God works in mysterious ways. I think most folks have heard that at least once in their lifetime from a parent or a pastor. I have seen God work miracles both large and small in my lifetime. I have never once questioned a miracle that I witnessed. Why? Faith. My faith in God took root when I was only 4 years old on our farm. We had a cow that was paralyzed in the rear limbs due to a rough delivery of a baby calf. She was down for a few days and she could not nurse her calf. Dad had to milk her while she was laying down and then bottle fed the vital colostrum to the calf. Dad discussed euthanizing the cow with my mom and I overheard this conversation. It brought me to tears. I did not want the baby calf to go on without a mother. I could not imagine it. I ran out of the house and came to the side of the momma cow and I laid my hand on her and prayed for God to heal her. Well…she got up…right then and there. It was awesome and I went running back to the house screaming in joy to my parents that she was up and she was okay. I do not know how many years she stayed with our herd after that. I do know that my parents both recognized it as a miracle of God.
I work in veterinary medicine and I will admit that cows with acute onset paralysis from dystocia can sometimes suddenly recover, however, it is rare. Does this make the miracle a non-miracle? If one has no faith in God and the healing power of Jesus Christ, sure you can dismiss it as purely a fluke, a medical recovery. However, one who has faith and stood there as a witness would not dismiss this event as anything less than a miracle of God.
Fast forward about 37 years and we arrive at August 12, 2017. Holly, Sam, and I were moving into our new home on Creekside street in San Antonio. We had been living in College Station and decided to move back to San Antonio so that I could be close to Sam during his high school years. We brought with us a Murphy bed. For anyone who does not know, a Murphy bed is a bed that attaches to a wall and folds straight up parallel with the wall when not being used. I had assembled that bed only once before about 4 years prior when Holly and I were first married and had moved into a home together.
The entire summer of 2017 was consumed with much work and preparation for this move to San Antonio. I was being quite a grouch that day. I was weary and had been working hard. We all had been working hard. I had enlisted Holly and Sam to help position and mount the heavy bed frame into its place on the two spring loaded steel arms which control the lowering and raising of the bed.
I was being a cowboy and not being safe. The bed was finally mounted on the guide bolts of the spring-loaded steel levers. I was dangerously crouched over the spring-loaded steel arm on the left side of the bed.
I thought the guide bolts would hold everything in place while I inserted the mounting bolts. I took a bad risk. The weight of the bed was unbalanced on my side because I was squatted inside and on the frame with all my 240lbs. This unbalance eventually made the frame shift downward and that is when the steel lever dislodged and hit me in the face. It was just like lightning at close range. A flash with an immediate BANG! I saw blood and clutched my face.
I was bleeding everywhere and cursing like a sailor. Holly ushered me to the kitchen where we had water, ice, and towels. She saw the wound and it was bad. She said we had to leave for the ER immediately. A cable guy was in our home installing our internet when this all took place. Sam had to stay behind to make sure that work was completed while we took off to Methodist Hospital in Stone Oak. Holding a towel with ice to my face on one side, I used my free hand to call my friend Kevin on the way to the ER and asked if he would go to our house and look after Sam and/or take him back to his mother’s house. He responded and took care of Sam for us. Not 3 weeks prior to this event, I took Kevin to the same ER for stitches in his hand from an accident working on his flip house.
This entire event that I experienced, as bad as it marked me, I will always claim as a miracle of God’s mercy. I did not realize the miracle until I was sitting in the triage area. I was seen to immediately in the Methodist Hospital ER. The physical exam revealed that I had a laceration on my face and another on my left forearm. The forearm laceration I had not noticed until I was in triage. It was 2 inches long and it was wide open where I could see my muscle tissue but it did not go deep enough to hit any tendons. They performed a CT scan of my head and determined that there were not any broken or cracked bones in my skull. All my teeth were unharmed. My sinus cavities and orbitals were perfect. The only trauma was a 4-inch laceration from just beneath my nose stretching directly out to my right cheek and it was deep. This laceration was 1 cm deep. Any deeper, the laceration would have removed my entire upper lip from underneath my nose and it would have penetrated my oral cavity. The doctors and nurses were astonished and kept asking me how it happened over and over. They could not picture the injury happening from a bed. Some of them did not understand the concept of a Murphy bed. They had never seen one.
