Here is one of my closest near death experiences that I’ve ever had. I’ve had many, but this one had me in the hospital for 9 days of intense care, and many pints of blood later. Makes you think about life after death, doesn’t it?
The story begins with an argument with my boss, as we normally meet in a grocery store parking lot so I wouldn’t have to take my bike through rush hour traffic in the morning, and if you know anything about Georgia the drivers in this state can’t drive. Also, this time of year in October the mornings are bitter cold when you are flying down the road on a motorcycle. Between those too facts about it being unsafe and cold outside, I didn’t want to ride further then I had to on my bike but I neglected to argue as he was more persistent than I wanted to be 5am in the morning.
Motorcycle Accident That Nearly Killed Me!
I make it down 400 which is a wide open express way for me then exit off on hwy-20, but this highway is nearly stop and go at some points. It opens up a little and now the traffic is flowing about 50mph then the car in front of me turns into the right turning lane, I continue straight… I watch a guy at the street light hesitate as if he were to make his left hand turn in front of me but didn’t move. After I had thought he didn’t go cause he didn’t see me I proceeded to continue my speed at around 45-50mph then as soon as I’m about to pass him, he darted in front of me as if waiting for the guy in the turning lane to finish his turn. Completely stuck in this brief moment of time…
I had 3 options: one, I could lean hard to the left and try to go around him but heading towards oncoming traffic, two I could lean a fast right and somehow squeeze inbetween these 2 cars and not hit anything, or finally three I could hit the guy who’s fault it was that I died! Of course I thought I was going to die, who survives a crash going at that speed then hitting a stopped metal object with no protection other than a jacket and a helmet?
Needless to say, I had a split second to decide and knowing I was going down in that split second I slammed on my brakes and went for the guy who caused this accident. That way the blood would be on his hands and not somebody who was completely innocent of this. The next thing I remember is that I’m laying in the middle of the street with my leg wrapped like a pretzel next to my shoulder some how or another. It was very serious but I was pumped full of adrenaline and could only think about not making it to work for a while cause I just broke my leg. It didn’t bother me so much that is was broke in a few places, suppose it really never dawned on me.
Near Death Experience
The moment after, a women came running to me and kneeled down, then grabbed my hand. She said, “squeeze my hand I know it hurts”. Well, I never really did squeeze her hand. Only enough to let her know that I heard her cause I didn’t want to break her hand haha. At this point I start calling out to Jesus.. I said “Jesus, Jesus”. Though I didn’t say it loud enough so the women in her mid-twenties asked me what I said and probably wasn’t deaf so I yelled “JESUS”…
Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved – Joel 2:32
Going to fast forward here for a brief second, but I promise to come back. In the hospital I received a letter from this young women. It said that because of my faithfulness to Jesus in calling out for Him, that it brought her to realize that she needed to get right with God. At that very moment I called for Jesus, she started praying. Then later I was told she was trying to let me fall asleep but… the next person on the scene was a nurse, and this nurse forbid that from happening.
Within a few minutes, I heard my phone ringing. It was my dad or aka boss, yes it was my dad I was arguing with about driving through this traffic. Bless his heart as I’m sure he was trying to hold onto this blame for me getting in an accident. I had the phone over to the women holding my hand and then soon after my dad shows up. Shows up to see his son, lying on the asphalt with a mutilated leg. Gives me this look like I’m going to die, (even as I write this I tear up cause its burned in my skull). Once I saw his face, reality somehow meet my adrenaline and I began to tear up at this point. Now I wonder as well if I’m going to live, cause of the dreadful look.
Life After Death Is A Serious Question
Moments later, I hear the sweet, sweet sound of an ambulance. I had no idea that the siren would be such a beautiful sounding orchestra to my ears, but it was… I then woke up in the hospital, and for a brief moment, a really brief moment I thought it was a terrible dream. I was quickly mistaken when I felt the pain and saw all the metal bars sticking out of my leg. I had felt my worst nightmare come true, that I’d never be able to walk again or do any more of my extreme sports and live the normal life as Justin. At this point when I woke up they had four doctors put my leg back together so I wouldn’t bleed to death. Then I get another surgery a couple days later. Found out later from my family that they were talking about chopping my leg off but didn’t have to.
For these nine days in intense care I was on dilaudid pump(some drug 5xtimes stronger than morphine). But when they took me off the drug, they also had a nurse shift change. Problem being is that I didn’t see a nurse for the next 4hrs and was already 3hrs over due on my pain pills. My leg was rebuilt, with a rod, plate, screws and a bone graph (somebody else’s bone) as I had shattered my femur in over 25 places(they stopped counting). Needless to say this tough boy is screaming bloody murder for quiet some time! Finally a nurse comes in.. She opens her mouth but English doesn’t come out, I try to send for medication then what seems like an eternity, she finally comes back. The nurse pulls out this big needle and in her broken English asks me to some how roll over so I can have this “One Time” dose injected in my rear, I declined as something told me that drug was not for me!
I started praying and I called my pastor, and 2 friends to also pray as this paid was indescribable. At around midnight the pastor and friends arrive and before they walk into my room I feel a sweeping presence of peace. I’m finally able to withstand the pain. We all prayed, and I knew the Lord had relieved me of this pain and that he much desired to take the pain away.
