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Paralysis Couldn't Keep Her From Walking Out Her Faith

In the fall of 2012, Dallas District Attorney Liz was in great shape, both physically and professionally. But her quest for perfection came at a price.

“Inside I had nothing. I was empty. I was unhappy,” Liz recalls.  “And nothing was ever good enough for me. You know I had the love of family and friends, but I just always was lacking something. But I didn’t know what that was.”

Liz was about to find out. She was entering her second floor apartment one night when her dog rushed out to greet her. Liz lost her balance and fell through the railing, 17 feet to the pavement below.

“I remember laying on the ground and just kind of closing my eyes and thinking, ‘I’m so sorry,’” Liz said. “It was more of like an apology to God.”

Liz was rushed to Baylor University Medical Center. When Brian, her boyfriend arrived with her family, the doctor told them that she had broken her neck.

“I remember his words distinctly, he said ‘she’ll be paralyzed from the chest down and will never walk again’, says Brian. “And hearing those words from a doctor, hits you like a load of bricks.”

Their relationship of only six months was based on mutual physical attraction and having a good time. But now, with Liz in a medically induced coma, Brian had to decide if there was something more.

“Seeing her lying in a bed, unable to move, tubes in her mouth, machines beeping in the background, a swollen face, and it just completely stripped that superficial looks that were kind of driving our relationship previously,” says Brian.

Over the next several days, Brian’s focus shifted to another relationship he had long abandoned.

“I was raised in the church, and I always had a relationship with Christ, but I would say that it wasn’t a fulfilling one on my end. As soon as the accident happened, everything kind of came back and I just did a complete 180,” according to Brian. “And it really brought about a huge change in my faith, and I said the moment that she wakes up. We’re going to go to work and we’re going to try to maximize whatever God allows her to get back and I’m going to be her rock alongside with her.”

When Liz came out of the coma four days later, she also rededicated her life to Jesus.

“I just all of a sudden found myself in this shell, this body that I thought was so important and it was completely useless,” Liz recalls.  “At that point, my mind just made a shift that I was never going to be in control of my life again. That I was in the hands of God and whatever was to happen was going to be His will for me. There was no sadness. There was no resentment. It was peace; a feeling of peace for the first time.”

As Brian broke the news to Liz of her prognosis, he also made a promise.

“He was very quick to say ‘you know, even if you’re in a wheelchair, I still love you and we’ll have a beautiful life’, says Liz. “From that day forward, he was by my side, always.”

Brian and Liz prayed together every night. And what was once a superficial relationship quickly became a spiritual one.

“It was through those conversations with God that we truly started to build that foundation together,” according to Liz. “But it was also just during that time that we fell in love, truly in love.”

But while Brian and Liz’s faith was progressing, Liz’s recovery seemed to be at a standstill.

“Every night, Brian would ask me to move my toes. And with all of my might I would concentrate and use every ounce of energy I had to try to move my toes and still would get nothing,” Liz recalls.

Liz was transferred to Baylor Rehabilitation Center and met with her doctors.

“I very point blank stated I wanted to walk out of the hospital,” says Liz. “I was told at that time I needed to lower my expectations, and that I was there because they wanted to teach me how to become independent in a wheelchair.”

Brian decided to pray and ask God for a miracle.

“I said, ‘you know what, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what your team says because we’ve got the ultimate Healer on our side. And if it’s His will, then you’re going to walk’, Brian recalls.  “Then I just I put my hands on the foot of the bed and I just said ‘Lord, I have nothing right now. We’re completely broken. And I need some guidance. And I need something to make me feel like this is going to be okay. Please give me something. Please give Liz something.’”

“He pulled back the sheets and asked me to move my legs,” said Liz.

“And that was the turning point in her recovery. Brian says improvement came every day.

“The steps and the miracles that we saw unfold with our eyes, are something that can’t be explained by science,” says Brian.

Less than three months after her accident, Liz walked out of the rehab center. A few months later, Liz and Brian got married.

But the miracles weren’t over yet! On November 16th, 2015, Dorothy Marie Mitchell was born by natural childbirth. Brian and Liz chose the name Dorothy because it means “God’s gift.”

“Considering where Liz started, completely paralyzed from the neck down. And then you see her in a delivery room, pushing her own baby out, holding her baby, and being part of that experience; there’s no way that you couldn’t believe that that’s a miracle,” says Liz’s obstetrician Dr. Russell Fothergill.

Liz and Brian are grateful for all their blessings, but most of all, they treasure the fact that God’s love gave them a second chance at life.

“We could not be happier,” says Brian. “It is such a more fulfilling life that we have today after the accident, than we could’ve ever imagined.”

“What looks like a curse has actually become the biggest blessing in my life. Because I’m now the person I’m supposed to be. I am the happiest woman you’ll probably ever meet. I have the love of the Lord. I have the most beautiful family and just love that I didn’t ever think was possible,” says Liz.  “God’s love is absolute and it is all that matters in this world. Whatever that emptiness is in your heart that you’re trying to fill with other things, those things don’t matter. They’re not forever. His love is what’s forever, so it’s never too late.”

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