There was some bad news. Methodist Hospital of Stone Oak did not have a plastic surgeon on call and I needed one. They would need to transfer me to University Hospital over in the Medical Center. This had to be done by ambulance. I spent approximately 2.5 hours at Methodist. As soon as they had stitched my laceration on my left forearm, I was placed in an ambulance for transfer so I could be seen by a plastic surgeon for the delicate repair. Upon arrival at University, I was sent into their trauma unit. I was met by several doctors and nurses. They stripped my clothes off me and began taking vitals and placing an IV catheter for fluids. I was not happy about being naked. They also took a chest x-ray and the entire time they are asking me all the same questions I had been answering at Methodist. Again, I had to explain the basic mechanical principles of a murphy bed. Most had never heard of such a thing. Last thing, we need to check your rectum sir. AHHHH! I was flipped over and violated and then everyone just left except my charge nurse who just threw a hospital gown over me. I never knew what our calves felt like at branding until that day. I was processed into that place like a baby calf. Thank God, they did not put a fire brand on my ass. I did compliment their work as a team. It was fast but still…I was left anally violated and naked.
I was moved into a private room. It was only private because it was still 8pm on a Saturday and the usual crowd of stabs, gunshot wounds, and car accidents would not get going until later in the night. I was by myself except for the nurse. I was asking for Holly. The nurse went and got her from the waiting room and brought her back. The admissions person came in and began collecting all my insurance and other pertinent information. The charge nurse was great. He told us not to expect anything to happen fast. He said that nothing happens fast in this place and to expect no discharge until early morning the next day. It was almost 9pm when an attractive lady came into my room in green scrubs. She began asking me questions and performing an exam. Great, a tourist wanting to see the slashed up naked guy…so I thought. She then introduced herself as the plastic surgeon. You got here fast! She left the room and came back with her kit. It was her and us. No nurses were present. She washed the wound for what seemed like an eternity and it was unpleasant but not too painful. She began to inject my wound with the lidocaine. It stung like hell and that was painful. I then noticed that I had not really felt much pain before that. She delicately began to stitch the inside layers of the wound. I could feel some of the pokes and after 20-30 minutes, I began to feel more and more of the pokes and the pulls. I just kept still and put on my game face. Holly saw my demeanor change and asked me if I felt it and I nodded. The surgeon then placed more lidocaine injections. These hurt much worse than the first ones as they were right under the bridge of my nose. I believe this may have been the worst physical pain I have ever experienced. She began stitching slowly, diligently, and delicately. I still felt about every third poke but I just kept still and quiet. After just over 1 hour of stitching she was finished. The charge nurse came in and told me that I was lucky she showed up so quickly. He has regularly seen people wait 6 to 8 hours for plastic surgeons to show up. What a miracle. Again, the charge nurse warned us that nothing happened fast there and that we would need a few more hours to have my IV antibiotic delivered and then administered. Not 10 minutes later my IV antibiotic showed up and they placed it into my IV line told me it would take about 30 minutes to finish. Holly had left by this time to go get me more clothes at Walmart. When she came back, my IV was finished. I was up and getting dressed into my new clothes. The charge nurse came back again and told us that they were waiting for my CT report to come in for their records. They could not discharge me without that. An hour later, the report was there and our discharge papers were signed. I was released around midnight. The charge nurse said he had never seen anyone come in with my type of wounds that needed that level of care and the person be able to leave so quickly. It was a miracle. I was cleared to operate my life normally with two exceptions: no direct sunshine on my face and no submersing my face underwater. I could eat / drink normally and go back to work as long as I cared for the wound properly.
