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Nov 26 2008

God in Our Worst Times: “2yr old Ethan hit by a truck”

womaninpainThis is part of a blog series entitled, "God in Our Worst Times". A collection of stories from Christian families who have endured some of life's worst moments. They tell their stories to demonstrate how God pulled them through and to encourage the rest of the body that our God, is a good and loving God.

This post was written by Josh and Christy Dailey. They serve as youth pastors at Life Connection Church in Phoenix AZ and have 3 children. They tell the story below of how they almost lost their first born son when he was hit by a truck.

One evening, my husband and I were sitting in our home after putting our two children to sleep for the night. Josh and I were so blessed with our then two-year-old son, Ethan, and six-month-old daughter, Avden. Knowing that our children were called and purposed for the Lord, we want to raise them according to His plan for their lives. This particular evening, we were praying for our first-born son, inquiring of the Father as to what Ethan would become. The words we received from the Lord were near identical:

"He (Ethan) is meant to impact the nations. This is not a cliche for him. Though he is young, he has been given a wise spirit.     He is strong (the name Ethan is translated  "Firm; Strong"). He will be My voice".

Saturday, August 27, 2005, about 2 weeks after hearing from the Lord regarding our son, began with great excitement. I had been working at a juice and smoothie shop, which was owned by my two older brothers, for most of the day and evening, and was getting prepared for a very special "Open Mic Night" event. The space was pretty packed out with customers who were enjoying the night of delicious beverage and the talents of various town-folk. As the night wound down, mostly only our closest friends still remained to hear the final band, which consisted of my two brothers and Josh. Feeling content with the day's work, I decided to clock-out and join my friends and hold my children.

As soon as I walked out from behind the counter, I grabbed my little boy and gave him the hug of a mother who hadn't seen her son all day. I loved holding his tiny body, as Ethan is fairly small for his age. I carried him to the front of the store and took a seat next to a friend who was holding my baby girl. It was nearing 9:00pm and Avden was getting fussy with sleepiness. As I put Ethan on his feet, I took Avden and rocked her gently to the melody that was being played. Feeling her begin to calm, I turn to look towards the back of the store where I thought Ethan had gone to play with some other kids. I can't see him. I stretch my neck farther, lean back and forth, to get a better view… I can't find him.

Ethan is hit head on by a truck

At that moment, a young man comes running through the front doors in obvious panic. "Please call 9-1-1. A kid was just hit by a car!" Right away, I knew that that kid was my son. "No…", I thought.  I couldn't seem to get outside fast enough. With my baby still in my arms, I find myself on the sidewalk outside. I turn to the left and see an image that will haunt me to this day.

My friend, Tim, approached with a hastened pace as he carried the still frame of a small child. Unconscious. Blood streaming from his forehead. To me, he appeared dead.  "Is it Ethan?", I asked, already dreading the answer. "It's Ethan." Immediately, my knees, arms, legs, my very heart, gave out. I turned, almost tossing Avden into the arms of yet another nearby friend before collapsing onto the cement. "NO!" I see my husband run to the bench where they laid Ethan's wounded body. I can't move. I can't bring myself to go to my own son. "I was just looking for him. I was just looking for him. Oh Lord, I need you right now. I need You, Lord", were the only words that I could say… over and over again.

The chaos was surreal. People seemed to be coming out of ever door. All of a sudden, the streets were lined with curious and concerned faces, some familiar, some unknown, all in total helpless shock. My sister-in-law, Melissa, was the first voice that could break through my paralyzed, yet over-active, thoughts. "Your son needs you, Christy.", she said, urging me to join my husband at his side. I can't seem to get a grip on what was really happening. I just needed to know one thing… "Is he alive, Mel? Is my son alive?", "He's crying for you. He wants his mom."

At those words, it was like the fog of confusion came rushing into focus, and I heard the screams of my terrified little boy. I had to get to him. I rose to my feet, surprised to see that the local police had already arrived on scene and were checking him out. I looked at his small face, and my heart shattered as I saw the damage done by the truck that had hit him. There were two large cuts on his forehead, one spilling blood into his left eye. By now, firemen had arrived, as well as more on-lookers. Unwilling to allow the possibilities of anything other than a miracle, I am overwhelmed with the need to cry out to my God. "Lord, You are the Creator of all things! You are the Great Physician! I know that You are able to bring complete healing to Ethan's body even now! Please, God! We refuse to believe the fear. Death has no place here tonight! Thank You, Lord, for Your healing. By Your blood, because of Your wounds, he is healed!" I didn't realize until it was over how loud I had been screaming that prayer. I guess when it comes to fighting for your child's life, you don't have time to get embarrassed or wonder what people might think. All I knew was that I was freaking out, but my God is bigger than even this.

