“Grateful to Live Another Day.”
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“I can see I'm laying on my whole left side and I look down at my body and I see that I'm covered in blood. But I had no sensation from the neck down.” Brandi Milbourn recalls being on her way to work in the morning hours of August 2008 when her world was suddenly turned upside down. A pickup truck ran a stop sign at 60 miles per hour, hitting Brandi’s car and ejecting her. She landed over 160 feet from where her car came to rest. She recalled, “The next thing I know I wake up and I'm in a field. I couldn't, I couldn't feel anything, but I also couldn't feel any pain. But I couldn't move arms, legs, I couldn't move anything. I kept saying, 'There's something not right, there's something not right. But I still I can't feel anything.'”
She was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, then life flighted to North Kansas City Hospital due to the severity of her injuries – her parents, Rick and Kathy, were notified and rushed to the hospital unsure of her condition. Kathy recalled, “I started praying because, you know, we had lost a child six years before this, so I'm like, ‘God, you can't take my only daughter, you know, my only child left.’ So, yeah, it was rough.”
“I remember driving really fast on gravel roads, praying that the Lord’s hand be on her,” said her father, Rick.
Brandi was alive but in critical condition. Looking back, Rick reflected, “When I first seen her, it was like it almost made me sick to my stomach because her hair was just matted to her head with blood. You know, I didn't know if she's going to be able to walk again or not.”
Bruising at the base of her skull indicated 'Battle’s Sign', an indication of a fractured skull and possible brain bleed. Brandi’s cousin, Marlys, is a nurse and helped care for Brandi. Marlys remembered, “Generally, people that have the battle sign do present with a skull fracture. And sometimes people that have those signs don't recover well at all. She didn’t look good and everyone was very worried.”
Family and friends continued to pray. Brandi’s dad, Rick, said he was filled with peace he did not understand. “I don't know why I wasn't afraid. It was, I think, God's hand on me. He told me, ‘I got this. I got this.'"
Miraculously, after two days of scans and monitoring in the ICU, doctors could not find any skull or neck fractures. Brandi remembered getting the news. “No brain injury. No spinal cord injury that, you know, the things that you typically see in car wrecks. And I didn't have any of those things,” she stated.
Rick recalled, “To rip the car in half and throw her that far out in the main field, it's just amazing that she survived that. The Lord’s hand was definitely on her.”
Injuries to her leg and foot were so severe doctors considered amputation. They decided to attempt surgical reconstruction, and though they were successful, Brandi would now face severe limitations. “They told me that I would never run again, that I would never wear high heels again, and I would always walk with a limp. Disheartening just to think that. But, but again, I was so thankful that I was even alive that I figured that I could deal with...deal with those things. And so I, I made it a goal. That's something I wanted to try to accomplish again,” said Brandi.
Brandi became a Christian in her teens but had fallen away in the years before the crash. Following the accident Brandi says she rededicated herself to God- thankful for her miraculous survival and a second chance at life. She reflected upon God's goodness, having said, “This...this car wreck has definitely been a stepping stone in coming closer to the Lord as it has made a huge impact in my growth and coming back to the Lord.”
She has since married and had a son. She works as a nurse at the same hospital that helped preserve her life. She said, “Being a nurse, just being out in the community, I just share the joy of the Lord, you know, the change that He's done in my life. I think today I'm grateful that the Lord brought me, you know, back to Him and closer to Him and I still mattered.”
“It's really awesome to hear her talk about things and her walk, you know, different things she's going through and what have you. It really makes you smile,” said Rick.
The limitations she faced after the crash have all resolved, leaving Brandi and her family with a renewed faith and a testimony of God’s goodness. Brandi said smilimg, “I can run again. I can wear high heels again, and I can walk without a limp. And praise the Lord for all of those things they said I couldn't do."
Brandi's mother, Kathy, said, “I think it’s amazing God saved her. He really did. She’s a miracle. A living miracle.”
“I know the Lord's love today and I am so grateful of His love. Every day I'm grateful for the opportunity to live another day,” stated Brandi.
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