Sunday 11am & 6pm
Shady Grove Church
3805 Carpenter Pond Road
Durham, North Carolina 27703
Present Day Miracle
God is Good!!!
God is still in the miracle business. We often read of all the miracles that Jesus performed while he was on earth but we never get to see one before our own eyes. Brian is a testimony that we serve a living God who can still perform miracles today.
It all began on the morning of December 21st, with a two-car collision. Brian sustained significant injuries from the double impact. He was struck in the driver’s side then projected off the road and then collided with 3 trees. One of the first-responders to the crash did not think Brian would survive based on what he saw at the scene. Brian had a blank stare and was unresponsive.
By the time he arrived at the ER, he had come around and was able to tell the medical team his name but had trouble breathing due to his injuries. Brian was rushed to surgery, which turned out to be an all day ordeal. He had injuries throughout his body which included: a severe break in the right femur, fracture of left hip, fracture of left foot, severe breaks to left ribs 3 through 8, lacerated left kidney, severe laceration to left lung, large tear in diaphragm, heart that ripped though its protective sack, leaky abdominal organs. And later to find out, he suffered a bleed in his brain along with diffuse injury throughout his brain.
Brian had profuse bleeding that was difficult to control during surgery; he received over 80 units of blood products and about drained the hospital’s blood supply. We were told that surgery was over and Brian would soon be in the ICU but things turned for the worse. His heart could not function under the stress of injuries sustained to it and his lungs. We were given two choices: do nothing and Brian would die or place him on a heart lung bypass machine (ECHMO) that would assist in oxygenating his blood and give his heart the rest it needed to recover. This had not been used in a trauma patient before. Choosing this option had a potential catch; it required blood thinners, which may cause Brian to bleed to death. This was especially risky due to the severity of his bleeding and that most of his internal organs were leaking blood. The risk of bleeding in his brain was also possible. At this time we did not know he had any brain injury or brain bleeding because those studies could not be done due to the urgency in his situation.
Brian was placed on the ECHMO and made it out of surgery. He did not have any bleeding until the 3rd day, which was Wednesday December 23rd. That day they were giving him blood to get his volume up to see if he could survive off the ECHMO, by the end of the day they had given him quite a bit of blood but his blood counts were not improving in comparison. Then they noticed that some of incisions were leaking blood and his urine was becoming bloodier. The blood thinner had to be stopped but he was not quite ready to come off the ECHMO. They said he had maybe 12 hours before the ECHMO had to be removed because it could cause a clot to go to his brain, heart or lungs without the blood thinner.
Since Brian had all the bleeding, they had to do some studies to see if he had an active bleed that needed to be repaired. They could not use a dye during the studies, which would give them the most information, because his kidneys were not working well and the dye would probably cause them to quit working. On the scan, they did not see any evidence that would indicate profuse active bleed but did notice that he had sustained a bleed in the front portion of his brain during the accident and that he had other injuries throughout his brain but could not tell the exact degree.
Thursday December 24th, Brian had to be taken off the ECHMO machine and hopefully his heart had recovered enough for him to survive. I had to make the decision not to do CPR if his heart did not work because of all the injury to his heart and severe broken ribs; would have tortured him and he most likely would not have survived CPR.
Brian made it off the ECHMO and was put on 4 medications to support his blood pressure along with a gas that was hooked up to his ventilator to help ease the pressure his heart had to pump against into his lungs. Within 48hours, he had been weaned off the blood pressure supporting medications and about off the gas.
Over the next couple of weeks Brian had two more surgeries to close up his abdomen, repair his broken femur and evaluate his other broken bones along with placing a feeding tube and a trache in his throat to make the ventilating and weaning from the ventilator easier in the future. Neurology was consulted to evaluate his brain injuries. They placed a drain and monitor in his brain to measure the pressures and an MRI was done to look at his brain injury. The MRI let us know that the brain was not starved for oxygen during surgery or from the brain bleed.
At this time, Brian was not on any type of sedative type medications yet he was not waking up nor responding well to the doctors and nurses even with painful stimuli. Other tests were performed to look at his brain function and he was also placed on dialysis for about a week to help remove the toxins from his body.
Brian started to come around a little bit but not to the degree the neurologist expected at this time, approximately 3 weeks out. The neurologist said in a solemn voice that if we needed anything let him know and that he would pray for us.
God’s divine hand throughout all the above events are so numerous to mention all of them in such a short summary but some are listed below. So many prayers were offered on Brian’s behalf across the country. I envisioned God holding Brian in the palm of his hand from the beginning until this very day. God handpicked each individual who took care of Brian. Several of his doctors were God fearing individuals and continually prayed for him and our family. His trauma surgeon quoted me Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” The first responder to the scene of the accident ended up being my parent’s neighbor and met us just a few months prior at our yard sale. Brian ended up at a hospital that had ECHMO machines and willing to try one in a trauma patient. Brian survived having his heart ripped through the lining that protects it; which his doctor said he had not seen someone survive before. The bleeding from the blood thinner did not begin until his heart had time to recover. He did not have any further bleeding in his brain from the blood thinners. During his abdominal surgery repair the doctor was able to close his belly without using any type of artificial material, which most likely would have required future surgeries and problems. One of his nurses was praying for Brian at her church but did not know it was him she was praying for until she was his nurse and we started talking. The day of the accident, a friend of mine called her friend who worked at the hospital to have her check on me. The next morning when she found me, it turned out that she was supposed to be Brian’s nurse prior to him being placed on the ECHMO. She was very helpful at just the right time. Brian developed pneumonia while on the ventilator with two different types of bacteria. Both bacteria were very susceptible to antibiotics, which does not happen often due to the particular bacteria and setting. Everyday Brian moved a step forward and never took a turn in the wrong direction. Brian’s family managed to get plane tickets at a moments notice at a very reasonable price, 3 days before Christmas. Family and friends were off of work to care for our children and help in many ways during the critical days.
Brian stayed in the hospital for 4.5 weeks and then went to a neurocare unit for 4 weeks and then to rehab for 2 weeks. After 74 days, he is home and will go to outpatient therapy. God has given Brian a very rapid recovery, especially with his brain. Based on a hopeful prognosis from his brain injuries, I was had told that by next New Year’s 2011 he would maybe be back to “normal”. Today, you would never know that he has suffered a brain injury. God had moved that time line up by more than nine months.
During this trying time, God always provided the strength, peace and comfort that I needed at just the right moment. I could hear him speaking to me through His word, other people and through songs on the radio. I give God all the praise and credit for Brian’s recovery. There is so much more than the summary of events listed above that God has done in our lives through this event. Here are a few of the Bible verses God showed me at just the moment I needed them.
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Philippians 4:6
Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
…”With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:9
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
We know that God is real and he is around us but we often don’t get to see him working and performing miracles right before our eyes. I have had the blessing of getting to see him work in me and in those I love. I have never been so close to God in all my life. My prayer for each person that reads this short summary of events; is that you will want to know more about God and choose to have that personal relationship with Jesus.
Brian February 21, 2010 [9 weeks after his accident]