Man Crushed by SUV Wins the Fight for Survival
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Dispatch: “This is 911. What’s your emergency?”
911 Call: “[scream] I need an ambulance”
Dispatch: “What’s going on?”
911 Call: “A Suburban fell on my brother. He is not in good shape. Please hurry! Please!”
On October 1st, 2016, Amber Wallen was talking to her sister-in-law in the driveway when she heard a crash.
Amber sprinted to the garage, where she found her husband Sam pinned under the SUV he had been working on. Her sister-in-law called 911; Amber grabbed a floor jack, trying to lift the three-and-a-half-ton vehicle off of her husband.
“Started trying to jack it up and I was screaming and praying at the top of my lungs,” said Amber. “I remember thinking, ‘this is it, this is it, this is it.’ And I was like, ‘Lord, this can't be it. This cannot be it. I'm not ready. I’m not done.’”
Finally, Amber got the vehicle high enough, to pull Sam, who was unconscious, to safety.
“His ears were bleeding, his eyes were bleeding, his nose and his mouth were bleeding. I mean he was bleeding everywhere,” Amber said painting a picture of the incident. “‘Lord, I just need him to come back and I need breath back in his body. And if You could just give him - if you could just give him breath so that he would have life. Just please let him stay and let him know who we are, my kids need him, I need him.’”
911 Call: “Are they almost here?”
911 call: “I hear it coming, I hear it.”
Firemen and Paramedics arrived on the scene and rushed Sam and Amber to a nearby hospital.
“The EMT kept telling me, ‘I know he's alive, but this is not really survivable,’” Amber recounted. “And he said, ‘You know, we don't know what the extent of his injuries are, and I don't want you to get your hopes up.’”
In the ER, Doctors determined both of Sam’s lungs were collapsed, and he had a crushed sternum and seven broken ribs. He had also lost his vision. Sam was put under heavy sedation and intubated.
Athena Dalton, Sam’s Trauma Core Nurse, began, “He was very serious. [It was a] Potentially fatal injury and procedures need to be done quickly in those patients in order to save their lives.
With her husband in critical condition, Amber sent out a call for prayer.
“All I kept clinging to was, ‘God heard my prayer in that driveway, and he is here,’” Amber said hopefully. “There was no backup plan. There was no Plan B, there was no nothing else. I needed God to do what I asked Him to do. And I had faith that He would. There was an immense sense of peace that just came over us as if God was just taking care of everything.”
Nurse Athena offered to pray as well.
“‘I'm here, I'm still praying for you,’” said Athena. “’I may be going home but if you would like for me to pray for you here I will do that, but I'm always keeping you in my prayers.’”
Doctors ordered an MRI to check for brain bleeds and heart damage. Afterward, Sam was taken to the ICU. He was conscious and aware of what had happened. He still couldn’t see, but more importantly to Amber.
“Once he knew who I was and he had the cognitive ability to talk to me and to know, like to remember things and all that,” said Amber, “I knew no matter what, we were going to be okay.”
As for Sam…
“If I was going to be blind, then I was going to be blind,” Sam said plainly. “After I had come back and I realized that I was still alive, I honestly didn't have the first thought of ‘I might die’ after that. I heard from other people ‘oh, he might not make it,’ but in my mind, I felt perfectly fine. I was completely at peace.”
The MRI scan showed that Sam’s heart and brain were undamaged. For the next several days, Sam surprised the staff as he continued to improve.
Amber continued, “‘We just have to wait and see how he heals. And we just have to,’” but their timeline, Sam was exceeding their timeline at every milestone.”
By the third day, Sam also regained his vision, and by the end of six days, he was off the ventilator and able to go home. His ribs and sternum would take time to heal, but as Amber would tell Sam, the main thing was ‘He was alive.’
“We got a lot more than we prayed for because I prayed if God just let me keep you, it didn't matter what kind of shape you were in,” Amber said of her husband. “And here you are able to walk around and work and take care of us and still be here."
Within weeks, Sam was back at work, and today remains active and healthy. His occasional aches and pains serve as a reminder of what’s important in life, and just how far the Lord brought him.
“There was no doubt in my mind that God was there the whole time,” said Sam. “We had so many people praying for us that we didn't even know during that whole time of us being in the hospital and healing up and the power of prayer is amazing.”
“Prayer truly does change things,” Amber said confidently. “And if He can show up in our driveway, He can show up in anybody's driveway. Because, for us, God showed us who He was."
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