Living Through Miracles & Tragedy
Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him. Job 3:15
Our Church and the Bluffton Community have experienced a heart wrenching loss. Twelve days ago 14-year-old Grace Sulak was tragically killed in a hit and run car accident outside of Columbia. Andrea Dewey and her 14-year-old daughter Emma were critically injured. It's difficult to communicate how hard this has hit so many because both families are such a huge part of our Church and Community. I traveled to Columbia just after the accident to pray for Andrea and Emma. Emma was on a respirator, with a broken back, fractured wrist, a lacerated liver, perforated bowels, and a bruised brain and lungs. As I was praying over her I asked God to work a Miracle, not only in her, but in our entire Community. Little did I know a miracle had already happened and more was to come.
In an incredible chance of events, within one minute of the accident a passerby pulled over to render assistance. He just happened to be a first responder which gave him the ability to call in two Medevac helicopters that landed on I-26 in six minutes. More importantly he was able to keep others from trying to pull Emma out of the car by unbuckling her seatbelt. He quickly assessed that she had massive internal bleeding and the seatbelt was actually working as a tourniquet. In his words, "If she had been unbuckled she would have bled to death before the helicopters even landed."
Maybe the most astonishing thing is that the first responder was Brian Watkins, the Dewey's next door neighbor! He was traveling back from Charlotte with the Bluffton Jr.ROTC and just happened to come upon the wreck. If he had left Charlotte two minutes earlier or later, he would not have been there to save Emma's life. The fact that he was there at that precise moment, not earlier, not later... the odds are better at winning the Lottery. There is no other way to see this than God's Providence. I will never understand on this side of Heaven why Grace could not have been saved, but I do thank God that Emma and Andrea are alive.
Lastly, because of Emma's injuries the Doctors believed that she would be hospitalized until mid-June and would not be able to get out of bed for three weeks. She was walking in four days as you can see from the video below. Maybe the greatest news of all, Andrea and Emma were brought home yesterday! While there are difficult days ahead for many we can only love and pray for these families, believing that God will make all things new and one day everything sad will come untrue.