Wow, it's been a year since I got the most frightening phone call that every mother dreads...it was the call that did not shake the foundation of my faith but kicked it up to another level.
At 10 AM on March 15, 2008, I received a phone call on my cell phone telling me that my son had been involved in a terrible car wreck in Atlanta, Georgia and was in ICU. Debbie, Jason's (passenger) aunt, assured me that Brandon would recover but when the list of injuries began to roll off her tongue...I had to sit down. I was in Little Rock, AR which is about 2 1/2 hours from home and Atlanta, GA was another 7 hours from there. That means, that I was a minimum of 10 hours from being at my son's side. I still had to drive home, make phone calls, pack for at least a week, call my boss, get Tyler situated for a week at home with dad without mom and then drive a long road alone to get to my son...in a tornado wrecked downtown Atlanta to the trauma center where he was.
The following is the post about that fateful day:
Monday, March 17, 2008
Brandon...Update On His Condition
For those of you who know and for those of you who haven't heard yet...our son, Brandon was in a terrible car wreck Friday night...early Saturday morning in Atlanta, GA.
Roger and I had taken Tyler to meet up with the youth at our Fine Arts competition and spent the night before heading back home Saturday morning. We got up Saturday and was just about to leave the hotel coming home when I received a phone call from Georgia...I had assumed it was Brandon since I had left him two messages and sent him a text the night before with no reply. There was a tornado that hit downtown Atlanta on Friday night...I'm sure most of you have seen the coverage on television and he had moved back to Atlanta three weeks ago.
This is what happened: He had just gotten off work and his friend picked him up....it was after midnight when his shift ended. For some reason, Brandon was driving going back to where they were staying after the tornado had hit downtown...where he also works. There was another storm coming through with lots of rain and high winds...as they were driving down the interstate...the high winds hit the car and he hit standing water causing the car to hydroplane and go into multiple spins before slamming into the retaining wall and hitting the other wall on the other side. They say the car looks like a piece of tin that has been crumpled into a ball. His friend, Jason, was conscious and was able to drag him out over the console because the driver's door was jammed. He got him out of the car before the car's engine caught fire. Jason was able to pull Brandon free of the car. I am so thankful that this car was equipped with OnStar. At the very moment that the crash occurred, OnStar immediately notified fire, rescue, police and ambulance to the scene.. I believe the prayers of this mother...pleading the blood of Jesus over him daily were heard. Satan would love nothing more than to end his life but God intervened and spared him.
**(We found out later that there was a defect in the car and the front airbags did not deploy. When a front in crash occurs, there is a bar that is broken causing the airbags to deploy on impact. However, the bumper and the bar was ripped off the car and the airbags failed to deploy...causing all the internal injuries to Brandon.)**
I had a conversation on the drive to Atlanta (7 hours) alone Saturday night...I told him that what he intended to harm my son...God intervened and spared his life. I told Satan he was a LOSER in the name of Jesus...needless to say by this time...I was angry! People would have thought I had lost my mind if it had not been dark. I arrived in Atlanta to a hospital downtown and it took me an hour to find it because of power outages, debris and blocked streets.
He looked pretty bad when I finally made it to the ICU unit. He are the update, official list of his injuries:
(1) Two punctured lungs with chest tubes now in place - hope to removed in 2-3 days
(2) Broken ribs - nothing to be done except wait for it to heal itself
(3) Broken pelvis - nothing to be done except wait for it to heal itself
(3) Broken ankle in 3 places...now with pins and a metal plate in it
(4) Internal injury to his bladder rather than the puncture they had originally thought. - catheter x 3 weeks, rescan and it not healed then catheter x 2 more weeks
(5) Perforated small intestines...found when they did surgery thinking it was a bladder problem - surgically fixed on Saturday night
(6) 3 small lacerations to his liver...other cause of abdominal bloating and drop in blood count. - nothing to be done except wait for it to heal itself
(7) Incision now from surgery that starts at breast bone and extends to groin - very painful without all the other injuries! They left his stomach open and it is just bandaged to help prevent infection or if they had to go back into surgery...pray for immediate healing
(8) NG tube...up nose that goes down to his stomach to help prevent vomiting and aspiration if he did vomit. -hope to be removed in 1-2 days
(9) Nothing to eat or drink...not even water...want intestines to have time to mend before making them work again. - hope he can when NG tube is removed.
