Bill and Robin Faris: Pray and Watch
By Rod Thomas
The 700 Club
Bill Faris was going over routine business at his office. He started to delete what he thought was an old phone message. But instead, he decided to listen to it.
“It was from the hospital saying, ‘Your family’s been in a terrible accident. We need you to come right away,’” he tells The 700 Club.
His wife Robin and their teenage son had just picked up their three-year old daughter from daycare. It was raining heavily. Another driver lost control of his truck, crossed the median and slammed into their van. The passenger of the other vehicle was killed. Bill rushed to the hospital, but didn’t know what he’d find.
“I’m praising God, asking Him to intervene, to be there in the midst of all this,” he recalls. “The next breath, as if I were talking to the devil and all his demons, I’m saying, ‘Oh no. You don’t!’”
When Bill reached the hospital, he found that the children were fine. But he wasn’t prepared for the doctor’s report on his wife.
“They sat me down and said, ‘Now, we need to talk to you about your wife.’ It was way too much information. It was doctor after nurse after nurse specialist saying, ‘Now, let’s go over her orthopedic injuries. She’s had tremendous numbers of fractures. She’s got a wound nine inches long on the side of her head. So she had brain injuries. She has brain trauma.’”
Robin went through emergency surgery to save her life. Mary Kay Bader was part of the trauma team that worked on Robin. Mary Kay says, “She was close to death, not just because of her brain injury, but because of her ability to breathe on her own. Her heart was beating, which was a good sign, but she had a low blood pressure as well as the severe brain injury. Then she had almost 60 fractures or broken bones in her body.”
“I didn’t get to see her 'till the next morning,” Bill says. “But when I saw her, it was shocking because she was swollen up. She was bruised. They’d shaved off most of her hair, and she had this big thing sticking out of the top of her skull to monitor her inner cranial pressure. This is the woman that I had been joined to for well over 20 years, and I was going to put my hands on her, wherever I could find somewhere that wasn’t bandaged, and pray for her and watch.”
Robin was moved to a critical care unit, but she still comatose.
“The first week to two weeks after a severe traumatic brain injury are tenuous. The patient can die at any moment, especially if you cannot control the swelling in the brain,” Mary Kay says. “Based on Robin’s brain injury, as well as her other injuries, we knew we had a woman who basically had every body system that was affected.”
Bill continued praying for his wife. She was slowly awakened from the coma.
“There was only one outcome in my mind that was acceptable, and that was her recovery,” Bill says. “It was really hard. I think it was harder to watch her being in that much pain and awake and aware, then it was harder to watch her struggle in the ICU to live.”
Dozens of broken bones had to heal, and Robin also had to recover from a massive brain injury.
“I slept upstairs in our bedroom,” Bill says. “She couldn’t even manage stairs, so she was down in a hospital bed below. We had a baby monitor between her and me over night, and I could hear her on the speaker crying in pain. It still gets me. It was really hard.”
Robin says, “I was in the hospital total about 73 days. I was in ICU approximately a month. I had physical therapists come into my house two and three times a week. I had an occupational therapist come into the house usually twice a week.”
Through prayer, hard work and family support, Robin made excellent progress.
“The first time I walked all the way upstairs with my walker with my husband, with my therapist, physical therapist, and upstairs to the second floor of my house, I just stood there and cried,” Robin recalls.
Even though it’s been a slow process, Robin says she knew all along God would heal her and that she would have a good quality of life. “Isaiah 41:10 has been my scripture. ‘Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed for I will hold your right hand.’ I’ve always felt like God has His right hand around me all the time. I was hanging on as tight as I could.”
“It’s our reward to see someone back in their life, back engaged, working towards their dream or their goals and always moving forward. Robin has done that,” Mary Key says.
Bill says, “It is a miracle that she survived, that she had all of her brain use back. She actually was able to go back to school and finish her degree, go back to work, be a mom, be a wife.”
“It’s awesome to have my life back,” Robin says. “I basically am trying to do everything all the time. I work as an RN in Labor and Delivery 12 ½ hour, 13-hour shifts. I’m in school full-time in graduate school, and I teach for a couple of universities in the clinical area. My prayer is, ‘God, let Your hands be beneath every step I take.’ He’s watching me, and He’s my strong foothold with every step I take literally. I’m thankful to God for His love for me, for never letting me go and for just keeping His hands on me the whole time.”
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