This post was originally published in 2008 on OurRisingSound.com. It has been modified and edited, as much has changed in the 8 years since it’s writing. Here is the story of how we almost lost our first born son when he was struck by a truck…
One evening, my husband and I were sitting in our home after putting our two children to sleep for the night. We were so blessed with our then two-year-old son, Ethan, and six-month-old daughter, Avden. Knowing that our children are purposed for the Lord, we want to raise them according to His plan for their lives. This particular evening, we were praying for our first-born son and we both heard very similar things from God:
“Ethan has purpose. This is not a cliche for him. Though he is young, he has been given a wise spirit. He is strong (‘Ethan’ is translated from the Hebrew: “Firm; Strong”). He will bring Me glory”.
Saturday, August 27, 2005 – I had been working at Main Squeeze Juice & Smoothies, which was owned by my two older brothers, for most of the day and evening. We were hosting a very special “Open Mic Night” event that demanded pretty non-stop work. The space was packed out with customers who were enjoying delicious beverages and the talents of various town-folk. As the night wound down, mostly only our closest friends still remained to hear the final band, which consisted of my two brothers and my husband. Feeling content with the day’s work, I decided to clock-out and join my friends and hold my children.
As soon as I walked out from behind the counter, I grabbed my little boy and gave him the hug of a mother who hadn’t seen her son all day. I loved holding his tiny body! Ethan has always been fairly small for his age. I carried him to the front of the store and took a seat next to a friend who was holding my baby girl. It was nearing 9:00pm and Avden was getting fussy with sleepiness. As I put Ethan on his feet, I took Avden and rocked her gently to the melody that was being played. Feeling her begin to calm, I turned to look towards the back of the store where I thought Ethan had gone to play with some other kids. I can’t see him. I stretch my neck farther, lean back and forth to get a better view… I can’t find him.
Ethan is hit head on by a truck
At that moment, a young man comes running through the front doors in an obvious panic. “
“Please call 9-1-1. A kid was just hit!”
Right away, I knew that “that kid” was my son. “No…“, I thought. I couldn’t seem to get outside fast enough. With my baby still in my arms, I find myself on the sidewalk outside. I turn to the left and see an image that haunts me to this day. I can never figure out how he got to him so quickly, but our friend approached with a hastened pace carrying the still frame of a small child. Unconscious. Blood streaming from his forehead. To me, he appeared dead. “Is it Ethan?“, I asked, already dreading the answer.
Immediately, my knees, arms, legs, my very heart, gave out. I turned, practically tossing Avden into the arms of yet another nearby friend before collapsing onto the cement. “NO!” I see my husband run to the bench where they laid Ethan’s wounded body. I can’t move. I can’t bring myself to go to my own son. “I was just looking for him. I was just looking for him. Oh God, I need you right now. I need You, Lord”, were the only words that I could say… over and over again.
The chaos was surreal. Everything felt detached somehow. If I believed in out-of-body experiences, this is the closest thing I could ever describe it as. People seemed to be coming out of every door. All of a sudden, the streets were lined with curious and concerned faces, some familiar, some unknown, all in total helpless shock. My sister-in-law was the first voice that could break through my paralyzed, yet over-active, thoughts. “Your son needs you, Christy.“, she said, urging me to join my husband at his side. I can’t seem to get a grip on what was really happening. I just needed to know one thing…
“Is he alive? Is my son alive?”
“He’s crying for you. He needs his mom.“ At those words, it was like the fog of confusion came rushing into focus, and I heard the screams of my terrified little boy. I had to get to him. I rose to my feet, surprised to see that the local police had already arrived on scene and were checking him out. I looked at his small face, and my heart shattered as I saw the damage done by the truck that had hit him. There were two large lacerations on his forehead, one spilling blood into his left eye. By now, firemen had arrived, as well as more on-lookers. Unwilling to allow the possibilities of anything other than a miracle, I am overwhelmed with the need to cry out to my God.
“Lord, You are the Creator of all things! You are the Great Physician! I know that You are able to bring complete healing to Ethan’s body even now! Please, God! We refuse to believe the fear. Death has no place here tonight! Thank You, Lord, for Your healing. By Your blood, because of Your wounds, he is healed!”
I didn’t realize until it was over how loud I had been screaming that prayer. I guess when it comes to fighting for your child’s life, you don’t have time to get embarrassed or wonder what people might think. All I knew was that I was freaking out, but my God is bigger than even this.
*** Sidenote: Now, granted, my theology has changed a lot since then. I almost edited that prayer here to better reflect what I now believe. But the truth is that is what I prayed. Loudly. That was the best I knew how to pray. That is how I had been taught to pray. It sounds nothing like how I would pray now, but God, in His infinite grace, did not stand by waiting for me to get my doctrine in line before coming to the rescue. He is a good Father, and He heard the cries of a desperate mom.
