:5b “for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” This principle is important! God promises to be with us He doesn’t promise to make it easy, He doesn’t promise it’ll all make sense right away! His promise is to be there. I can promise even as I write this I cannot tell you what the end of the journey will, but I do know that Jesus is and has always been with me ever since I accepted Him as my savior.