[ Miracles ]

Sudden Impact

It was winter break and we were all invited to our friend’s birthday party in her garage. The party would be the first time my best friends and I from high school had gotten together since starting college that fall.

It was great to see old faces from high school. But as 11 o'clock came, I was pressuring my friends to leave. As the designated driver, I knew it was time to go because the party was getting sloppier by the minute. We left around 11:35 p.m.

One the way, my friends asked me if we could stall so he could 'sober up' before he went home to his mother. Although I was tired from a long day that had started at 6:30 a.m., I agreed. Afterward, I drove my friends to their houses. Only then did I start the thirty-minute drive to my own home. I was very tired, but felt I could make it home without stopping.

Instead, I fell asleep behind the wheel.

I don't remember hitting the one-hundred-year-old oak tree. What I do remember is opening my eyes to a shattered window and faces surrounding me. Looking down at my legs pinned under the dashboard, I thought for sure they were either paralyzed or gone.

I vaguely remember the time from the collision to the arrival of the fire department and ambulance. I remember how enormously comforting the bystanders were, one of whom was a trauma nurse and gave me instructions to take deep breaths to relax.

Men in uniform told me not to move and proceeded to cut away the driver’s side door with the Jaws of Life. I shook continuously from the shock to my body and the 15-degree December night air.

As they lay me on the stretcher, I felt excruciating pain and cold wetness -- which was visibly blood -- on my right knee. My mind was racing a mile a minute and my body was chock full of adrenaline.

As the ambulance plowed forward to the hospital, I lay thinking of the miracle that I had just lived through. The thousands of thoughts in my head subdued the pain in my right knee. I thought of how unready I was to leave this earth, how God was with me at every moment, that life is too perishable to consume ourselves with such futile things like appearance, money and other diminutive issues.

After an initial examination and wound treatment in the ER, I was then taken to get a cat scan and X-rays of my legs, chest, and head.

Thank God, there no damage had been done to my head or spinal cord, nor were there any broken bones. It seemed the worst physical injury was a nine-inch laceration across my knee, which had to be stapled closed.

The pain was agonizing as the Novocain needle was probed into the open wound. Due to the large size of the cut, this took a good two minutes of nonstop, unbearably painful poking. Once the area was completely numb the doctor sealed the lesion with eighteen staples. Shortly after, I went into surgery in order to repair torn ligaments and tendons.

That was all the treatment I would need to be made whole.

My dad drove me home the next day. On our way, we went to the scene of the accident. Debris was still scattered about from my demolished blue Jeep. As for the tree I’d hit, a huge chunk had been knocked out by the impact.

We next met my mom at the collision center where the Jeep had been towed. We were speechless upon seeing the mangled heap. There was no question that God was protecting me that night.

What could've happened would have been so much worse if not fatal. I lived through a miracle that night and have never felt more thankful for just simply being alive.

Maggie G.

Rowley, MA