JOY STORY #23
At the beginning of the year – January 1981, my Daddy and brother went hunting with a group of men and their sons. The hunt had come to an end and my daddy was in his boat heading back to the landing. There were a few of the sons riding in a boat coming quickly around a corner and didn’t have enough time to stop when they crashed into my dad’s boat. His body was slumped over the edge of his boat, head in the water. He could have drowned but the boys pulled him out of the water and packed his head with their t-shirts. I never really got the full story of what happened, but it was obvious, their boat actually hit my dad’s head.
They rushed him to ER in New Iberia, which quickly changed, moving him to a hospital in Lafayette. I’m not sure if he was taken by air-med or ambulance. Those details are kind of fuzzy! All I know is that we got a call, informing us that he was in a coma in Intensive Care. Any plans we would have had didn’t matter anymore. We all made our way to the hospital. After talking to doctors, my mom was told that he would probably not survive the brain injuries. The damage to his brain would be so severe; if he woke from the coma, they were sure he would stay in a vegetative state, unable to recognize anyone. They even told her to prepare for a funeral, because the outcome was not good.
I was a very new Christian at the time and I wanted so much for God to do a miracle. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to my daddy. A few weeks after being in the hospital, he developed pneumonia. That would probably lead to his death. I was crying out to God, asking Him to heal my dad of pneumonia.
R.W. Shambach was ministering in Lafayette that particular week. I took my little baby, 5-month-old Bonnie, diaper bag in tow and went to the meeting. When Brother Shambach offered to pray over a cloth of some kind to bring back to a sick loved one, I pulled out a cloth diaper. I was sure that if I believed God, he would heal my dad. After he prayed over the diaper, I tucked it away. In my heart, I knew that if I laid the cloth diaper on my dad, he would be healed. I didn’t tell anyone what I was doing because I didn’t want them to cause me to doubt. The next day, I took the cloth and laid it on my dad, asking God to heal him of pneumonia. A few days later, mom called to say that they were moving him to his own room. Pneumonia had cleared up. TYJ!!! The doctors still said we should place him in a nursing home because he would never be able to function normally again.
Throughout this tragedy, I witnessed more than just that one miracle. The greatest and most touching miracle was how my mother stayed by my dad’s side, doing everything to make him comfortable. She meant what she said when she said: “I DO!” Keeping her vow, “in sickness and in health,” she took care of him for 27 years after the accident, never quitting, even when it was difficult. My daddy did wake up from the coma and was not left in a vegetative condition. It was a long road to recovery, but he eventually became fully aware of his surroundings, recognizing all of his children and grandchildren.
I am so thankful for parents who loved each other and their children. We were blessed to have my dad for the extra years God gave us! It’s amazing that he survived such a terrible tragedy! To God be the Glory!
Living in HIS Joy!