In 2011, I was only eighteen, although age could never prepare me for what God had in store for me. You see, I was like any other teenager just graduating high school, enrolling in college, and having a good time were my main priorities.
Although, I never knew all of that would change on a cold February night back home in West Virginia. After class one evening, I took a ride with my two friends looking for something to get into. Whether it be a party, girls, or just goofing off at Walmart, I was all in.
It was nearing midnight as we drove through a road notoriously known as the "narrows," named by its rocky hillside rising above a small stretch of highway.
As we drove, it felt the same as any other night, although I wish I could tell you how I felt the moments before a tragic event that would change my life. I wish I would have known what may lie ahead just a mile down the road. On second thought, sometimes not knowing is for the better.
Nearing to the end, the hillside began to collapse onto my car, and suddenly my life was changed forever as I was transported to a local Emergency Room. I began to lose copious amounts of blood as doctors worked frantically to save my life, but statistically, I was a goner.
A Neurosurgeon by the name of Ronald Hargraves was called for Emergency surgery that would take more than 10 hours to complete. He was tasked with removing broken skull fragments and rocky debris from the very hillside.
As he left the emergency room, my family rushed to him only to hear the six worst words a family with questions could here at this time "I did all I could do," but what he did was more than enough for God to intervene. The hospital room was set up as a makeshift funeral showing, soft music, a sign-in book, and countless people holding hands as they awaited my last breath.
My family was told the prognosis was poor and that two hours would be a miracle in itself "Take your time and say your goodbyes." Minutes turned to hours, hours came and went, and days approached as my heart rate would rise, I started to move, I then began to choke on the oxygen ventilation.
My dad, in disarray, fell on his face before God one final time begging him not to take his son. The doctor arrived and ordered the ventilator to be removed, but the staff panicked as they didn't have a respiratory therapist at that moment. Doctor Hargraves said, "I'll take full responsibility" as he removed the vent looking at me sternly, saying, "what is your name" I yelled STEVEN.
He then held his hand up and said, "how many fingers am I holding up," I yelled again, "TWO." He then walked out to my father, crying on the floor and asked him to take a walk with him. My father, not sure what was about to be said, was hesitant and fearsome.
"When steven arrived, I only gave him two hours to live, you see Mr. Young, I've treated patients who were shot in war and Stevens injuries were far worse, but he's in there talking to me. Mr. Young, go see your son, he's waiting for you".
My father ran to me and nearly jumped on my bed in tears. Now, I don't remember much of the hospital, but what my father said I told him that night always stayed with me. To this day, I reflect on these words when I'm in trouble. As he cried on my lap, He began to tell me how I was going to be okay.
I then replied, "God told me I'm gonna be okay." Whether God told me this, I could never confirm, but I will say this. I beat the odds, and later I enrolled in Nursing school, graduating second in my class. Today, I testify my story on the daily!
God took a broken kid as myself and showed his greatness. I gave my life to God from a hospital bed, and today I could never be more thankful; my God is a great, merciful God. I didn't deserve what he did for me, but I'll spend the rest of my life thanking him for it.
Steven: United States