Needless to say...he is in a huge amount of pain. They did figure that his nausea was not caused by the Morphine but by the internal bleeding and not allergic to the pain medicine. PTL! This ICU here allows family to stay with their loved one 24 hours a day except for 6:30 AM - 8:30 AM and the same time at night as well. That I am thankful for. It has been a long two days but it will be even a longer road to recovery.
Please pray that he will get moved to the step down unit, get his NG tube removed so he is able to have at least water, chest tubes removed in the next day or 2 and pain management. He is extremely frustrated and agitated right now. It hurts terribly to cough, hiccups or even talk much and now he is itching all over...asked doctor for Benedryl at 6:15 AM this morning.
I am at the hotel to get some sleep while his friend comes to stay with him. The friend who was in the car with him went to surgery yesterday looking for internal injuries but they did not find any. He is having severe back pain and will be kept for another day or two.
I am so thankful that he was not knocked unconscious too or they would have both burned to death. God is ALWAYS in control regardless of how it looks, how it feels or what anyone ever tell you. He promises to NEVER leave you nor forsake you.
Please pray that God will minister to Brandon, his friends and the staff in a very powerful way and they all will see the love of Christ in a very tired mom...who loves her son so very, very much. I would change places with him in a minute if I could take his pain away. Please also pray for a speedy recovery...faster than anyone expects...he is already surpassing where the doctors predicted he would be at this point.
Please, please pray against ANY infection, pneumonia or blood clots...dangers he is facing right now. Please keep us all in your prayers and I will update when I can...don't have access to internet except at the hotel for right now.
Love you guys!
These are the links to the additional post made during this time in our lives:
Update from Tuesday Night
Please Pray - Wednesday
Update on Brandon - Thursday
Friday's Update on Brandon
Update on Resurrection Sunday!
We Serve An Awesome God!
Brandon Is In The ER Today
Update on Brandon Condition
It was a very rough week with numerous obstacles to overcome from ICU, difficult nurses on the floor, additional injuries discovered, frustration, depression and lack of food or sleep (I was currently on the Daniel Fast at church during this time and remained faithful to it).
God was so good, faithful, merciful and mighty during this entire situation.
I pleaded with Brandon during his hospital stay to realize that God was trying to tell him something, heed the warning, acknowledge that God prevented his death for a reason, God had answered my prayers as I had been praying for him and pleading the Blood of Jesus over him that night plus my plea... "please, Brandon...don't let your pain be in vain, learn from this and use this experience to your advantage".
One afternoon in the hotel, I wasn't able to rest which was desperately needed, so I got my Bible out and read Psalm 91 and this is what it spoke to me. After reading this and praying...sleep came.
1You who sit down in the High God's presence, spend the night in Shaddai's shadow,
2Say this: "GOD, you're my refuge.I trust in you and I'm safe!" - read as "God, you're Brandon's refuge. In You will he trust and was kept SAFE!"
3That's right--he rescues you from hidden traps, shields you from deadly hazards. - car wrecks
4His huge outstretched arms protect you--under them you're perfectly safe; his arms fend off all harm. - death as result of car wreck...Satan's attempt to steal my son's life but God intervened and spared his life.
5Fear nothing--not wild wolves in the night, not flying arrows in the day, - high winds and standing water in the dark of night immediately following the tornado that just hit Atlanta
6Not disease that prowls through the darkness, not disaster that erupts at high noon.
7Even though others succumb all around, drop like flies right and left, no harm will even graze you.
8You'll stand untouched, watch it all from a distance, watch the wicked turn into corpses.
