The Wild Ride of January 24th, 2009

This is an older post that I wrote about two years ago.  January 24th is also the anniversary of the day that Larry and I met in Casper, Wyoming at a Corrosion Control Conference.  It’s been two years since the accident and 16 years since the day we met and yet both days seem like yesterday….

We discovered that my husband’s tumor had begun to grow back when he had a grand Mal seizure while driving us home from his parent’s house on January 24, 2009. The seizure started on County Farm Rd at the entrance to Pearl Lake. Larry’s right arm flew up and back, his head jerked back to the right and his face became very distorted. I could hear Larry try to tell me something, it sounded like, “okay.” I told Larry to pull over and hit the brake, instead his right foot pressed down fully onto the gas. I yelled repeatedly for him to hit the brake, but he couldn’t respond. He had lost consciousness, his eyes were rolled back, and his mouth was foamy.

Our seven-year-old son, Noah, was in the back seat. I could hear him screaming, “I’m scared! I’m scared!” We were headed toward a T-intersection across a highway/main street of Sheridan, MI, at 8:20-ish on a Saturday night, with the gas floored. My normal reaction to anything that I consider a crisis is to gasp and freeze. And what I consider a crisis starts pretty small – like something falling off the kitchen counter. I tell you this so that you see God in what happens next.

God told me to put the car in Park. I found out by watching Myth Busters the following Saturday night that that automatically puts the car in to neutral, which stops feeding gas to the engine.

I then grabbed the steering wheel and turned it to the right as hard and fast as I could. (“Jesus Take The Whee”l) The car finally turned to the right on the sidewalk in front of the building on the other side of the highway – a building that just happens to be a CHURCH. We missed a parked car and went back across the highway heading straight toward a very large tree in the front yard of a FUNERAL HOME.

Before we got to the tree we lightly struck a LIGHT POLE on the front passenger side, just enough to slow us down and we stopped about ten feet later.

The car was not hit hard enough to cause any airbags to go off – nothing hit Larry in the head.
Larry was buckled upright in his seat – he couldn’t fall over and hit his head.
Twice we were headed towards a head on collision – didn’t happen
We crossed a main street/highway twice on a Saturday night – no traffic and no pedestrians

I fished his cell phone from coat pocket, fortunately his right coat pocket, and called 911. I was able to tell them easily where we were and since we were still only a few miles from Larry’s parent’s house his father was able to come quickly to get Noah.

It took about 7 minutes for the ambulance and first responders to arrive. It was only about 1 minute or so before that that Larry woke up. Hearing Noah say, “Daddy I love you so much! Do you remember me?” Broke my heart.

When the ambulance did arrive, the EMTs were the same two women who’d taken us to Lansing the first time in November. I had to crawl out Larry’s side because my door wouldn’t open anymore. After they had him out and onto the stretcher one of them helped me out and when she saw me she said, “Oh I remember you, are you all right?” She opened her arms to me and held me while I cried. She already knew the first part of our story, God was holding out His arms.

I didn’t have my cell phone with me that night and Larry’s phone is filled with business contacts. The only personal phone number in there that I could find was our son, Drew, in Virginia. Our son, Wade, had changed his number the day before – not in there. Our son, Scott, had gotten a phone for Christmas, but it had never gotten programmed in. So the only one I could call was Drew. On the way to the hospital in the ambulance I called Drew and in a near hysterical state asked him to call everyone else for me. And he did. I didn’t know until the next day, but he’d even called my parents in Nebraska for me. He kept everyone updated for me. He’s actually better at that than anyone else in our whole family – even me. He once called us from Virginia to tell us that the high school gym was on fire. I can see the high school gym from my back door – didn’t know a thing!

I was praying all the way to the hospital that someone would be there, I so didn’t want to go through this alone. After we got there and I walked into the ER waiting room, our son Scott and his girlfriend Shanae (who had both been with us at Larry’s parent’s house, but left earlier than we did), and my friend Leslie were there. I went out to get a bottle of water from the vending machine and when I looked up our Pastor was there. A little while later our friends Chris and Tara came to the ER to see how things were going. Chris is an ER Dr. and the one who initially diagnosed the tumor. It was his night off, but he was there. We’re never alone, God is always with us.

The EMTs that took us to Lansing were both Christians and the driver has a son who is a miracle survivor of a heart birth defect. The night nurse in the Neuro ICU was a Christian and one of the few nurses who will pray with her patients. She prayed with us at 1:30am, before she even had Larry hooked up to the monitors. I got to stay with Larry the entire time. Not one nurse made me leave at night.

Every nurse we had was a Christian, the anesthesiologist was a Pastor’s son. Everyone who came in work with or treat Larry left with a bigger smile and a lighter heart than when they came in.

We know that God was telling us that Larry’s tumor was growing back and needed to come out again. It was beginning to grow closer to the right motor strip which could cause weakness or paralysis on the right side. When the surgeon was telling us this Jesus told me, “I’m at My Father’s right side, everything is going to be okay.”

God is so amazing. He is in every detail of our lives and He loves us so much.

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