I was electrocuted by a high voltage overhead crane rail in my machine shop. I, David, was high on a ladder hanging Christmas lights around the windows when my wrist contacted an exposed rail that was supposed to be shut off. Thrown from the ladder, I landed on the back of my head on the cement floor. On the way down, I struck the side of my head on a lathe. Then a tool, knocked from the bench, hit my forehead. I was alone in the shop as it was after closing time. No one knows how long I lay unconscious before the Lord got me to the office phone to call my wife. Beverly was making supper, I was late, and one of the kids had a school function that night. Rushing to the shop, Bev said that the blood trail showed that I had crawled under several machines. Bev was the part-time bookkeeper and full-time wife and mother of three. She brought me to the local hospital where (after critical delays) I was sent to a much larger one. Before leaving, I relapsed into a coma. Our family doctor accompanied me in the ambulance. He later said that it was the longest ride of his life, trying to keep me alive until I got to Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital.
After many hours of surgery, on both my head and my wrist, my brain was still swelling. The head neurosurgeon then asked Beverly for permission to try something radical that was my only chance of survival. He had to remove both upper halves of my skull to let my brain continue swelling without destroying itself. He said that it had never been done in this hospital and he could only give me a 50% chance of being anything but a vegetable. However, without releasing the pressure, “he dies tonight”. It had to be Beverly’s call. Totally overwhelmed, knowing that I would hate being trapped in an un-responsive body, all that she could say was “Oh God!!”. Bev and I had been Christians for many years. She prayed while the neurosurgeon was waiting for an answer: “Lord, if you’re calling my husband home, he’s yours. But if you’ll keep him for us, please let him still have his abilities”. Then, trusting God for the results, she said to go ahead. The next morning, at my bedside, the neurosurgeon told Bev that he’d look for signs of movement within 24 hours or I wasn’t going to make it. Just then I wiggled my foot! The doctor said to Bev “I don’t know if you’re going to cry but I am.” Beverly knew that God had answered her prayer and that I would be all right, over time.
Bev took over running our 20-man machine shop while mothering our three school-age children and tending to me in the hospital. After 3 months there and then another 2 at a rehabilitation hospital, I came home but could only tolerate a few hours a day at the shop. I’d become overwhelmed by all that was going on and need to leave. When friends and family asked Beverly how she could be so calm under all the stress, she told them that the Lord was watching over us and that she could feel peace about it. We did finally loose the business (and our total investment) as it was floundering due to my uncertain future in the eyes of our employees and our customers. In fact, it was 7 years before I could work again. Five years into the recovery, I broke my upper back when I was knocked out of a tree I was topping. Falling twenty feet, I landed on my back with the tree on top of me. The orthopedic surgeon said that he had never seen a spinal fracture like that that didn’t include a severed spinal cord. “Thanks again Lord.” I feel that has God kept me so that I could share this.