My Story!

“Few people live to tell the story of how they survived a 3 organ failure, lungs, liver, and kidneys. I was considered a dead man waiting to die”

On July 7th, 1994, I was driving home from a trip into Charlottesville, Va. to cash a check I had just recieved in the mail that day. I was nearly 10 miles or less from my home in Keswick, Va. where I worked as a counselor to emotionaly disturbed boys at a local residential school. That was the last thing I can remember, and the rest is history and a work of God. As I rounded a small curve onto the last stretch of road I would have to travel before getting home, not traveling at more than 20-25 miles per hr, I was struck head on, right out of nowhere, by a 30ft long, 10ft high, 10″ thick, 14 ton slab of concrete wall. It had broken loose of a poorley secured tractor trailer bed just seconds before it hit the road, then hit me. I was driving a 84 Honda Civic which had to be completely cut apart to remove me from the vehicle. By now, you might suspect that a miracle was in place for me to even be writing this now, and you are right. My injuries were as severe as can get to threaten ones life. 1. My entire pelvis was shattered and separated from both sides of my spinal column. That injury alone put me in the University of Va. Medical School journals under ” worst we’ve ever seen “. Blood vessles, nerves, etc were all torn away and or damaged severely. 2. My liver recieved what they described as a ” bear claw ” injury because it looked like a bears paw had ripped across it. The main artery was torn almost completely off and the secondary artery was also badly ripped. A small section of my liver needed to be removed and was. 3. My kidneys from the associated shock of the whole thing went on vacation leaving me to rely on a machine for survival for nearly 4 months. 4. My left leg suffered multiple injuries. My foot was turned a full 180 degrees in the wrong direction and all the bones across the width of it were displaced. To this day (9/18/96) I still have no motor function from my ankle down. My left femur was shattered and 4, 17″ metal rods had to be inserted to stabilize it. They had to be nailed in from the knee up ( which is in reverse to the normal way they are inserted from the hip ) This was done because my pelvis was too damaged to proceed from the hip. 5. My right foot was so badly crushed that it was deemed beyond repair and was removed around 12″ below my knee. I currently wear a right leg prothesis. ( one less foot to wash ) 6. My spleen was not the type of injury that would neccesitate it being removed, but I was in such dire straights at the time that it was the best choice to remove it. 7. My bladder was ruptured and repair was also deffered in hopes that it would heal on it’s own, if, I lived. 8. Last, but not least, I had recieved so many blood and fluid products, just from the first major surgery alone, that two major things went very wrong. I was so swollen that the surgeons were unable to close the huge abdominal opening they had made in me to try and save my life, so by the miracle of modern medicine, they used a peice of prolean mesh ( like one might cover a couch with, but a bit more sterile ) and tied the sides of this huge gap to it. The second bad news was that I now could not breath on my own and had to be placed on a resperator. Needless to say, my mortality rate for the combined injuries was way over 100 % . Few people live to tell the story of how they survived a 3 organ failure, lungs, liver, and kidneys. I was considered a dead man waiting to die, but God had other plans because I’m still here. I spent over 3 months in ICU and it was suggested to my wife several times that my life support be dis- connected because the overall likelyhood that I would survive was slim. For the majority of the first 5 or 6 months, I was kept heavily sedated and mostly unconscious. All total, I spent over 14 months, just in the hopistal before I ever made it to a rehab center. When I finnaly became more conscious and aware of my fate, I awoke to experience the greatest amount of both pain and fear I have ever known or will ever hope to know again. There wasn’t enough pain medication on the planet to relieve me,, and there wasn’t a word of comfort spoken that would chase away my frightend soul. The total uncertainty of my lifes future, if I had one, was over- whelming to say the very least. How would I be a good father to my two small children, Sarah, just born in March of 94, and Joseph, 2 yrs ? How was I going to function as a husband to my wife ? How would I support my family now, would I ever work again, would I ever get out of a hospital bed, would I be in a wheelchair, if I could get into one, for the rest of what was left of my life ? These questions and more flooded my daily and nightly thoughts along with the pain from all over my body. There were many times where it seemed all to obvious that I would have been better off dead than to exist in this state of ruin. There were constant thought of death, and