A Little Girl Lost

Archive for the ‘paralyzed’ Category

If I Lived

You may have read this statement before:

“After my accident, January 1, 1991, I developed pneumonia and the doctor put me on a ventilator. He told Earl if I lived, I would be brain damaged, ventilator dependent and bedridden for life, and he was too young to be stuck with an invalid wife. Then, the doctor offered to let me die—comfortably.”
Earl remembered his wedding vows and had me transferred to Shepherd Spinal Center for rehabilitation.
Hospitalized with pneumonia eighteen years later, I lay in bed for thirteen days. Earl had me discharged. At home, he kept me to my normal daily routine.  I saw my doctor two weeks later and he said, “Do you know we couldn’t see your diaphragm on your x-ray when we sent you home? Today’s x-ray shows your lungs are clear. What did you do?”
Four years after that, I had three non-susceptible to known antibiotics bacteria in my pressure wound. I never heard a diagnoses but my infectious disease doctor wouldn’t deny it was osteomyelitis. I had a PICC line then a Groshong and Earl did three rounds of multiple hard-hitting IV antibiotics at home over three months.
I came to my senses in ICU before we finished the antibiotics. Admitted for “Changed Mental Status,” I was malnourished. [I don’t eat much.] The eighth day, Earl requested a feeding tube. It was placed in surgery. Then he asked my doctors to discharge me. A few hours later, I was home.
Four months passed and I was recovering well and doing active exercises to increase my strength. Suddenly I was back in the hospital with sepsis. Day five started well with full intention of going home. One doctor wrote the order early that morning. 

At eleven-thirty, an aide started my bed bath. When she rolled me to my left, my sinuses drained and mucus blocked my airway. I panicked. Earl put me on my back and my airway cleared. I continued to gasp for air. He put me on oxygen at 2L/minute (O2) then set up my BiPAP and switched me over.

My O2 saturation was critically low and I heard someone say, “Raise it to six”. A while later I became aware of a large number of people in my room. I told Earl, “Need. Quiet. I can. Relax. Breathe.” He told them and most left. I rested and felt better. 

When my admitting doctor came in a short time later, we told him what happened and that we still wanted to go home. He wrote the order and we arrived home at seven p.m. [Earl told me later that the group of people in my room was the “Rapid Response Team” waiting for me to code.]

Earl’s response in each situation was foolishness in the eyes of many. I heard the questions addressed to him. “When are you leaving (her)?” “She IS a ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ isn’t she?” “Don’t you want to make her a ‘DNR’?”  “Sign this. It is an agreement that you won’t abandon your wife while she’s here.” “What do you think your wife wants?”
My paralysis is hard work for Earl and me. In the beginning, I thought it would be easier for everyone if I died. I succumbed to depression – I asked God to take me home.
With Earl’s insistence, I began ordering my medicine, calling my doctors and scheduling appointments. He encouraged me to write devotions for church newsletters, teach adult Sunday school classes and lead Bible studies.
Earl and I are running the race set before us and fixing our eyes on Jesus. (Hebrews 12:1-2). We pray people will know we belong to Jesus by our words and our actions.
I share my testimony and tell what God has done for me everywhere I go. Earl’s sermons are always Holy Spirit powered. He wanders through Wednesday night meals talking to everyone there. He takes every opportunity to be with the children and youth.
We know Satan has our names on his short-list. We bind and cast him and his demons out as we pray out loud. [Satan cannot read your mind.] We praise God and remind Satan we belong to Jesus and he has no power over us.
The Apostle Paul said, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Romans 5:15 NIV).

 In Christ,
If this story touched your heart, would you please share it your friends?


My eyelids fluttered in the bright light. Then I saw Earl leaning over me.
I tried to speak, but couldn’t.
Earl explained, “You’re in ICU at Western Baptist Hospital. You had a wreck. Your neck is broken and you’re paralyzed. You have a trach and you’re on a ventilator. You and Kari were…”
“Kari?” I mouthed in panic.
“She’s fine. She had several cuts on her head and a mild concussion. Your sister, Bobbi, is here taking care of her. It was New Year’s Day. Do you remember your dream?”
“Yes.” I had dreamed  that my cousin, Bob Wiley, was going to be in an accident on New Year’s Day on Highway 80. Earl told him about my dream and asked him to stay off 80 that day.
“Bob didn’t stay off Highway 80. Instead, he assisted the paramedics getting you out of the car after the accident.”
Was my dream wrong? No. Bob’s name was Robert Wiley. My maiden name was Roberta Wiley. And we were both there.
 “How long?” Earl read my lips.
“Seven weeks,” he replied as he lifted a limp hand in his and I saw fingers that couldn’t possibly be mine.
“Berta, you wouldn’t believe how many people are praying for you. Even the truck driver calls to check on you.”
I returned home weak and exhausted five months after the accident. I couldn’t move anything but my arms. Not my hands or my fingers. I couldn’t feel anything below my collarbones.
Depressed, I just wanted to be left alone. I withdrew from life.
Though my body could do little, God wasn’t finished molding my earthen vessel. I sat through many Bible studies, sermons and workshops without paying attention – I thought.
Over the years, God provided me with multiple opportunities to serve Him. Hearing His word – no matter my intent – and continued study prepared me to live and breathe as Jesus taught His disciples.
I am still physically paralyzed, but I am not an invalid. I am a spiritually alive child of God through the blood of Jesus.
“(Y)ou, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand” (Isaiah 64:8 NIV).
“He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6 NIV).
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Mathew 28:19 NIV).
In Christ,
Please Share With Your Friends and Family
Photo Courtesy of Flickr 

A Plan I Didn’t Want

Many people have told me, “I don’t think I could ever live like you.” What they mean is live paralyzed, in a wheelchair.
I’d heard it said, “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.” 

As I began my spiritual journey, I had no thought that God’s plan for me would include a wheelchair.
I had eight awesome months of spiritual growth between my acceptance of Jesus and the automobile accident that injured my spinal cord. My life was full. I was happy. Not every day was great, but every day was good – because I loved Jesus.
After my injury, I recovered.
I recovered physically through surgery and rehabilitation. I recovered after years of depression that delayed my spiritual recovery because God loved me in my self-hatred and questions of why. I recovered spiritually because God had a unique and special purpose for me.
I began to share Jesus in small steps seven years after my injury. I testified by handing out a piece of paper with two-hundred and fifty words printed on it. I only taught Sunday school once a month for fear I would teach something wrong.
My first try at leading a Bible study failed. My first prayer group went from eleven women and Jesus to me and Jesus in just five weeks. My amplified voice could barely be heard at my first conference.
God has a plan for me and He has one for you. Thankfully, most people won’t have to live paralyzed – but some will. For those who do, and for all, I pray they know the joy and the love of their Lord and savior, Jesus.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV).
God has a wonderful plan for your life.
In Christ,
Friends, Remember to share with your friends. People are being blessed around the world for God. I am so thankful to be a broken vessel in the hands of a loving God. May He bless you as well.
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