Fast forward a about one month… I realize I’m about to claim bankruptcy cause we both had minimum coverage which only covers $25,000 of all my bills. The hospital bill is $115,000 + doctor’s $30,000, of course a 19 yr/old can’t pay this, so once again I pray. Well one week before Christmas I get this letter in the mail. My grandma who was taking care of me came into the room crying. She said ” oh honey”.. then proceeded to read the letter. It said “You owe us $0.00 dollars”, the hospital wiped their bill, 115 thousand dollars paid for in full! I do not know who, but I know how it was paid. It was because of prayer that I was set free from this. It was because of my Jesus!
For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. – Isaiah 44:3
Well fast forward again… Another few months later I had sever pain in my knee. It would lock up in a bent position and I couldn’t move it down. Regardless that I couldn’t walk and had to use a walker to get anywhere, but now I had server pain in my knee. Well, I went to the doctor and he said it was cartilage that it would work itself out but it never did. It got worse in fact and it felt like a knife was in my knee cap and I don’t wish that pain on anybody! Sometimes I could get my knee to move down other times I couldn’t and would have to prop my knee up in bed and just lay there for hours on end, sometimes for a couple days. Though its not like it mattered, as I was bed ridden for 6 months. No bath, very few visits, not much of anything to look forward to. Those were really dark times in my life but what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.
Well two weeks of this pain in my knee, I finally went to another doctor and he said it was bone against bone. Of course with something like that you have to get surgery so the next day I got scope surgery where they drill on your knee cap, but while under anesthesia or completely knocked out, the doctor forced all his weight on my leg to see how far I could bend it. Then after the surgery, he said to me “I’m sorry Justin, but you will never walk up stairs”. I’m hard headed and already know the God I serve can do whatever He pleases so I ignore him and hobble away on my walker to return one month later for a check up.
For one month, I continue to pray and pray. I wasn’t about to let that doctor’s words get the best of me. I continue to do my physical therapy like I had been, but also I was praying while in my sessions and throughout the days and nights over my knee. The doctor visit was due and I showed up ready to hear something better than before. I acted on faith, before the results were in I believed. He measured my knee again after taking some ex-rays and noticed I had gained 25-35 degrees in my bending ability which was keeping me from ever being able to walk up stairs. He looked at me and said “That is impossible! What are you doing? Praying?”. I laughed, knowing that my God just did the impossible once again and responded with “Yes, that’s exactly what I’m doing”.
Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.” – Luke 18:27
Then a few months later, I had to pay the remainder of my bills. Well God bless my grandma cause she was an accountant! The doctor sent a bill saying they’d half one of the bills if we put it on their payment plan. Well grandma took advantage of that and went down to their office. While she was down there I remember praying and I’m sure she did as well. Wisdom was freely given that day to her and she asked if they’d apply that 50% off on both of the bills. The combined costs of both of the bills were around $25,000 or so. Then they agreed to give her that deal. Well, grandma then asked what interests rates were on the payment plan. They told her then grandma asked for that percent to be taken off the total price if she would pay it all in full right then and there! So, guess what happened? Yup, the clerk thought about it, said “it makes sense”, asked the manager and they agreed. Cutting the bill down dramatically another 16% I believe.
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. – James 1:5
Well not long after all this, I get a message from somebody. Though I don’t remember who as I was still on a lot of pain meds at this point, but the message I got was that my lawyer didn’t want any of the money! Another miracle in itself. If you don’t think so, ask yourself how many lawyers have you heard of ever in their life worked for free?
Things are starting to look up for me, though I’m still on my walker 6 months later I now realize I won’t be broke as I paid of my grandma and all my bills then put money $10,000 in the bank to start my life over again. Yes I’d have to get a career change because working in construction would require me to crawl around on my knees a lot but I will play the hand that has been dealt.
Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. – Psalm 112:3
I was able to move around a little better on my walker so I began going to this big church in Alpharetta. Still praying hard as I had another issue that needed to be dealt with. I had drop foot, and completely unable to lift my foot up so it would drag the ground without a plastic thing in my shoe holding it up. Needless to say that thing was extremely uncomfortable! Also if anybody has ever had nerve damage it is extremely painful when the nerves start coming back. To touch the top of my foot with anything other than a cotton ball felt like somebody taking a taser with 100volts and shocking me for fun, though it wasn’t fun for me.
During this time I started to pray more for my foot and it started to hurt even more in the upcoming weeks. My nerves were coming back! Even though the doctor, haha yes doctor said I only had a 50% chance that I’d be able to walk without that piece of plastic. Well 50% chance is a lot better than never like he had said before! But in any case after all that I had seen I prayed and God showed up. Within a few months I went from walker to cane then to no AFO brace. The 8th month I was walking without support of tools provided by man. Though my foot had a slight drop in it, I still believed in full recovery and to this day I have no problem.
If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer. – Matthew 21:22
I know this took me 5 years to write this up but I just want to be clear that I no longer have any need to goto the doctor. I very rarely have any problems with my leg, and in fact I have spent 1 year working night shift standing 12hrs a night. Not much of a career change but God is opening many doors for me and that won’t remain much longer. I am the servant of the King of kings and Lord of lords even though there is pain in the world I still love my Lord because He first loved me.
(Update) August 2011, I finally was able to start jogging this month. I trained by running once each week then just the other day I turned on a GPS app called (Run Keeper) and achieved my first mile jog! Though I didn’t stop. I pushed myself and ended at 2 miles in less than 30 minutes. God is still good!
Please comment and let me know if you think God is a good God. We may face many trials and defeats but has prayer helped you get through hard times?