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Man Defies the Odds After Nearly Fatal Accident

Ashley Andrews - 700 Club Producer

Thanksgiving night, 2016, Bert – a part-time pastor and father of five – was fixing Christmas lights with his son James. Being a window specialist, Bert was used to scaling ladders. But this time, as he climbed to the second story of his home, he lost his footing. Bert’s wife Audrey still remembers – “The next thing I know is I hear the tumbling off of the roof.”

Bert fell headfirst thirty-feet onto the concrete driveway. Audrey recounted, “James was like, ‘Mom!’"

James shared, “He wasn’t responding whatsoever. There was about a 3-foot area just covered in blood. ‘This is not good.’”
I-I told him, I said, "You're not gonna die on me. You’re not, you’re not leaving us. And then all of a sudden everything went silent.

"In the name of Jesus,” James said, “God, protect him right now. Raise him back up.”

“I was like,” Audrey said, “’Okay, God, I know this looks bad. I know this looks really bad, but I need you to take over. I need You, I need you to do what you.’”

Paramedics arrived within minutes, but it would take another half hour before they got a pulse. Bert was then transported to the nearest ER, where he was put into a medically induced coma. Bert had suffered a massive brain hemorrhage and without surgery wouldn’t live through the night. Even then, one neurosurgeon believed an operation would be pointless. Audrey remembered, “He was like, ‘I am not gonna do the surgery.’ And I'm like, ‘Please do the surgery.’ And he was like, ‘He's gonna die anyway.’ And I said, ‘My husband is a beast. You do your part and God will do His part and my husband will do his part. Don’t count him out yet.’”

Reluctantly, the neurosurgeon agreed to the surgery, and it was a success. The following day, Bert’s vitals remained stable, but doctors were concerned about the possible residual effects. As Audrey described, “The left side was paralyzed because of the impact on the right side of the brain. It could be permanent. I mean, they really – they painted the bleakest picture imaginable.”

It was then the reality of what could be began to overwhelm the family. “When I see all these tubes and him hooked up to all this stuff,” James recounted, “I was like, ‘Oh, good God.’ It was heartbreaking. It really was.”

“What is going to be his quality of life?” Audrey worried. “What if he can't feed himself? What if he can't walk? What if he can't remember he has a wife and kids? I finally just had to turn it over and be like, ‘Okay, Lord, I can't do this. I can't sit and what if myself crazy. You know my doubts, you know my fears, you know everything, and you know this man.’ God just came into that room and proved Himself to me and that He was the comforter and He was going to take care of him.”

Like his mom, James also chose to trust in God. “I was like, you know what? Everything's gonna be fine because I know who my God is, I know what He's done and what He's capable of. I've read it, I've been taught it, and I've even seen it. And if God don't do it, it's all good. God's still God.”

Alongside the Sommer family, church members and friends from all over agreed in prayer. “I really drew a lot of strength from our church people,” she shared. “Whenever I just felt like I couldn't pray, I couldn't pray anymore, and they came in and stood in the gap.”

Then, ten days after his fall, doctors brought Bert out of the coma — even though he couldn’t talk, Audrey knew immediately that he was okay. “I was able to see the brown eyes and he knew that I was there. It was amazing. It was amazing. I was like, ‘Okay, God, you didn't fail me. He’s here. He's here.’”

Bert remembered, “I said, ‘Lord, I'm not sure what happened, but I know I need you. I’m not sure, but I know I need you. I just want to do your work again.’ And He said, ‘You will. You will. Just trust Me.’”

In the weeks that followed, Bert continued to defy expectations. “His personality, all of his formulas for work, and all of the scriptures and things that he had memorized – everything just came back,” Audrey beamed.

Christmas day, the Sommer family celebrated their miracle. James asserted, “God worked in an impossible circumstance and that's how the miracle happened.”

Audrey described, “It meant everything. I mean, ‘cause we could very easily have been celebrating our first Christmas without him. And to be able to sit there and have our children and my husband and their dad in total restoration – it was magical. It was really truly magical.”

Bert smiled as he shared, “I was getting better and quicker, and they had taken the-the fall risk that was on my wrist. That was a big deal to me. I’m not a fall risk anymore. I can walk. I can get up. I can move. It just made me so thankful. God can do a miracle any time, any place, for anybody, and He chose me.”

A few days after Christmas, Bert was released from the hospital. By March, he was back at his job as a window specialist, and by September, he was back in the pulpit. “It doesn't matter,” James said, “what goes on. It doesn't matter what doctors say. People, no matter what, Jesus has the final say regardless.”

“You never have to question God's character. He is who He says He is. He is the healer. He is the comforter,” Audrey affirmed.

“The Bible says He is not a respecter of persons.” Bert continued, “God cares for the drug addict on the street as much as He cares for me, as much as He cares for you. If you need a miracle today, you could get your miracle today too.”

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