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Small Chance of Survival Yields Miraculous Recovery

First responders arrive at a single car accident in Oktibbeha county, Mississippi.

A Jeep had run off the road and flipped several times, throwing 3 occupants from the vehicle. Two were confirmed dead. One, 25-year-old Heather showed barely any signs of life.

Stewart says, “they were not very sure that she was alive. And then as I got to her I realized that she did have a pulse and we were able to work on her.”

Paramedic Stewart Byrd and crew rushed heather to a local hospital.  Someone there who knew the family, called heather’s mom, Ann, with the news.    

“She said Ann, Heather’s been in a car wreck and it don’t look good. I immediately started praying and said god, you can’t let her die.”

Later she and her husband gene arrived to find medical staff still fighting to save their daughter.  

“And when I walked through the emergency room doors and she was on that stretcher and they were working on her. The bone was sticking out here. She was real bloody. They had a tube down her mouth and into her throat. And she was just bad.”

Heather suffered numerous fractures, a broken neck, and was bleeding internally from her liver and lungs. Needing advanced care, she was put in a medically induced coma, and medevacked to a level two trauma center in tupelo, Mississippi.

“I kissed her on the head, told her I loved her, hang in there, they went ahead and got her to tupelo and we came on up.”

On the way to tupelo with Gene, Ann called friends, and a Christian radio station, asking for prayer.

“I called WFCA and he put it out on the radio. And then people that i had not gotten up with found out about it. We just prayed that god would work a mighty work in heather.”

Heather made it to north Mississippi medical center alive, where Dr. Robert McAuley and his team were waiting. There was only a 20% chance she would live

“She had blood in her abdominal cavity. She was bleeding from a liver laceration. And the blood we gave her would just bleed right back out. I didn’t think she was going to survive.”

When Ann and Gene arrived an hour later, they went in to see heather.  She was stabilized, but doctors had offered little hope.

“I said I don’t think she’s going to make it, gene. And he looked at me and he said, Ann, where is your faith?” Ann found a quiet place in the hospital to be alone, and pray.

“I said god, you gave her to me. And if you want her back, then you can have her. But I sure wish you would leave her with me for a while longer. But again, if you think this is what you want, then give me the strength to go through it. And I felt such a peace come over me that I didn’t question it anymore. It’s just somehow I knew she was going to be all right.”

But holding onto that faith would be tested, when heathers vitals crashed again.

“I got a call that her pressure was 58/30 and her oxygen saturations were back low again. So we’re going to lose her. It’s probably approaching 100%.” Ann continued to believe god for a miracle. “I would just look at them and she’s going to be fine. And I know they really thought I was either in shock or crazy. But I know what God had given me when I prayed. So I wasn’t in doubt at all.”

After several hours, doctor McAuley got her stabilized.  But he was still unable to offer encouragement. “Even if we get her through the next 72 hours and she stabilizes then we still have to worry about ARDS, shock lung and sepsis and infections developing.”

More family members began to arrive as word continued spreading for people to pray.  Heather remained stabilized and two weeks later, was well enough to be brought out of her coma.

“I had to shout and tell everybody. I knew, she’s a fighter. And I knew that if she could get her sense about her, she would pull through this with flying colors. Which is what she did.”

Three months after the accident, Heather was released.  With rest, rehab and prayer, she began to heal, thankful for God’s miracle.

“It’s surreal. Really cool how prayer worked and faith, just holding onto his promise. Thanking God that I made it, even in this mess, I’ve made it.”

By all accounts, heather’s recovery is nothing short of miraculous. “Her lungs were collapsed. Liver bleeding, the pain in her legs and her –every rib broken, clavicle broken, you know she couldn’t. I mean, she shouldn’t be alive. That’s a good miracle.”

Today, heather is married and works as a nurse. She says god has healed her physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  She and her family know as well as anyone what is possible through the power of prayer.       

“I know he hears me and he’s answered multiple prayers since this event in my life. And so it just makes him more real.”

“I mean, it’s just constant seeing god’s hand work through every bit of this. And it’s god. It’s not any of us.”

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