The anniversary: Wednesday, April 10 was our anniversary, but since it was a Wednesday, and we are good little missionaries, we attended Mt. Verd Baptist Church in Athens, TN. Our meeting in Gatlinburg had canceled, but we had plans to stay with friends from a supporting church in the area, so we dropped in at this great church! It was a wonderful visit, and a great way to spend our anniversary- listening to the love of my life preach his burden for the country of India and for lost souls around the world. Ahh..I just fall in love all over again!
The date: Thursday, we planned to go out on a date. My friend Brandy Phillips took off work to watch Jolynn for us (and even let her kids stay home from school to play with her!). We went to Maryville and had the most perfect day together! On the drive home, we chatted, hand-in-hand until this tired pregnant lady fell asleep (I know, I know…I’m a pretty lame date!)! Well, I woke up outside of the car, on the ground, with a stranger in my face telling me to stop screaming. How did I get here?
*The accident: From what I gather from my husband and other more coherent sources, this is my best estimation of what happened: We were stopped at a stop light in Madisonville, maybe 20 minutes from the Phillips house. The light had just turned green, and Paul had let off of the brake when we were struck from behind by a large work truck reported to have been traveling between 50 and 60 mph. Apparently, Paul was not able to see it coming, because the woman in the car that was previously behind us had moved to the emergency lane as she saw the truck rapidly approaching. After the collision, our car traveled about 20 feet before Paul was able to bring it to a stop.
The aftermath: Our front doors were jammed by our back doors being pushed over them, so Paul had to push his way out of the car. He was able to jerk my door open, and, much to the paramedics’ dismay, he pulled me out of the car and into the grass (my hero!). Many witnesses came to our aid, and one had called the police as they saw the wreck about to happen! I am told that I was in a state of shock, screaming and awake, but I have no recollection of the events rather than snapshots of the stranger telling me to calm down and the ceiling of our moving ambulance.
From our injuries and observation of the car, it appears that Paul hit his head on his side window but remained in his seat. My seat, which was slightly reclined at the time of the accident, had broken and relocated to the back seat (my seat nearly on top of Jolynn’s seat, so we are thankful she was not in the car at the time of the accident). I remained strapped in by my seat belt, and the majority of my injuries were incurred by my seat belt and by my being snapped back into the backseat.
The others involved: The driver of truck fled the scene and was arrested just a mile or two down the road. Prior to the accident, the police had been called about this driver’s reckless driving, so they were already in pursuit when the accident occurred. The driver has been arrested and held in jail. This is all we know at this time. We will hear soon if the driver was insured.
The ambulance: We were taken to the trauma center at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, about 45 minutes away from the scene of the accident. I was slowly coming out of my shocked state but remained very confused and scared. I kept asking, “Am I pregnant? Am I pregnant?” I was given an IV and we tried to remain calm as we waited to arrive. Paul called Bro. Austin Gardner to get the word out about our accident. We know that within minutes prayers were being sent up for us from all over the world! What a comfort that was to us!
The treatment: We finally arrived at the hospital, and had to wait strapped to our stretchers for what seemed like an eternity for rooms to open up. We were finally taken to separate rooms, and administered CT scans and Xrays. Everything came back clear for the both of us! Even more amazing, my ultrasound showed a healthy, thriving baby! Its heart rate was a little high from the stress but I was told that it was nothing to be worried about. Praise the Lord! We were released at about 9 pm. I went out on a wheelchair so it wouldn’t take us until the next day to get to the Phillips’ car, but I was walking much better the next morning.
The visitors: Our wonderful missionary friends, Kevin Hall and Jeremy Hall got to the hospital within two hours of the time of the accident! I’m pretty sure they literally dropped everything and came as quickly as possible! Our friends, the Phillips, who had Jolynn had been called by the detective and had done the same. They arrived soon after the Hall brothers, and I was just so happy to see my sweet girl! She cried for mommy and wanted in my bed, but I still had my neck brace on and an IV in. It broke my heart to not be able to hold her, and it was the first time I was tempted to cry all day! Thankfully, I did get to hold her after the brace was removed.
The Phillips took us back to their house and took great care of us until they returned us to Paul’s brother Jake to take us home the next day!
The recovery: We are happy to be recovering at home. We are sore but still so amazed that we are doing as well as we are! My parents are on their way down to help us with Jolynn and enable us to get the rest we need. Paul will still be traveling to our meeting in Chattanooga tomorrow, and I will be attending Vision with my family.
The One who spared us: We are so in awe of our great God and His hand of protection over our family! Even the tow trucker said he had never seen anything like our accident and was shocked that we were not seriously injured! Truly a testimony of an amazing God! All glory to Him for his goodness and watch care over His children! I am so thankful to be given more days to serve Him and to make His name great!
*this post may need to be updated Monday when we receive our police report.