9Yes, because GOD's your refuge, the High God your very own home,
10Evil can't get close to you, harm can't get through the door. - death or infections
11He ordered his angels to guard you wherever you go. - in the car, in the hospital, in surgery
12If you stumble, they'll catch you; their job is to keep you from falling.
13You'll walk unharmed among lions and snakes,and kick young lions and serpents from the path.
14"If you'll hold on to me for dear life," says GOD, "I'll get you out of any trouble. I'll give you the best of care if you'll only get to know and trust me.
15Call me and I'll answer, be at your side in bad times; I'll rescue you, then throw you a party.
16I'll give you a long life, give you a long drink of salvation!"
I know my son heard me but he wasn't listening. He knew and agreed that God saved his life, he asked others to continue to pray for him, he was thankful for the many prayers that God answered and spoke more about God than he had in several years. However, when he got out of the hospital and began to recover...he didn't make the "about face" that I was praying for.
Brandon was discharged from the hospital 9 days after his near fatal car wreck!!! That alone, is worth giving God all my praise!
Mandi, the girl, that moved to Atlanta with Brandon and Jason three weeks prior to his accident, continued to prove what I had already felt...that she was trouble. Since she had been traveling with Jason, Brandon and a couple of more "friends" in gypsy style for 2 years prior to him moving back to Arkansas and before moving to Atlanta...she knew the strained relationship that Brandon and Jason had with their parents. She played on that. She made several comments to Debbie and Jason's mom that we (his mom and me) had "disowned" their sons and she was the only one who "really" loved these guys, she was the only one who deserved to be there taking care of they boys and she would fight to stay there and us (moms) away. The remarks continued to increase and when they finally got back to me. Well, I was at the hotel trying to get some rest when Debbie called and in the course of our conversation, she told me what all Mandi was saying and "trying" to do where Brandon and Jason was involved.
Needless to say, I hadn't had much rest in the past 36 hours, my son was critically injured, had a long road of recovery and now this. Oh, no!!! It wasn't going to happen on my watch and he was MY SON...Brandon was not her boyfriend, son, brother...nothing. I called the hospital to check on Brandon and she was so nicey-nicey but I was very "cool". She asked me what was wrong and I told her that I would tell her all about it when I got back to the hospital in a few hours. I let her sit and wonder.
When I got back, I called her out in the hall to keep from upsetting Brandon and told her nicely, firmly and matter of factly...what for! I let her know that I knew what she had been saying about us (parents), and how she was trying to turn Brandon against me and it WASN'T happening. Satan himself wasn't going to destroy what we had been trying to rebuild over the past few years and Mandi certainly wasn't. Never forget...BLOOD IS THICKER THAN WATER!
Brandon wasn't very happy with all that was going on plus all the pain that he was in...upset him. When I finally told him what was going on, what Mandi was saying and how she was trying to drive a bigger wedge between me and him...he began to see the light.
I just started praying that God would remove her and the influence she had on him from his life. I prayed that God would destroy any and all relationships that were unhealthy, ungodly and would continue to lead Brandon down the wrong road.
God hears our prayers, knows our heart, longs for families to be united and for restoration to occur.
The next day, Brandon had confronted Mandi, told her what he thought of her and her actions. He let her know that she would NEVER come between me and him. He loved me and wanted a relationship with me. He let her know how happy that he was that I was there with him and he wanted me there by his side...not her. By the next morning, Wednesday, she had decided to move to Delaware where another "friend" that had moved around gypsy style with them. PTL! By, Thursday morning, she was on a bus headed to Delaware and hasn't returned to Brandon's life.
Jason wasn't a good influence on Brandon either and no, Brandon is far from an angel but I know that if I can get him away from the ones the he ran all over the country with, doing things that would send them to jail, none of them had any work ethics, didn't care, satisfied to just "get by" and no desire to better themselves...Brandon stood a chance of making something out of his life, if her could just surround himself with better "friends".
After Brandon was discharged from the hospital, it wasn't long and things started to put a huge strain on their friendship. Within 2 months of the wreck, Brandon was back in Arkansas alone!!! He still doesn't have much contact with Jason anymore either.
