As Harold and I were driving out of my driveway, a friend of the family came tearing in. This normally all-together guy looked absolutely pale and shaken. I was to later find out that he heard the call come over the radio. That call was not good.
Eric and his father had been harvesting corn that fall day. Only the two of them were working which meant a lot of back and forth from the fields to the barns for Eric. That afternoon, Eric drove the tractor trailer out to the field so his father could load the combined corn. In order to get back to the barns, Eric towed his one-ton pick-up behind the semi. In a hurry, which is when most farm accidents occur, Eric parked on a slight incline. When he unhitched his truck from the tractor trailer, the pick-up rolled forward pinning my husband between the two vehicles. The pick-up was pressing against his back, making it very difficult for him to breathe. Every time he would take a breath, the truck would squeeze him even more. Eric was suffocating.
My husband stays calm in every situation. He's very logical and very practical. He was no different in this situation. He knew that if he panicked, breathing would be impossible. He tried pushing himself away from the big truck, but there was no way he could do it. The last thing he remembered was seeing his dad drive the combine around the corner. He held out his hand in order to flag down his father. Then, everything went black.
Earlier that morning, a couple of neighbors went out into the woods to hunt. They planned on being there until late afternoon. However, one thing led to the next, and one of the neighbors had to walk back home. It was then that he found my husband unconscious between the two trucks. Eric's dad had never seen Eric's hand outstretched to get his attention. He had driven right by. The hunter flagged down my father-in-law. One of them jumped in the pick-up truck to back it up releasing my husband.
He was not breathing. My father-in-law immediately began doing mouth-to-mouth, all the while recalling the time he had done this to another son years ago. That son didn't make it. My father-in-law was desperate that this son would.
Eric says that as he began to come to, he knew absolutely nothing. He didn't know his name. He knew nothing about me, our children, or anything else. He did know one thing, however. He knew that he had a heavenly Father. That was his only thought, the only thing he was aware of. Eric truly experienced the promise "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee."
As I said earlier, our friend heard the call come over the emergency radio. He never told me exactly what he heard. I found out a few months later from another friend. The paramedics who arrived at the scene were sure Eric wasn't going to make it. They were doing everything but pronouncing him dead on the scene. That is why they never let me in the ambulance and shooed my father-in-law away from the back window.
When I arrived at the hospital, I went right to the desk to ask where my husband was. The first thing the lady told me was, "He's not in [the] trauma [unit]." I told her she was my new best friend! (Sorry, Heather)
When I went back to see my husband, the oxygen mask was off and he immediately apologized to me for the scare. He was doing fantastic! When his dad arrived, he held on to Eric's hand and never let go. Eric kept apologizing to him as well.
About five hours after the accident, Eric walked out of that hospital! He had a scar on his back for years, from the truck pushing into him, but that was it. No broken ribs, no broken bones. The paramedics had thought he had been crushed and would have, at least, a punctured lung.
I stated yesterday that one of the reasons I believed the Lord spared Eric was because I relinquished my hold on him. I also believe there are two other reasons, besides it just being God's will.
The first is all the prayers on behalf of my husband's life. As I waited in the truck at the field, someone lent me their phone to make a couple of calls. I could not reach anyone as we were out of range. When I got home, I was finally able to contact a couple of people and, within a short period of time, hundreds of people were praying for Eric. People we had never met and probably never will, prayed for my husband and our family. What a wondrous thing to belong to the family of God!
I think, also, Eric's faithfulness to the Lord and concern for souls spared him. As he was in the helicopter struggling to breathe in spite of the oxygen mask, he looked up at the female paramedic. As he looked at her he asked, "If you were to die today, do you know for sure if you'd go to heaven?" Can you imagine being that woman?! Here's a man who is, as far as anyone can tell, about to die and he asks her about her readiness for death!!! All she could say was, "I hope so." Eric wanted to say more but was physically unable to. Oh, I believe the Lord knew He was not finished with His faithful servant!!
Eric says he probably was never seriously injured. I believe that between the prayers and his faithful witness, the Lord healed him on that helicopter.
When we came home, Eric went upstairs and kissed each of our children good-night. They did not realize how close their daddy had come to dying that day. They were just so glad to have him back home. We all were.
I frequently look back to that day and am so grateful for the fact that I still have my husband and best friend to walk with me through this life. I am also grateful that walking with us is our precious and loving Saviour.