Doctors get to work on saving Ethan
The next 30 minutes or so was filled with a lot of supportive hugs and making the necessary arrangements for Avden while we waited for the medevac to arrive. When it landed in the intersection of Main and Verrado, they had me stand near the door while they loaded Ethan in first. I remember looking around in slight disbelief at all the people standing on every corner. This is seriously happening?!
While in flight, I noticed the helicopter smelled heavily of vomit before I noticed the EMTs frantically working on Ethan. I didn’t put it together that it was his vomit. Nor did I realize that he’d again lost consciousness and was choking on it. While they were doing their thing to save my son, I stared out the window and had another conversation with the Lord.
“Lord, if this is it… If You are preparing to take him… If You are asking me to walk through this fire… OK. I will love You. I will serve You. If I need to prepare myself to watch him die…”
“No,” the Lord interrupted. “Remember what I spoke to you regarding MY son.” All at once, the thins Josh and I had written down from the Lord for Ethan came back to me. “It’s not the time for him yet. Keep fighting.”
“Alright. Thank You, Jesus.”
Not until I saw the frightened look on the EMT who told me that he had a son Ethan’s age did I realize how close we’d come to losing him. They rushed him straight to a cat-scan and analyzed his injuries while Josh and I waited outside the open door, which allowed us to hear the doctors’ discussion.
“That looks like a fracture there in his skull.”
“Do you see that? There?”
“Yeah, there’s some bleeding into his brain.”
At this point, I have to cover my ears and try to ease the anger I felt welling up inside of me. Why are they having us listen to this? I pace back and forth, trying to do whatever I can to distract me from hearing them anymore. Finally, they wheel him out and as we’re walking with him to the pediatric ICU, I notice that his right hand is completely bruised and severely swollen. “Is his hand broken, too?” They have to wait for the swelling to go down before any X-Rays can be taken. So at this point, the diagnosis is this: skull fracture, slight bleeding in the brain, broken collar bone, possible broken hand. This is what I tell the small group of family praying in the waiting room.
“The neurologist is on his way to look at everything. So we’re waiting for that.“
Within an hour we had the Neurologist’s report: No bleeding in the brain. Slight hairline fractures in the front of the skull. Not as bad as first presented. What?! Crazy….
Ethan begins healing
We remained in ICU for a few days, each one bringing marked improvement. Though not very responsive, and not at all himself, the first 24 hours or so, it seemed that Ethan was coming around quicker than anyone expected. By the third day, we were ready to go home. This was the final conclusion: absolutely no internal bleeding, doctors were split as to whether there was a small fracture or not (so if there was, it was minuscule), collar bone was broken, but no need for a cast or brace. There was some “structural damage” to his forehead, which would eventually heal… not one stitch, not even a band-aid, was on Ethan’s body when we walked out of that hospital on September 1! Praise the Lord!
Were the doctors wrong in their original assessments? Not at all. We fully believe that our son was in a very bad way when they first rushed him through those doors. So what happened? GOD!! All-Powerful, All-Knowing, Ever-Present, God! He stitched Ethan back together, just as He did in my womb. God worked a tangible, undeniable miracle right before our eyes. He saved our son. He stayed true to His promise.
Where is Ethan now?
Ethan is now 13 years old. He is the oldest of our 5 and is growing in so many ways every day. He loves music and is devoting himself to increasing his mad guitar skills. He loves playing in the youth band. He adores photography and has an eye for capturing incredible moments and landscapes. He also struggles with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, which very well could be a result of this experience. But we are thankful for the struggle. We are thankful that we get to depend on Jesus to get us through every moment of every day. We are thankful that we get to tell this story.
For about three years following the accident, the telling of this event has always proved difficult. Honestly, even just the memory would instantly cause tears as I relived every emotion. Plagued with guilt and unforgiveness, I could not see this night as anything more than a horrific nightmare. But then, again by His mercy, what had previously been unspeakable, has become one of the greatest miracles of our lives. We’ve experienced Jesus, the Son of the Living God, by the nearness of His Spirit, see us through what could have been the most tragic night of our lives. It is instead a testimony of His magnificent, wonder-working, all-consuming, love and faithfulness to those who walk according to His Word.
That’s why if you follow me on any social media, or on this blog, you are bound to hear this story again and again. It is not because I can’t “get over it” or because I am stuck on the drama, but it is because I am still in awe! I still can’t quite comprehend how very easily my son could’ve been taken that night. My mind doesn’t grasp what our family would look like without our Beefy Boy. And there is no reason that shouldn’t have become my reality.
I am not super mom. I do not have any stronger resilience or power than any other mom. I am the mom who let her son get hit by a truck. I am the mom who let her own exhaustion win and her toddler paid the price. But God wrapped us in grace. God rescued us from a life-altering situation and left us on our knees in complete adoration. Ethan still has scars on his forehead (which he usually thinks are the coolest and tries to take some sort of credit for his survival. LOL!) that continue to tell the story of God’s rescue. Those scars stand as a constant reminder of God’s faithfulness even in our worst of times. Wounds heal. Brokenness becomes whole. Life is abundant!