The other night, I was sitting down quietly watching TV and a Louis Theroux documentary came on about end of life treatment in America. Louis went to the Cedar-Sinai Hospital in LA and spoke with those who are nearing the end of their lives, as America has one of the highest costs for end of life care in the world. I was in awe as I watched one story in particular play out before my eyes – it was like watching myself and my family. I wanted to share it with you today to let you know that miracles do happen in life, even when you think all hope is lost.
My darling daughter was just 18 when she was in a serious car accident. Her friend was driving and lost control around a corner – speeding was said to be a main cause. My daughter’s friend died instantly, but my daughter was clinging on for life. I was in bed when the phone rang from the hospital – it was about Lauren. She had been involved in a car accident and I needed to come immediately. I dropped everything and went straight there, only to not be allowed to see my daughter before she was rushed in for emergency surgery. I was desperate to find answers and was finally able to speak to a police officer who had attended the scene. He said that Lauren had been a passenger in the 1997 Ford Falcon and the driver was deceased. It was like I was in a movie and I couldn’t quite comprehend what he was saying. I sat down and waited until my husband could come down to the hospital. We waited for four hours until she came out of surgery. It was so shocking to see her perfect face so unrecognisable – at first I didn’t think it was her. Her hair was matted and one side was shaved…her beautiful blonde hair was in pieces. Her friends filtered in and out with balloons, cards and teddy bears, all crying and holding one another as they stood by her bedside.
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A week later and her condition hadn’t improved. Lauren couldn’t breathe on her own and it didn’t seem like she was going to wake up. The doctor sat down with us and discussed our options. She said that it was likely that Lauren would never be able to do anything for herself again if she did wake up, and the chances of her waking up were slim to none – she had no brain function. We had the option of turning off her life support or continuing to wait it out. As my only daughter, I knew what my decision had to be – she was my baby and I’d take care of her if I needed to, in any circumstance. We waited, and we waited.
It was 3.5 weeks after the accident when, just before I was going to leave for the day, Lauren stirred. She had scrunched her face up and was mumbling. I got the nurses to come in quickly and they thought it was just a usual tick but I knew Lauren was trying to tell us something: she wanted to get up. I waited and waited and she was gradually waking up! It didn’t seem real and I didn’t want to get my hopes up. She was supposed to be a vegetable and I couldn’t be encouraged by murmurs. Or so I thought. A few days later she whispered “Mum” when I was stroking her face, and tears started rolling down her face. The doctors came in and said they were floored by her progress…she had literally stared death in the face and come back – I have no idea how or why…but it was simply beautiful.
Lauren had been through so much, but slowly she came back. She had to have speech therapy, intense rehabilitation (still ongoing) and 7 more surgeries to put a plate in her skull, plus treat her badly damaged right arm, which now has limited mobility. She is now 26 and is still trying to assimilate back into the life of a girl in her mid 20s. She still needs care from time to time but it is inspiring to see her do things on her own. She even has a partner now who has been by her side every step of the way. She may never be exactly the way she was but she is alive and I thank my lucky stars every day that she is with me. It was a miracle and I believe it happened for a reason. She has a higher purpose on Earth and it simply wasn’t her time.
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The world works in mysterious ways… and I’m thankful it does.
Have you ever had a miracle happen? What was it? How did it inspire you and change your life?