there seemed to be a powerfull influence pressuring me to just ” curse God and die “. Over the Over the whole course of my long, tough, and painfull recovery, I can hold up my head with pride in that I never did any such thing. I would sooner be crushed all over again, die, and rot in hell, than curse my Heavenly Father,my strength and my redeemer, the rock of my salvation. There were days of question, doubt, fear, and desperation, but there was never a day that God was not present with me, comforting, assuring, understanding, healing, relieving, and mostly lovong me and educating me through the trials of my suffering, and through all of the hands and hearts that cared for me when I was unable to care for myself. One of the doctors who was present durring several of my many operations, mentioned that I breifly regained consiousness just before being put completely under, and he asked me something to the effect if I knew where I was and what had transpired. He said I replied, and this is one of the few things I remember, that ” it didn’t matter, because I belonged to Jesus Christ. ” I cannot explain to you how everything healed as it did. Nor can my doctors. They cannot tell you how my heart survived the strain on it, how my liver sustained it’s damaged and returned to function, how my kidney function returned, and I how got off the resperator for my lungs. They don’t know how my pelvis knit together , larger, but well, or how the nerves in my legs began to respond so soon. And they definetly think I’ll never walk again, or if I do, it will only be for short periods of time. God’s plan for my life is NOT OVER BY A LONG SHOT ! I have gone from taking pain medications every 3 or 4 hours to managing it with over the counter pain meds like Alieve or Ibuprophen. I have gone from having continual bladder, bowel, and other associated infections, to managable level of health. I have been delivered, redeemed, and restored to the bosom of my family by the all powerfull, all knowing, ever present, always faithfull and righteous, God our Father, His Holy Spirit, and by the name and power of His son Jesus, our redeemer. I was saved when I was 21 yrs old ( I’m 37 now ) and my life was forever changed by the power of Chrsit. What God has given me through this trial I would not trade for all of my former physical abilities back. The growth and nearness to Him gained through my suffering far outweighs the use of 2 strong legs. Even though my walking again is a possibility , God has enabled me to live this life one way or the other, and to be content in, and with, whatsoever things I have, and that He see’s fit to give me. If He never gave me another thing, I will be pleased and content just to be in His loving presence. As detailed, but short as I have tried to make this, it’s far short of including every experience I went through on this journey, but I still think the deatils about my accident are not as important as what I learned about God, and myself from it. I testify before heaven and earth that there is no hole so deep, or valley so wide and dark, that God cannot deliver you from and restore you from within to the joy of His presence and the abundance of His provision. Psalm 37:23-26 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand. I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed. John 6:35-37 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. Joshua 1:7-9 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. Psalm 1:1-3 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Matthew 15:30-31 And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and he healed them: Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel. Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded for OUR transgressions, he was bruised for OUR iniquities: the chastisement of OUR peace was upon him; and with his stripes WE ARE HEALED. I am open and available to speak to churches, small groups, and to visit any others who may someday find themselves in a similar situation. I did not survive because I was tough, strong willed, persistant, or determined. I am here because God saw fit to deliver me from a certain tragic death and continue to use me for His glory, and to be an instrument of His healing and blessings in the present world to a lost generation of both young and old, until this body wears out, or Jesus returns, which ever comes first. (10/1/96) Today, it occured to me that there are some things that I have omitted that needed to be included. They are as follows; Years before my accident, I always felt overwhelmed when in the presence of what we label as a ” handi-capped ” individual. I could never quite put my finger on exactly why I felt that way until now. I remember looking at some of these disabled adults and children and thinking to myself, ” God, I’m just like them, but on the inside. ” Deep within my spirit, I knew that I was bound by limitations that were beyond my control or abilty to change, and my life was a reflection of those limitations. Consequently, whenever