Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Christmas Miracle

This is NOT a gaming post, but it's to let you all know what I've been up to and why I've been posting so infrequently.  And there's a little bit of the weird/unexplained about it, so who knows, it could maybe provide a bit of inspiration for something in a game.

On Dec. 2nd, my sister and her family were in a car accident.  My brother-in-law and his father (who was driving) suffered some minor injuries, while my two nephews, Ben (10) and Brian (7), both were badly hurt.  Ben suffered a broken hip-bone and some lacerations.  Brian had a serious head injury.

Ben made a speedy recovery.  Last week while I was visiting, he was mobile (we went bowling even!) and in good spirits.  The doctors say he's fine, he just needs a bit of PT to get back full mobility.

Brian, however, was close to death several times.  On the night of the accident, the doctors say if he had gotten to the hospital 30 minutes later, he would have died.  They thought he wouldn't make it through that first weekend, but he did.  Two weeks after the crash, the swelling had gone down enough that they could remove some of the monitoring equipment and take a full MRI of his brain.  One of the doctors thought the damage to his brain stem was so severe that he had 0 chance of recovery, and would likely die if taken off the respirator.

My sister and her husband made the painful choice that being in a coma on life support was not a life, and decided to have the respirator turned off.  But Brian didn't die.  He was breathing on his own.  Still, the doctors said Brian wasn't likely to live out more than a week.  I was making my travel plans about this time.

I arrived in Statesboro, GA on Dec. 26th in the evening, and word was that Brian was doing fine.  The next morning I went to see him, and walked into his hospice room to find him with eyes open, looking around at people, and perhaps trying to recognize me (I hadn't seen him in person since he was only 1 year old).  He was making gurgling/humming noises.  If someone called to him, he would turn his head or eyes in their direction.  If you took his hand, he would squeeze it, if weakly.  These were all things the docs had thought he'd NEVER be able to do because of the brain stem injury. 

That day, the doctors examined him again, and recommended moving him out of hospice and back to the hospital in Savannah.  That afternoon he was moved.  We spent the afternoon/evening with Ben, taking him to a comic shop, book store, bowling, IHOP, etc.

Wednesday we drove down to Savannah and had more good news.  The doctors were going to do surgery to replace the piece of skull they'd removed when his head was swollen.  When he recovers from that, he will be admitted into a rehabilitation hospital in Atlanta (where they live now).  He'll get PT, speech therapy, everything he needs to regain as much functionality as he can.  I'm praying for a full recovery, and so are thousands more. 

OK, here's the weird part.  Wed. evening, at dinner (I flew out Thurs. morning, so this was the last I saw them for this trip), my sister told me this.  On the night of the crash, she never lost consciousness.  Their car had been hit from the side and flipped over, and they were all trapped inside.  Another car came by and stopped, and a young petite woman was trying to help get them out, but was too small.  Both she and my sister remember there were suddenly three or four people dressed like EMTs who showed up, and helped get them out of the car.  When the ambulances showed up, those helpers were nowhere to be found.  My sister and the woman who helped think they were guardian angels.

One of the other cars to arrive on the scene shortly after the wreck was a man who IS an EMT, although off duty.  He had forgotten to buy something for his wife, and was taking a different way home than normal, and passed the accident scene.  This man called for airlift helicopters for the boys before the ambulances arrived - something that normally only the ambulance EMTs can do.  That saved Brian's life that night. 

So even if there were no guardian angels, just some good Samaritans who somehow managed to slip quietly away after helping, I think we still witnessed a miracle this past month.  Brian is not only alive, but he's recovering from injuries that the doctors thought were irrecoverable.


  1. Very, very glad to hear things turned out well. I had two friends, one from a car accident pass in December.

  2. That is indeed a miracle my friend, God bless and I pray for your family's continued health and well being.

  3. Sorry to hear about the accident, but glad things are looking up.

  4. God bless. I went through a terrifying experience last night that made me believe as well. Who knows?

  5. All my best to you and your family. My sister-in-law had almost the exact same experience about 10 years ago. She also was in a coma after severe head injuries from a car accident and the nurses and doctors kept telling us that we needed to prepare for the eventuality that she would never wake up again.

    She's now married and has graduated both high school and college since then. It's good to try to be realistic , but you have to temper that with faith.

    Best of luck. Glad to hear that things are looking up.

  6. Great news after terrible news. Merry Christmas, LG.

  7. Sorry to hear about this. Hope he's able to make a full recovery.

  8. I wish them both a fast and happy recovery. Thanks Dennis for sharing this miraculous story with us.

  9. Update - Ben, the older brother, is fully recovered (as are his father and grandfather).

    Brian is now at Scottish Rite Children's Hospital of Atlanta, and is on the road to recovery. For the past week he's been over-performing on all of his various therapy goals.

    Of course, no one knows how far he'll go but we're all praying for a full recovery. It's gonna be a long time, though.

    Thanks everyone!