He has a good friend, Heather, who is older, established with a home, job and going to nursing school full time...who took him in. He has been living with Heather ever since he moved back to Arkansas, got a full-time job, paying his bills, paying off debt that he has accumulated and has already had one promotion.
He told me today that he was getting another promotion to manager of Outback in the next few week.
Is he where he needs to be in his spiritual life? No, way! Has he made a vast improvement and started heading in the right direction? Absolutely! Is he there yet? Absolutely not!
I believe it is just a matter of time before he submits his life back to Jesus Christ and starts living for him again. I will continue to pray for him daily.
I pray this prayer over him daily...Lord, you know where he is and what he is doing. You know what it will take for him to turn his life around and come back to you. You know how far to push him and what will be too far. You know his every thought, his ungodly friends and their influences in his life. I ask you now to destroy every ungodly relationship that he has with friends...not just break the ties but destroy them, never to be repaired. You know that he was raised in a godly home and to love you with all his heart. Your Word says to "Train up a child in the way that he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it". So, Lord, I ask you to right now...invade his every thought, his sleep, his dreams and let there be not one ounce of peace in his life until he returns to you. Bring back to his memory the scriptures that he has memorized, the sermons he has heard and all the church camp experiences that he has been a part of. Shine your love deep into his heart and remove the blinders from his eyes. Show yourself to him in a very real way today. Protect him physically from sickness, disease and death but beyond that...break him, Lord. Lord, you know that I would lay down my life today, if I knew that it would cause Brandon to turn from his wicked ways, but only you know what it will take. Lord, I am willing to do that if it means spending eternity with my son in heaven one day. I trust you to do whatever it takes to bring him back to you.
Thank you, Jesus, for saving Brandon's life last year and giving him back to me. I thank you for the work that you have done in his life over the past year and I will continue to thank you in advance of the marvelous work that you are going to do in him in the days ahead. The prodical son's homecoming is just around the corner and the rejoicing that will take place on that day, Father. I come boldly before your throne today, Father, not just for ,but for my many bloggy sisters who have lost loved ones and are believing the same thing. We believe by faith that this will be done. Your Word says that where two or three agree on earth concerning anything (our lost loved ones are a big anythings) that we ask, it will be done by God, the Father in Heaven. Lord, we are believing in the evidence that we can't see yet and that the enemy doesn't want us to ever see but by faith, we trust you. Your Word also says that we can put all our confidence in you that the good work that you have started you will see it through to completion. You never leave anything unfinished and our lost loved ones are not finished yet. We thank you and we praise you!
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
"Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.
I am giving away a great prayer book to celebrate God sparing Brandon's life a year ago and sustaining his life this year. Why should we wait for them to be teenagers to pray these prayers over our children? We shouldn't.
Anyone who leaves me a comment today AND also mentions wanting to have their name in the drawing for this book...will be included.
The book is "Everyday I Pray For My Teenager" by Eastman Curtis. The book for praying for you teenager...is not just for teenagers but can be used for children of all ages and adult children as well. This is an awesome scripture filled, very powerful prayers on every single subject or situation that involves our teenagers and what they are facing in our world today. It has 5 sections: Spiritual Life, Bondage-Breaking Prayers, Relationships, School Needs and Life Skills. Example topics: Spiritual...The Call of God, Confidence, Grace and Favor, Renewing of the Mind and Resisting Temptation (29 in this section). Bondage-Breaking...Abortion (had or contemplating), Addictions, Anxiety, Cult Influence, Gangs, Hate, Promiscuity and so many more (42 in this section alone). Relationships...Acceptance, Controlling Sexual Desires, Dating Standards, Disloyalty From Friends, Future Spouse and Peer Pressure (34 in this section). School Needs...Academic Achievements, Cheating, Choosing a College/Major, Favor Among Peers, Favor in Sports and Teacher Relationships (15 in this section) and Life Skills...Budgeting Finances, Career Choices, Employer/Employee Relationships and Preparing for the Future (12 in this section).