Mary and I were on our way home from morning Church meeting on Sunday, May 17, 2020. On Interstate 10 all of our normal exits were blocked because of construction and the traffic was thick and slow. So we went to the next exit past our normal one and headed north to reach Highway 90 a half a mile away. There we would turn left and head back toward our little town of Pattison.
Mary and I talked about all the land around us being bought up and paved with concrete so that the wild life had no refuge anymore and the local horse rancher was having his landscape change almost overnight. The stop sign at Highway 90 was probably 100 feet ahead. It was a one-way stop sign that dead ended into the old highway. That was the last thing I remember.
The next thing I was aware of was opening my eyes and in a state of total peace and quiet within myself I looked at the interior of my car and saw all of this damage and shattered windshield….and the dash was twisted and contorted and airbags were open….and a women was in Mary’s side of the car speaking loudly to her asking her to talk to her and checking her vital signs……then I heard sirens and other noises outside. Then I knew we were in a terrible car wreck.
I looked around and found my cell phone and called my friend John Steele and left him a message telling him what little I knew of what had happened to us so someone would know. I tried to open my door to get out….it was then I realized something was terribly wrong with my body. My door was jammed and would not open. At the same time a man came around with a hydraulic tool and forced my door open. I got out with the assistance of someone and was laid on a rolling stretcher.
Mary was already being put into a helicopter to be flown to Memorial Hermann trauma hospital in downtown Houston. I was put in an ambulance awaiting a helicopter to take me to the same facility. In what seemed like just a few minutes a copter arrived for me and I was gone. It was around 3 PM in the afternoon.
At about 6:30 PM a doctor came into my room and asked to sign some papers permitting them to do an emergency operation on Mary. In the CAT scan they took of her they found she had an aortic aneurism and it was near rupturing. I signed the papers. If the process could not be done through a large vein in the groin area of the thigh then they would have to do an open heart type of surgery.
Thank the Lord the first attempt was a success and they implanted what they called a graft inside the aorta which strengthened it and made it sound. I was thrilled when they told me it was a success. I initially thought this aneurism was caused by the accident. But I discovered just a few days later that Mary had no signs of any traumatic impact to her chest or any other part of her body that would have caused the damage.
I was discharged the next day after 3 CAT scans and told I have a broken collar bone and several broken ribs. Both my arms and my chest where covered in blood bruising under my skin. I also had a severe crunch spot on my left chin bone and my left hip pointer would almost cause me to fall if I was not careful….so the hospital generously gave me a cane walker when I was discharged.
I was discharged about 24 hours later into the hands of my son Tony and lived with him for about 2 months sleeping on a recliner in his den because I could not put any body weight on my ribs. This time with him and his family was a blessed time of renewing our relationship which has suffered over the years from some past bad experiences. I got to know his two daughters pretty well seeing them over the next two months almost every day. They started telling me they loved me……..something I had never heard before. They are 14 and 15 years old and beautiful young girls at that. I told them I loved them too!
The trauma center had told me that Mary was in a coma and had not awakened. She was diagnosed with severe traumatic brain tissue damage in two places. After about 11 days under trauma care they transferred her to the Methodist Acute Long Care Hospital.
About three days later the doctor there told me that Mary would never wake up and that this kind of tissue damage was irreversible and she would probably live less than six months with a feeding tube and a tracheotomy tube in her throat to suction any material that might get into her lungs. I told him “thank you for your opinion”….but I never received for one moment what he said.
Over the twenty-four years of marriage to Mary, we had been told a few things by the Lord Himself about the future He had for us including some ministry work to the body of Christ. We had accomplished a few things already but not near the extent to which He had shown us. Also, a few people had prophesied over us that the Lord had brought us together to travel and even saw us flying on airplanes with Mary proofing the things I had written to help the body of Christ grow up into Christ. So, when this doctor told me these things and left me alone in silence, I knew that she had to recover for the Lord to keep His word to us about our future. This I reminded Him over and over again as I prayed night and day over Mary.
For about 10 days the hospital allowed me to visit Mary in her unconscious condition. I went through a screening process because of the coronavirus plague that had struck the world at this time. I was always cleared to go in. Mary, while unconscious, was always moving her body around in the bed. Usually moving her left leg all the way back and forth and her right arm was lifted up and allowed to fall back down. She was constantly moving her head back and forth on her pillow but was never able to communicate with any one. Several times she stopped moving her head while I talked to her but I could not be sure she was hearing me.
Every time I went in to see her I talked with her and told her all I thought was good to say and reminded her of our future together. I always laid my hands on her head and prayed a healing prayer over her according the Word of God as I know it and commanded the damage to be healed in Jesus’ name. Then after about 10 days the hospital was closed to visitors and I was not to see her again in that facility.
Mary remained in that condition for 39 more days after the transfer to Methodist Hospital. She was in the acute care ward and had constant nursing and support. Although she really had good vital signs and no more emergency procedures, she still was considered hopeless by the doctors. They nor the nurses had ever seen anyone recover from this kind of tissue damage….it was considered irreversible.
