A Mother's Journey with Her Son, Part 2

Read Part 1 of Karen's blog here.

Prior to Josh's Shepherd Center journey, he recuperated for three weeks in the Intensive Care Unit at Lourdes Hospital in Paducah, Kentucky. In addition to his C5-C6 incomplete spinal cord injury, Josh sustained a fractured pelvis, perforated bladder, fractured sternum, fractured left elbow, T4 compression fracture, and contused lung from nearly being impaled by a large stick just below his left scapula. The elbow fracture would require surgery to repair. However, we had to wait on this due to his dangerously low blood pressure.

Could Have Been Worse

Despite all this, Josh miraculously escaped a brain injury when he was ejected from the convertible sports car after it hit a large oak tree. Upon impact, he was propelled forward some 25 feet before coming to rest face-down in a shallow muddy ditch where he lay completely paralyzed and gasping for breath. Before careening into the tree, the car first slammed into a mailbox while the neighbor across the street was walking down his driveway to retrieve his morning newspaper. Cell phone in hand, he called 911 and within three minutes the first responder arrived. God's tedious plan for Josh's rescue and recovery had started, before he even hit the tree!

Fully conscious, Josh screamed out to God to save him and for someone to call his dad. Arriving first was a youth group friend, a volunteer firefighter from our small community fire station just two miles away. Emergency vehicles had been dispatched and Josh was immediately boarded with his neck carefully collared and secured. While the ambulance raced to the closest hospital, Josh fought to breathe and stay alive. His new life was beginning without his consent. He was now a spectator as the ED trauma team quickly took charge of stabilizing him for surgery and rapidly infusing steroids to decrease the swelling around his spinal cord. Coincidentally, about six weeks prior to the day, Lourdes Hospital had recruited a gifted neurosurgeon to our small town. God's provision was being executed; He was working out the intricate details behind the scenes.

Beginning New Lives

In the early morning hours of October 19th, my new life as Josh's caregiver began. I found myself firmly planted in a front row seat during his three weeks in the ICU, closely observing the devoted medical, nursing, and rehab staff care for my son. My typical day began at 6:00 a.m. as the first doctor would round, and ended around midnight after Josh would drift off into a drug-induced sleep. Night after night, I drove home to rest for a few hours to prepare for the next day, further educating myself on spinal cord injuries and researching rehab centers. My grief was growing exponentially on the inside, and as I drove in the quiet darkness, I would weep for what was and cry out to God, begging for his miraculous healing upon my son.

Josh and Karen in the hospital

After seven full days of laying motionless, the first of many physical miracles took place: Josh slightly moved his right big toe! The roar of excitement was heard around the entire unit and quickly traveled within the confines of the hospital. With renewed hope and elation, Josh had entered into the grueling rehab portion of his early recovery. God was moving, and we all watched in awe as Josh became medically stable over the next two weeks. Chapter two of his new life was about to begin, a chapter full of tenuous and grueling challenges. The Shepherd Center, here we come!

"This is my command, be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

Read Part 3 of Karen's blog here.

About the Author

Karen Wenning

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Karen Wenning was an X-ray tech for 18 years before going back to school to become an ER Nurse at age 49.

Mother of three beautiful children: Chris, 30; Josh, 27; Jessica, 25. Grandmother of four grandboys with another grandboy on the way.

Josh's ride is a Quickie 7R.

Most of the stories here on LiveQuickie.com were submitted by readers. Do you have a story to tell? We'd love to hear it. Submit your story here.

Date: 12/13/2016 12:00:00 AM

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