Teen Gets Second Chance at Life After Car Accident
By Brandice Hudson
The 700 Club
CBN.com-Kenny and Lana Hylden can’t number the times they’ve travelled this road near their farm in North Dakota. But the morning of April 6, 2007, Good Friday, is one that is etched in their memory.
Kenny looked across the field. “As we got to this point we could see a car out in the field and I turned to Lana and said, ‘what in the world is going on here?’”
They went to the scene where they found an overturned car and a badly injured young man covered with mud; neither looked familiar.
“His face was double the size of a normal face. It was so swollen up. He couldn’t open his eyes because they were so full of mud.” Kenny continues, “(We) didn’t know who he was we just referred to him as sir, ‘take it easy. We’re going to get you help.’ I went back to the vehicle to call 911.”
It didn’t take long for them to learn who the person was. Lana realized it first. “Kenny yelled from the window of the vehicle, ‘go get that article of clothing that was laying in the field.’ When I initially touched the coat I knew then that the boy there laying in the field was my son. My whole world was shattered at that moment.”
Their 16 year-old son Ben left just minutes before they did. The road was icy and he lost control. The car flipped, ejecting him into the field.
Still in shock, they whispered a short prayer. “Please Lord, help him.”
Kenny feared the worst. “I really didn’t expect that he was going to pull through. The way he looked, there wasn’t much hope.”
At the hospital, Ben was rushed into the operating room for multiple injuries - including damage to his intestines, liver and pancreas. An artery in his right leg had been crushed. And he was bleeding in the abdomen and brain. A nurse told his family he had a five percent chance of survival.
Endovascular surgeon Doctor Scott Charett says his primary concern was getting Ben to breathe. “In situations typically where you start out with bad lung injuries things usually progressively worsen over the next 24 to 48 hours before they start to get better.”
While Ben lay in an induced coma on ventilator support, his family and friends refused to give up hope.
Kenny says, “My brother’s mother-in-law told the whole room. She said, ‘that’s enough. We’re not going to take no for an answer.’ She led everybody in prayer. She just pleaded with God, ‘Do not let Ben go.’”
Ben survived the night. The prayers continued, and over the next few days his health progressed. Doctors expected him to spend at least 2 weeks in the ICU. But in just four days, Ben’s induced coma was lifted. He was breathing on his own.
Kenny says, “Our son Andrew went to talk to him. He said, ‘Ben the Twins just played a baseball game and they lost.’ and Ben gestured to him, not in a very polite way, but we knew it was Ben.”
Ben’s internal injuries began to heal too. Doctors expected his hospital recovery to last at least a couple months. But he was discharged within two-and-a half weeks.
Lana watched Ben’s condition improve. “To me (it was) a miracle that He was healing so quickly and we knew that God was doing that part. And there were so many people praying for Ben.”
Five months later Ben returned to school and playing his passion - basketball. He graduated high school and earned a college degree.
Doctor Charett gave the credit to Whom it was due. “His ability to survive the lung injuries that he sustained is nothing short of a miracle. I can fix things but God is One who heals things. The healing for him to survive - this was God.”
But there’s more to Ben’s healing. He says before the accident he knew about God, but hadn’t surrendered his life to Him. “One of the biggest things I’ve learned in my life since then is about Christ’s love; because I did not deserve to live in that field. I had nothing in my life to deserve a second chance but He was so gracious and so loving.
Lana adds, “My prayers were answered and beyond what I prayed for.”
Kenny sums it up. “From this I just learned that God’s in charge.
Today, Ben finds his purpose in telling others his story of healing and redemption. “He saved me on the cross. He saved me physically; once in the field, and once on the operating table. He saves me every day. He’s my lifeline every single day.”
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