We left the University Hospital parking garage at 12:30am and headed straight to Whataburger and then to Kevin’s house for my first K-Laser treatment. I have been sold on therapy laser as a treatment option on animals and people since Kevin first began working for K-Laser. This technology uses different frequencies and wavelengths of light to program the body’s cells to do what they do naturally but to do it faster and more efficiently. I have seen wounds on horses, dogs, and cats heal at a significantly faster rate than normal. We were home and in bed by 2:00am and I slept well. I woke up with a new perspective. Holly and I discussed how this event was a series of small miracles from God.
- Somehow, supernaturally, I was removed from the direct hit of this spring-loaded steel lever. It should have hit me directly on my left side of my skull. Instead, it somehow hit my left forearm first. My left arm was not in the path as the bed frame shifted. But it hit my left arm first and then it struck the RIGHT SIDE of my face as if my had turned just at the right moment and I was just sliced instead of directly struck. Had I received a direct hit on the left side of my skull it could have shattered any bone in its path. It could have gouged out my sinus or my eye or both. It would have knocked me unconscious and rendered Holly and Sam powerless to help without dialing 911 and waiting for EMS to show up. I am convinced this was divine intervention. Why did God allow it to even slice me? Because I was being stupid. I could have suffered more for the bad decision of working too closely and being careless. Now I have a mark to remind me that I am not invincible and that I need to think more when doing projects. I have that scar to remind me that God can protect us from much worse harm, even though we do get harmed. Could He have saved me completely? Yes. Then what? I would still have been a grouchy ass barking at my wife and kid to help install the bed. No lesson would have been learned. I would only have counted the incident as a near miss and moved on as the same person. Today, I am different than I was then. On the outside and on the inside.
- Time is precious. When you have deep lacerations, time is precious. The longer they stay open, the higher the chance that it becomes infected. I received that injury around 5:00pm. My wounds were closed and healing began at 10:45pm. The charge nurse and the plastic surgeon said that I was lucky to have been tended to so quickly. This is also miracle status. They each told me that people never get treated as quickly as I did. I thank God for this. It was a miracle.
- The wheels of bureaucracy are slow. I was admitted to a publicly funded, university owned, teaching hospital. Nothing happens there at a rapid pace when it comes to paperwork. The charge nurse and the doctors were all surprised at my rapid discharge. This may be the largest of all miracles contained within this event.
I did not want to finish installing the Murphy Bed. It sat in my office for almost 4 days before I could bring myself to deal with it. I decided to destroy it. It is a dangerous piece and it is not worth the risk of it hurting anyone else in this family or other families. I could have sold it. I could have given it away to a family that needs it. No. I committed it to destruction. IT WILL BURN! Piece by piece in my backyard firepit over the next few months this bed will be consumed by fire. Sound familiar? Our struggle is not against flesh and blood. Someday, those powers, principalities, and dark forces that are bent on destroying humans…they will burn too. It says so in God’s Word. Want to learn more? Start reading. I will let you know where to go for study resources that can last you months. My journey in God’s Holy Word has been ongoing since I was a kid. But in the last few years I have learned more and studied it more than I ever have. You can too, if you choose to.
Bad things happen to good people every day. Good things happen to bad people more often. This confuses many and creates animosity toward God. Sometimes it can be what inspires a person to not believe in God. I do not have the answer as to why I was spared from a more severe injury. I can only say that I hope I will make this miracle count. My life is a gift. Each of us are only given one life to live. It is special. Each day that I get to be a husband, a dad, and a friend is a miracle.
I hope I can continue to be a better person than I was the day before. I hope I can work smarter on my projects in such a way that I do not endanger myself or others. I hope that I can help others know God and His love, His Mercy, and His story. Each time I look in the mirror, that scar will be there. I hope it will always remind me that God is there for us all. I hope it will remind me that it is not about me. It is about Him. -RW