I was in the presence of someone whose outward circumstances and physical deficits had kept them from experiencing what I then percieved as a ” full and satisfying life “, yet they demonstrated a perseverance and an immense spirit that far outweighed their obvious discomforts and lack of abilities. I can remember thinking just how blessed I would be if I only had less than half of their courage and strength, and I knew in my heart I did not. Then the tears would flow, and I would hang my head in shame because I hadn’t done more with my life with all that God had given me. The truth of the matter as I know it now was that I did have everything it took to make more of my life, and to be a great blessing to others, but I did not know who I really was, and I did not know very much about who God was either, and thus, I felt most entirely incomplete. I can also remember saying to God in prayer just shortly after being saved that ” even if I have to end up in a wheelchair to know and be close to God ” thats what I’d be willing to do. Who could have know that my path would end up exactely in that very state, and with a thankfull heart because of it ? I am very thankfull and gratefull for all of the pain, suffering and accosiated discomforts due to my accident because it held me as a captive audience before the love and power of God, and made me the recipient of a huge amount of blessings at the hands of those who gently, and sometimes roughly, nursed me back to both mental, physical, and spiritual health to the point where I no longer see or feel bound by the limitations of either my heart or body. There came a day when I was finnaly able to sit without debilitating pain or discomfort in a wheelchair, (which was my fate for over a full year) and I was at Woodrow Wislon Rehab Center being transported to a doctors appointment in Charlottesville, Va. As I sat in the back of the specially equipped van, I looked about me at the glorious scenery, which in that particular area, is draped with beautiful mountains and connected valleys, I heard the voice of the Lord speak to my heart saying this; ” David, look around you, and tell me what you see. ” I replied to myself, ( so as not to appear cracked up to the driver or my traveling companion, ” I see the most beautifull mountains and valleys that anyone could ever hope to live amoungst.” ” David,” He quietly said, ” Everything you see is mine.” and to that I replied, ” Of couse it is Lord. ” and before I could take my next breath, He continued and said, ” And everything I have, is yours. ” I must admit that I was staggered at the potential and very thought of that statement. I made me start to cry openly which startled my companion, who was an aid who worked for Woodrow Wislon and traveld with folks like myself to appointments, etc. I didn’t share with her then as to why I was crying then, but I wish I had found the words to describe it. Some things defy any possible description and are beyond any words we might use to try. This was one of those times. We are the offspring of God Himself and have every single bit of His abilities and wisdom at our disposal, but through the rebelliousness of our own hearts, we have lost the knowledge of who we really are and of our full potential in this life and of our individual purposes within Him. It is God’s full intent to bring each and everyone of us back to Him, void of self intrest and want, and this He will accomplish by whatever means He deems neccessary towards our best intrest at all times. Nothing moves, works, lives or dies outside of Him and His dominion. All of us came from Him, and will return to Him because in truth, there is nowhere else for us to go, and there never was. Even those who by means of a hardend heart or rebellious nature will eventually be reunited to Him as they once were before the creation of the world we now live and exist in. There is no such such thing as death beyond the physical discarding of this present form which we now inhabit, and is due to everyone one of us. We will live on to experience either darkness by reason of lack of knowledge or experience, or light by the measure by which we have endavored to seek it out, but God in His abundant mercy and love will bring each and every aspect of His creation back into the bosom of His love and the full knowledge of His being and purposes. Romans 14:7-12 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, WE ARE THE LORD’S. For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the DEAD AND LIVING. But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall ALL stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, EVERY knee shall bow to me, and EVERY tongue shall confess to God. So then EVERY ONE OF US shall give account of himself to God. Romans 14:17-19 For the kingdom of God IS NOT meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in THESE THINGS serveth Christ is ACCEPTABLE to God, and APPROVED of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for PEACE, and things wherewith one may EDIFY another. Philippians 2:5-11 Let this mind be IN YOU, which was also IN Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be EQUAL with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a SERVANT, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he HUMBLED himself, and became OBEDIANT unto death, even THE DEATH OF THE CROSS. