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A Miraculous End to a Deadly 25-Foot Fall

It had been an unusually warm, February day in Grand Rapids, Michigan, when Nate and some friends went skateboarding downtown.

“Before I knew it, Seth was like hey, like, you know, I’m going to climb on top of this building. And then another one of my friends, hunter, also was like hey, I’ll go up there with you.”

Seth and another friend wanted to catch the sunset. But when they got to the top, Seth decided to jump down to the adjacent building – an abandoned, empty auto shop.  

“Before you knew it, we heard like a bang, and then Hunter was like screaming at the top of his lungs.”

“This dude literally jumped off there and is down 14 feet! Seth are you alright?”

Nate and the others broke into the shop to find Seth lying on the floor, unconscious and fighting for breath.

“We knew it was very serious. There was the thought that like he might not make it.”

They called 911 and Seth was taken to spectrum health center in critical condition.  Soon after, his parents, Christopher and Christine were met by a police officer at their home.  

“And the first thing she said was Seth Alfaro had a bad accident. And my first thought was that he was dead.”

They rushed to the ER, where a trauma doctor told them what happened.

“He told us that he had fallen about 25 feet. And that he had bleeding in the brain. They had already done a cat scan. They hadn't been able to get any response from him. I said could he die from this? And he said yes, he could.”

Doctors also said if he did survive, the odds were against a full recovery.  Seth was sedated, and put in a cold, dark room to try to reduce the swelling on the brain.

“They said there’s nothing we can do for the damage that’s done from the fall. They said our job now is to keep the swelling down, to keep him alive. I just sat down on a chair and I just put my head down and I said lord, you got to help me. I can’t do this.”

“So that’s all we did is pray. Nonstop. I mean, nonstop. If I paced the room, it was just prayers after prayers after prayers.”

Over the next several days, Christine’s sister kept friends and family updated on Facebook, “I like to think of it as this wave of faith that just held us up. And it was like immediately everybody jumped on a miracle.”

“It was some of those posts, some of those prayers. You didn’t feel like you were alone. You just felt like you were surrounded by prayer.”

Eventually, doctors felt Seth would survive.  Now the family prayed for a full recovery.

“I did worry for sure about what kind of life he’ll have. How much of Seth --will we ever really see Seth again?”

A week later, the swelling had gone down enough for doctors to do an MRI. The results showed extensive brain shearing.

“We heard ‘shearing’, that’s all I heard. He didn’t say anything else; I knew. Okay, now we’re looking at the worst-case scenario.”

“Well shearing is almost like you are sandpaper, you shear. So, like the brain tore and so on. The mental function is not going to be good. You’re affecting the speech, you’re affecting the processing. People with this type of picture generally don’t do well.”

Doctors told Chris and Christine they should start looking at long-term care facilities for their son.  Still, the family continued asking God for a miracle.

“We’re not a people of despair. And so, it was important to us as a family to just in rest in what, you know, all things work for the good of those who love and serve him and are called to his plan. That was the mentality.”

Doctors started bringing him out of sedation, looking for signs of healing.

“It first began with him kind of having slits, you know, just barely, you know, he’d open his eyes. We’re like hey Seth, how are you doing? And then he’d close his eyes.”

As each day passed, they brought with them new signs of hope.

“He was reaching for some of us, like his nephews, he put his arm around them. He, when I was sitting on his bed, he grabbed me and hugged me. And that was like amazing.”

After two weeks Seth was transferred to the Mary free bed rehab center.  His progress was so rapid his doctors couldn’t keep up!

“The physical therapist was like I don't even know how to plan for him. Like I’ll see him one day, make a plan for the next day. I get there the next day; he’s already past it.”

“To be able to recover in such a fast pace itself is already amazing. But to the extent of how he recover, and the way that he recover, is incredible.”

On March 30th, 2017, only 6 and half weeks after his accident, Seth walked up the steps to his home, on his way to a full recovery.

“They expected me to be at Mary free bed, the rehabilitation center, for 10 weeks at least. And then go on to assisted care living. And I left in 4 weeks and was jogging out of the hospital. Prayer does so much more than you could like ever even imagine. I just thank God every day like oh my goodness, like thank you, you know.”

Today, Seth has no residual issues from the fall, only a renewed faith in the one who saved him.

“God knew when he healed Seth, he was also answering hundreds of thousands of people’s prayers because he knew then what would come of it later and how many people he could reach through it. And that’s amazing.”

“That was the other part of the miracle was the body of believers surrounding a hurting family and surrounding us with prayers to get us through this time, and you know, that’s the thing I’m thankful for.”

“God. Like, it was a miracle. I don't know how to keep saying like I’m so blessed. It was nothing I did, it was all God.”

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