Doctors get to work on saving Ethan

The next 30 minutes or so was filled with a lot of supportive hugs and making the necessary arrangements for Avden while we waited for the medi-vac helicopter to arrive.  When it landed in the intersection of Main and Verrado, they had me stand near the door while the loaded Ethan in first. I remember looking around in slight disbelief at all the people standing on every corner. This is seriously happening?! While in flight, I noticed the the helicopter smelled heavily of vomit before I noticed the EMTs frantically working on Ethan. I didn't put it together that it was his vomit, nor did I realize that he'd again lost consciousness and was choking on it. While they were doing their thing to save my son, I stared at out the window and had another conversation with the Lord.

"Lord, if this is it… If You are preparing to take him… If You are asking me to walk through this fire… OK. I will love You. I will serve You. If I need to prepare myself to watch him die…"

"No," the Lord interrupted. "Remember what I spoke to you regarding MY son."  All at once, the things Josh and I had written down from the Lord for Ethan came back to me. "It's not time for him yet. Keep fighting."

"Alright. Thank You, Jesus."

Not until I saw the frightened look on the EMT who told me that he had a son Ethan's age did I realize how close we'd come to losing him. They rushed him straight to a cat-scan and analyzed his injuries while Josh and I waited outside the open door, which allowed us to hear the doctors' discussion.

"That looks like a fracture there in his skull."
"Do you see that? There?"
"Yeah, there's some bleeding into his brain."

At this point, I have to cover my ears and try to ease the anger I felt welling up inside of me. Why are they having us listen to this? I pace back and forth, trying to do whatever I can to distract me from hearing them any more. Finally, they wheel him out and as we're walking with him to the pediatric ICU, I notice that his right hand is completely bruised and severely swollen. "Is his hand broken, too?" They have to wait for the swelling goes down before any X-Rays can be taken. So at this point, the diagnosis is this: skull fracture, slight bleeding in the brain, broken collar bone, possible broken hand. This is what I tell the small group of family praying in the waiting room.

"The neurologist is one his way to look at everything. So we're waiting for that."

Within an hour our family had gotten to their cars and were leaving the hospital. Josh called them with the Neurologist's report: No bleeding in the brain. Slight hairline fracture in the front of the skull. Not as bad as first presented. Amen!

Ethan begins healing

We remained in ICU for a few days, each one bringing marked improvement. Though not very responsive, and not at all himself, the first 24 hours or so, it seemed that Ethan was coming around quicker than anyone expected. By the third day, we were ready to go home. This was the final conclusion: absolutely no internal bleeding, doctors were split as to whether there was a small fracture or not (so if there was, it was minuscule), collar bone broken, but no need for a cast or brace. There was some "structural damage" to his forehead, which would eventually heal… not one stitch, not even a band-aid, was on Ethan's body when we walked out of that hospital on September 1! Praise the Lord!

Were the doctors wrong in their original assessments? Not at all. We fully believe that our son was in a very bad way when they first rushed him through those doors. So what happened? GOD!! All-Powerful, All-Knowing, Ever-Present, God! He stitched Ethan back together, just as He did in my womb. God worked a tangible, undeniable miracle right before our eyes. He saved our son. He stayed true to His promise. We don't doubt that Ethan is meant to do great things for the Kingdom of God.

Where is Ethan now?

Ethan is now 5 years old and very aware of the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit. He is extremely active, loves school, and thrives when teaching his 1 year old brother "how to do things". He loves life, and we are committed to teaching him Who to live it for.

For the last three years, the telling of this event has always proved difficult. Honestly, even just the memory would instantly cause tears as I relived every emotion. Plagued with guilt and unforgiveness, I'd never been able to see this night as anything more than a horrific nightmare. But then, again by His mercy, what had previously been unspeakable, has become the greatest miracle of our lives. We've experienced the Lord, Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God, by the nearness of His Spirit, see us through what could have been the most tragic night of our lives. It is instead a testimony of His magnificent, wonder-working, all consuming, love and faithfulness to those who walk according to His Word. That's why when my brother, Kyle, asked us to write this story, I didn't hesitate to agree. We are so excited for the Lord to be made famous through the story of our lives. I can no longer deprive God of His due glory by remaining silent. God saw us through then, and He continues to do so even now. Amazing!

Before the accident…

Ethan before the accident

After the accident…

Ethan after accident

Ethan after accident

Ethan now…

Ethan now

Copyright 2008 Kyle Campos @ Our Rising Sound

About the author

Kyle Campos