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above EVERY NAME: That at the NAME OF JESUS. EVERY knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that EVERY tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ALL OF THE ABOVE STATED WORDS OF SCRIPTURE SHALL COME TO PASS REGARDLESS OF MAN’S HARD AND REBELLIOUS HEART, HIS DESIGNS TO IGNORE GOD IN HIS DAILY AFFAIRS, OR IN THE LIFE TO COME WHICH HE WILL INHABIT WITHOUT CHOICE OR CONTROL TO PREVENT. There are scarce few my friend, who ever looked into the face of the Almighty God and stood to refuse Him and the dictates of His will. It simply does not happen. Those whom we call ” angels ” who lived and were born, as we were into the direct presence of God, and who chose to rebel against His plans and purposes, as we did were simply moved by our loving Creator to another ” estate ” if you will, wherein they would have the opportunity to learn the error of their ways, and eventually submit to God’s will, love, and purposes for HIS universe, by the choice of their own FREE WILL. God does not make or force us return, He loves us back to where we rightfully and were originally intended to be, in the very midst of His presence, love, and provision. We are here to learn the difference between the darkness and the light, and then to choose accordingly. I find it very difficult to believe that EVERY KNEE that bows, and EVERY TOUNGE THAT CONFESSES THAT JESUS CHRIST IS LORD, will somehow then get up off those knee’s and then turn and walk away, and then TO WHERE might I add. WHO IS IT THAT CAN WALK AWAY FROM OR HIDE FROM HIM TO WHOM WE LIVE WITHIN THE VERY MIDST OF HIS BEING ? There is no such human or angel who has such capacity. Those whom by reason of insanity or complete and total rejection of the call of their Creator will be subjected to what the scriptures declare as the ” second death ” where which they are eternally seperated from the presence of God, and only God Himself would know if such a place exists outside of Him. For the relative few that this fate will eventually fall to, it is said that our eyes and hearts will be torn assunder over it, but that Revelation 21:4 God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And this statement is probably the most important one we will ever read while on this earth; Revelation 20:11-15 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found NO PLACE FOR THEM. And I saw the dead, small and great, STAND BEFORE GOD; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And DEATH and HELL were cast into the lake of fire. THIS IS THE SECOND DEATH. And whosoever was not found AND WHOSOEVERS NAME WAS NOT FOUND WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE was cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 21:5-8 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make ALL things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are TRUE and FAITHFUL. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the BEGINNING and the END. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit ALL things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my SON. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is THE SECOND DEATH. To all those who read this testimony, I pray that the mind and spirit of the one true and living God will illuminate your hearts and awaken you to the truth of the gospel of His son, Jesus when He said these words; John 3:16-21 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER believeth in him should not PERISH, but have EVERLASTING LIFE. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him MIGHT BE SAVED. He that believeth on him IS NOT CONDEMMED: but he that believeth not is CONDEMMED ALREADY, because he hath not believed in the NAME of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved DARKNESS rather than LIGHT, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be REPROVED. But he that doeth truth COMETH TO THE LIGHT, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. Matthew 19:29 And EVERY ONE that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an HUNDREDFOLD, and shall inherit EVERLASTING LIFE. John 6:37-40 All that the Father giveth me SHALL COME TO ME; and him that cometh to me I WILL IN NO WISE CAST OUT. For I came down from heaven, NOT TO DO MY OWN WILL, but BUT THE WILL OF HIM WHO SENT ME. And THIS is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I SHOULD LOSE NOTHING, but should raise it up again at the last day. And THIS is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. I PRAY THAT I WILL SEE YOU ON THAT DAY, AND THAT YOU WILL REMEMBER THIS TESTIMONY AS A PART OF WHY YOU ARE THERE, IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS, DAVID J. MRAZ