Now Mary was considered to be in “custodial care” since there was nothing more they could do for her….the insurance company wanted to transfer her to a “skilled nursing home” and move her out of acute care. Since she had a feeding tube implanted and a trach tube in her throat most skilled nursing homes would not take her because they don’t have pulmonary specialists working full time for most of them. We were running out of long term hospital care days and I was put in a position to apply for Medicaid support from the Government agency.
As I was working out the details with a Law firm so we could be given government aid to support Mary long term in a skilled nursing home, on the day after July 4….on July 5th Mary woke up from the coma asking for “water” and “where is my husband”. She did not know what had happened to her…where she was…how she got there and who these people were that were treating her and helping her.
A nurse called me on Monday, July 6th on my cell and asked me if the doctors had told me about Mary’s condition over the weekend. I said no……thinking something bad might be coming……she then told me that Mary awakened on Sunday morning July 5th asking all kinds of questions and that they had waited a day before calling me to be sure she would not slip back into a coma again.
She then put her on the phone and we talked. The first thing I heard was “I love You”…..I said “I love You too”…she said “I love You more”…..then she said, “What happened?” I was astounded and overjoyed!
Thank you Lord Jesus for doing what no flesh born man can do……..REVERSE the IRREVERSIBLE! You are an awesome and wonderful Person!
On Tuesday July 7th doctors did a CAT scan on Mary’s brain and found no damaged tissue nor internal bleeding. They words they used on documentation said that the tissue damage “resolved itself”. So in the face of overwhelming evidence that “irreversible damage” was now healed the doctors just could not write down that they were seeing a miracle happen.
However, several nurses knew it was and said so….one even shed tears herself over Mary saying that in all her years of nursing she had never seen anyone healed of this kind of damage! Thank You Lord Jesus for “making believers” out of all of us! We Love You so much and need You more than ever.
They doctors removed the tracheotomy tube from Mary’s throat on Friday, July 10th after proving that she could indeed swallow food and liquids and it would go into the right places in her body. On Tuesday, July 14th Mary was transferred into a “skilled nursing home” for rehabilitation. At that time she has been in bed for 60 days and all of her strength and energy are gone and her sense of balance is gone and she has a long struggle ahead of her to get her memory, her walking, and talking life back.
After 30 days of nursing home stay she was discharged after Mary’s brother, Sam, asked and I agreed for him to come and live with me to help her 24/7 at our home in Pattison. We also applied for and received “in home nursing” help from two therapy specialists and a registered nurse. These came weekly for some time until they believed that had done all they could do for Mary to get her going forward.
As of the date of this writing the nurse still comes once a week to check Mary’s vital signs and give us some counsel. Our next move forward will be to get Mary enrolled in a “outpatient therapy clinic” that will help her build more strength in her arms, legs, and muscles and give her more endurance and stamina. We are not certain but this may be a 2 or 3 day a week endeavor for a few months. We are always seeking the Lord and His guidance and timing on everything…….that is so important.
We both are in hope that the Lord will use this testimony to encourage you and others to believe Him and ask Him for the impossible things that no man of the flesh can do to really bring healing and soundness to the human body. Even if your needs are not as great or your damage is not as deep as Mary’s, He still wants to be your Shepherd and counselor and healer.
Seek Him in the smaller things and needs of life as well as the big things. Remember that His word says that the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God and the world by its wisdom does not know God. We pray that “you might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding so that you might walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God”…………..Praise His Name!
Terry and Mary Barnett
Pam Barnett is my son Tony’s wife and I cannot tell you how much she helped me deal with all kinds of administrative matters regarding Mary, the hospital, the insurance company, and all of my ills as well. Pam and a best friend of ours Carol Steele sent out texts to people we knew requesting prayers and they sent them out to people we did not know….even people all over the world were praying for Mary and me. Pam and Carol kept everyone updated daily on any new information about us and asked for prayers to cover all the new information. This continued until Mary was well enough to come home in mid-August.
Pam and Tony also made sure I was well fed and did not go without anything I needed. I was so mentally unequipped for all the things I had to do during this time that it became evident that the Lord has provided her for me so I immediately listened to her and trusted her without nit picking things apart like I usually do. Thank YOU Pam and Tony for your love and wise counsel during the most difficult time in my life.
And thank you Lord Jesus for filling me with your Spirit to give me strength and love and wisdom to do your will. I think I would have fallen apart otherwise. Praise the Lord for His mercy and grace poured out on me.
Thank you Carol and John Steele for all your support and help as well. The Elijah Challenge sent out prayer requests inside of its world-wide organization as did Neil Anderson and the hundreds that he is in contact with daily. We will never know how many were praying for us….Thank you everyone who prayed and thank You Lord Jesus for answered prayers! And thank you Sonny and Gloria Rice our Church leaders and people of the All Around Cowboy Church for all your prayers and support day by day!