April 14 marks the 12th anniversary of the accident that left me with a serious spinal cord injury. For those of you who are not heard the story I will be brief: in the throes of a 24 hour virus I slipped in the bathroom, passing the toilet and hitting a double pane window with my face (I broke two panes), hitting my chin on the windowsill and snapping my neck on the way down. I do not remember any of this. I just remember waking up and hearing Carole’s voice asking where I was. When she found me I was unable to feel anything or move anything below my neck. As we awaited medical assistance we knew something big had happened.
After an ambulance-trip to Cartersville Hospital I was sent to Emory University Hospital via the Life Flight Helicopter Service. The only thing I remember about the flight was that my blood pressure was down to 60/20. My blood pressure is normally on the low side, but this reading sounded ominous. The next thing I knew I was in the neuro-intensive care unit and being pumped full of steroids to reduce the swelling in the spinal cord. The surgeon waited three days, but in an email from her this year at Christmas time she told me that the cord was still swollen, indicating a much more serious injury. After a lengthy surgical procedure that removed bone spurs from my cord the surgical team fused C/4 through C/6.
12 years later I am more than halfway through my 10th year as pastor of this wonderful church. The moral of the story is that no matter what happens to you; no matter what catastrophic event befalls you; no matter how hopeless it looks – God is at work in you. All you have to do is rejoice, give thanks – and go with God!