God Our Helper
As a young mother, I thought my mothering days would be over as soon as I got my children out of high school, or for sure college. I was wrong. Those days are merely practice for what comes next. One incident comes to mind.
I got a call late one night from our eldest, Jennifer.
“Mom. Get down to Children’s Mercy downtown. Life Flight is bringing Gunnar in.”
“For what?” My mind spun. Their home town of Paola, Kansas was only thirty-five miles away. This must be something serious. Gunnar was only five. What had he done Why didn’t they take him to the local hospital?
Jennifer continued. “He’s been run over by a car. They didn’t have room for us in the helicopter. We’re driving in. He needs someone there when he arrives. Hurry.”
I was only twenty minutes from downtown. I pulled on my jeans, grabbed a shirt and shoved my feet in the first pair of shoes I could find. Of all weekends for my husband to be out of town. I glanced at my watch. Eleven. Why in the world did they have a five-year-old out at eleven o’clock? Did she say run over? I had to get there before the helicopter. I prayed as I drove. “Father, calm Gunnar’s spirit. Remove fear. Oh, Lord. Is he bleeding? Stop the bleeding. Is he in pain? Stand between him and the pain.”
As I pulled into the parking lot the helicopter sat on the pad. I rushed inside and asked the person at the desk, “Gunnar Karr?”
“You a relative?”
“Grandmother. His folks will be here soon.”
“Wait beside the door. Someone will be out soon. He just got here.”
Within minutes an EMT emerged with a transport basket under her arm. “Are you waiting for Gunnar Karr?”
“He’s doing fine. No broken bones. He’s very calm. In fact he fell asleep on the ride in.”
Did she say fell asleep. “Thank You, Lord. Can I see him?”
“You can go in shortly. They’re getting him ready for a CT scan.”
Maybe this wasn’t as bad as it sounded. Maybe Jen just thought he was run over. Surely he’d have broken bones if a car really ran over him. I called Jen from a phone near the desk. “He has no broken bones.”
“Have you seen him yet?”
“No. How far away are you?”
“Twenty minutes, at least.”
A nurse poked his head out the exam room door. “You can see Gunnar now.”
The brilliant light overhead flooded the room. Gunnar’s tiny five-year-old frame looked so small on the big exam table. They had cut off all his clothes. He was in a neck brace. Two black tire marks ran up his body from his left hip to his right shoulder. There was no mistaking it. He for sure had been run over, stem to stern.
“Two tires ran over me, Grandma.”
I must not cry. Remain calm. I stroked his hair. “I know, hon. Mom and Dad’ll be here soon.”
They lifted him to a gurney and whisked him off for a CT scan. I waited in the nearby waiting room. Jennifer and Scott arrived.
“So, give me the details. Where were you this time of night?” I asked.
“We were at Jordan’s ball game,” Jennifer said. “I was in the bleachers and heard a thump, thump from the road behind me. I saw a small body fly out from under the tires of a car. I jumped down. The car went a little ways, then stopped.”
“Who was driving?”
“A fifteen year old without a license. When I got there I realized it was Gunnar. Someone called 911 and Life Flight showed up before too long.”
“I’m amazed. He doesn’t look too bad. Just some scrapes on his hips.”
“He only cried out in pain when they tried to roll him on his side. Some guy came up and took hold of his feet and began to pray. When Gunnar cried out, the guy prayed louder.”
“What did the guy look like?”
“Couldn’t really see his face. It was covered by a ball cap. He wore a pair of overalls.” Jennifer continued. “After the Life Flight took off I turned to thank the guy for praying but he was gone.”
“An angel perhaps?”
“Maybe. Whoever he was I sure appreciated him being there. I asked around if anyone knew him. No one had ever seen him before.”
The CT scan revealed no internal injuries but the doctors wanted to keep him for the next few days. Gunnar couldn’t sit up or walk. On Sunday at area churches, word spread about Gunner both in Paola and in Overland Park. Doctors puzzled over this patient. One doctor thought perhaps his growth plates were broken. If so, he wouldn’t grow beyond his three foot nine inch height. Another doctor thought he might have a hairline crack in his pelvis and wanted to operate. Further tests revealed no cracks. Another doctor wanted to cast him from his knees to his neck for two months. After two days never leaving his side, Jennifer called in tears.
“Mom, no one knows for sure what to do.”
“We’regoing to put it in Jesus’ lap and leave him there.”
That afternoon, Gunnar sat up. In another hour he walked down the hall with assistance. The next day the doctor ordered occupational therapy to fit him with a walker and show him how to use it. That afternoon the hospital discharged him.
I went to pick them up. On the way downstairs, Gunnar lifted his walker over his head like a set of barbells while he walked off the elevator.Gunnar! Put that thing down and use it like you’re supposed to. If the nurses see that they might not let you out,” I said.
The next day was the 4th of July. Gunnar celebrated Independence Day in his own way. He ran in the yard all day—without the walker.
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Author of God’s Little Miracle Book and others at Amazon.com