Saturday, October 15, 2011

Memphis Miracle


Part 2
Read Part One:  "Death Answers to God, and He Said No"

August 2, 1988:
The night of the accident, Pastor Neil Silverberg and friend Kevin Mullins drove Jane to Memphis.    Ron was completely comatose, a state in which he would remain for over three weeks, and continue in a semi-comatose condition for another two weeks.    The doctors were not giving any hope that he would ever wake up.   During this time, friends and family were only allowed to visit in 10 or 15 minute intervals; however, the nurses noticed that when Jane talked to Ron, his vital signs would improve.   They began allowing her to stay for hours.   When she played recordings of their children, five year old Mandi and three year old Marty, talking and singing, his vital signs would really elevate. 

Much prayer was said for Ron and for his family.   Within in a few days of his arrival in Memphis, Ron’s dad, Paul, and his mother, Jeri, arrived.   Jeri and Jane went to the chapel and prayed every day.   One day, they were in the chapel with several others, when a young black man, dressed in all white, knelt down in front of Jeri and asked, “May I pray for you, Mama?”   She replied, “Of course, you can!”  He prayed, got up, waved his hand and said, “Now there is Peace.”  Then he left.   Jeri later looked for the man, but he could not be found.   She wondered if an angel had visited her.

Sitting with Ron every day, Jane knew he was responding to her, but when she relayed that to the doctors, no one would believe her.  They told her that these were just involuntary movements, but Jane knew differently.   He was responding appropriately to her requests for a hand squeeze or other simple gestures.  When Ron did fully awake, they performed another scan.  Family friends Will McFarlane, Kevin Mullins, and Parke Crisler were in the room when the doctor told Jane that there were still absolutely no changes.   At that point, Jane became a little exasperated, and told Ron that he’d better do something to let the doctor know that she wasn’t nuts.  Ron lifted his hand and gave a short wave to the doctor, and the room erupted in joy!  The doctor was somewhat stunned by Ron’s reaction to Jane’s request, but Jane simply said, “I told you he was responding!”  

Throughout the whole ordeal, Ron and Jane had great support from family and friends.   During the six weeks in Memphis, there was only one night that Jane didn’t have a church member with her.  Her parents and church family watched over the children, doing all they could do to keep Mandi and Marty’s lives as normal as possible.   Jane was still in Memphis on Mandi’s first day of school, even though it broke her heart to be away, Jane knew she didn’t have to worry about her children.

In Memphis, though he was waking up, Ron still faced a long road of recovery.   He was paralyzed on his left side, he still had a tracheotomy, and much of his memory was gone.   He had to relearn everything, including how to swallow food.  He was soon transferred to Spain Rehabilitation Center in Birmingham, Alabama, for rehabilitation.  Over the next months, Ron went from a wheelchair, to crutches, finally to a cane, slowly improving.   He then spent six months working with Timber Ridge Restoration Ranch in Benton, Arkansas, to restore his memory. 

The road was a difficult one, and even though Ron was making progress, there were times when Jane still had doubt, heartache, confusion, and even anger.   It was as if the person she had known since she was 13 was gone, and someone who only resembled the man she’d married had taken his place.  Over the next two years, Jane came to realize that her idea of the path for Ron’s recovery and God’s plan were different.   She decided in her heart that even if Ron didn’t get any better than he was at that moment, God was still God, and she chose to walk with Him.  When she accepted those things she couldn’t change, Ron’s condition improved even more.

To talk to him today, you wouldn’t know that Ron ever had severe brain damage.  He walks, talks, drives, plays a mean guitar, dreams of driving his Harley again, and praises his Lord daily. 


L-R Jeremy (son-in-law), Mandi, Marty (son) Wife Jane, Ron

But that’s not the end of the story.   There is one more little thing that God did…something that proves without a shadow of doubt that Ron is a walking, talking miracle.  



2 comments:

  1. It gives me the "shivers" (in a good way) to read this story and see God's hand in it all. It also gave me hope that what they say is true that even though someone may be comatose, they can still hear, that is evident here with how Ron responded to when his wife was there with him! A testimony of faith indeed for the church to walk alongside them and to help them with "life" as he was recovering.

    I look forward to part three (beautiful family!)

    betty

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  2. Of course, the paagraph that spoke of Jane's doubts, fear, anger, etc...and then, her decision to follow God, no matter what, spoke to me loud and clear.

    Again, thank you, Margaret. There is healing here for me.

    Deb

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