Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Twenty Years Ago ... Remembering a Very Significant Day

Yesterday, 2/22/22, was a day for us as family to remember the same day of February twenty years ago, 2/22/02. And those of you reading this who were well acquainted with our family twenty years ago, also may remember the significance of this day.

Family gathered for the emotional moments when Gary was allowed to come off of sedation
 three days later, following the accident and surgery on Feb. 22, 2002.

Yesterday marked "20 years" from the date when Gary was involved in a horrific accident, when he was backed over by a trash truck right by our home. He was taken by lifeflight helicopter to UNMC in Omaha. After receiving 14 units of blood that day, and going through a  5 1/2 hour surgery by an expert surgeon, he (together with our whole family) began the long road to recovery. His story of recovery is covered with big and small miracles. Yesterday, we as family (long distance, over multiple states), had a very special time sharing our memories together, and giving our thanks to God for preserving our beloved husband/father's life that day. 

Another precious photo during the weeks of recovery,
with our third grandchild, Luke, just 2 months old.

It was a miracle, by God's grace. The road was difficult, with questions if he could even be stabilized for surgery, and then during surgery, if his right foot could even be saved. The expert surgeon made the decision to try to save his foot, and continued to caution us in the following days that he may still need to amputate. By God's grace and mercy, things turned around! And the injuries in his right leg improved, as well. 

There was a two-week stay at UNMC where Gary graduated from the ICU to a regular room, and then he was moved to Immanuel Hospital for two weeks of rehab. Back home, there were trips back in for more rehab, and continual changes of dressing at home for the wounds on his right foot, and left leg. He progressed from wheelchair, to walker, to crutches, and to using a cane over the following months.

Our family was amazing throughout the days and months of recovery -
here with our youngest son, Lance, at DeSoto Bend.

His progress was quite amazing, as initially, the doctor had told us that if all went well, Gary would likely be able to stand on his own in a year after the surgery. But just seven months after the accident, we were able to leave on a two-week roadtrip with our two sons, the two of our six children who were still living at home at that time. We had a walker and crutches along, and by the end of that memorable trip to California, he was using a cane! How we thank God for this amazing recovery!

It is sobering to think how close we came to losing our precious husband, father, and grampa that day in February 2002.  And how close so many, many friends came to losing someone who had great impact on their lives in many ways. We are filled with thanks for the miracle of these past twenty years. 

And also, we will never ever forget the prayers, the visits, the cards, the care in so many ways that were extended to our family during those days, weeks, and months of recovery twenty years ago. You all were so amazing, such precious tangible touches of God's love and care for us in our time of great need. Thank you again. We will never forget, and never stop thanking our loving, faithful God! 

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