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When Doctors Say There is No Chance for Survival

A routine hunting trip takes a tragic turn when an errant shotgun blast tears into Gip's head and brain. Read Transcript


THAT MORNING WE HAD

STARTED PAINTING THE

FOOTBALL FIELD FOR THE

KIDS.

THE PHONE RANG, AND IT WAS

ACROSS THE FIELD, AND I

PICKED PICKED UP THE

TELEPHONE, AND THE VOICE ON

THE OTHER END SAID THIS IS

THE SHERIFF, AND YOU NEED TO

GET DOWN HERE IMMEDIATELY.

I COULD TELL BY THE QUIVER

IN HIS VOICE IT HAD TO BE

SERIOUS.

I COULD JUST FEEL THE AIR

COMING OUT OF MY BODYMENT.

Reporter: THE GAIL

FAMILY WAS A PICTURE-PERFECT

FAMILY, BUT THAT PICTURE WAS

SHATTERED IN 2003.

GIBB GAIL WENT DOVE HUNTING,

AND THEY PICKED UPSHOT GUNS

AND TOOK AIM.

HIS FRIEND'S GUN WENT OFF AT

CLOSE RANGE, HITTING GIBB IN

THE SIDE OF THE HEAD.

Reporter: RICHARD AND

BETH AND THEIR SON GOT IN

THEIR CAR TO MAKE THE FIVE

HOUR TRIP.

NOBODY WOULD TAKE OUR

CALL.

AND FINALLY MY DAD, A

PHYSICIAN, GOT THROUGH TO

THE CHIEF NEUROSURGEON.

HE CALLED US, AND HE SAID,

YOUR SON IS ALIVE, BUT

BARELY.

HE HAD, LITERALLY,

HUNDREDS OF PELLETS IN HIS

BRAIN SUBSTANCE.

AND HE WAS INITIALLY -- HE

HAD A VERY LOW GLASCO COMA

SCORE, AND HE WAS IN AND OUT

OF CONSCIOUSNESS.

I CAN REMEMBER ALL THE

WAY DOWN THERE HEARING MY

WIFE CALLING EVERYONE AND

SAYING, PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR

SON.

PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR SON.

PLEASE WAS ONE OF THE

ONLY WORDS WE COULD UTTER

OUT LOUD.

PLEASE.

IN MY HEAD, IT WAS GOD,

PLEASE KEEP HIM ALIVE AT

LEAST UNTIL WE CAN GET

THERE.

Reporter: WHEN THE

GAILS TIMELY REACHED THE

HOSPITAL, THEY REALIZED IT

WAS AS BAD AS THEY FEARED.

OBVIOUSLY, HE WAS IN

ACUTE CONDITION.

VERY SWOLLEN AND BRUISED.

HE HAD BANDAGES EVERYWHERE.

HE WAS KIND OF

UNRECOGNIZABLE.

AS A 14-YEAR-OLD KID, THAT

SCARES YOU.

THEY TOLD US GIBB HAD

JUST BEEN GIVEN HIS LAST

RIGHTS BY THE CHAPLAIN OF

THE HOSPITAL.

HEARING THAT MADE IT VERY

REAL.

Reporter: GIBB SURVIVED

THE NEXT FEW HOURS.

THE DOCTORS SAID IF HE

LIVED, HE WOULD LIKELY BE IN

A VEGETATIVE STATE FOR THE

REST OF HIS LIFE.

I REMEMBER LOOKING AT

RICHARD AND SAYING, WHAT ARE

WE EVEN PRAYING FOR NOW.

IF HE DOES SURVIVE, IT IS

GOING TO BE HORRIBLE.

I DON'T WANT OUR CHILD TO

SUFFER.

AND RICHARD LOOKED AT ME AND

HE GRABBED ME BY THE

SHOULDERS AND HE SAID, WE'RE

PRAYING FOR A MIRACLE.

THAT'S WHAT WE'RE PRAYING

FOR.

IT WASN'T LONG BEFORE,

LITERALLY, PEOPLE FROM ALL

OVER THE WORLD WERE NOW

PRAYING FOR OUR SON.

Reporter: GIBB SPENT

THE NEXT THREE DAYS IN A

COMA.

AND THEN A NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE

THING HAPPENED.

GIBB OPENED HIS EYES AND

SPOKE.

GIBB'S BRAIN WAS

DESTROYED, AND A LARGE

PORTION OF IT WAS GONE AND

FILLED WITH BIRD-SHOT

PELLETS.

SO WHEN MY DAD HEARD GIBB

SPEAK HIS FIRST WORDS AND

THEY WERE COGNITIVE --

"HOW'S YELLER" -- OUR DOG'S

NAME IS YELLER.

AND HE SAID, YOU REALIZE YOU

JUST WITNESSED A MIRACLE.

MEDICINE CANNOT EXPLAIN

THIS.

Reporter: HE WAS LATER

TRANSFERRED TO THE SHEPHERD

CENTER IN ATLANTA.

WHILE THERE, GIBB SUFFERED A

NUMBER OF COMPLICATIONS.

HE GOT AN INFECTION IN

HIS BRAIN, MERSA, AND AFTER

A COUPLE OF WEEKS OF SAYING,

A MIRACLE, HE IS GOING TO

SURVIVE, AND TO ALMOST LOOSE

HIM AGAIN WAS VERY

DISHEARTENING AND ANOTHER

TEST OF OUR FAITH.

WE ACTUALLY WITNESSED

THREE OR FOUR CAR CARDIO

PULMONARY ARRESTS.

AND HE WAS RUSHED TO

EMERGENCY SURGERY A NUMBER

OF TIMES.

Reporter: THOUGH

DISCOURAGED AT TIMES, THEY

CLUNG TO EACH OTHER AND TO

THEIR FAITH IN GOD THROUGH

IT ALL.

I CAN REMEMBER IT LIKE

YESTERDAY, LOOKING AT GIBB

AND THINKING, HOW ARE WE

GOING TO MAKE IT?

WE'VE NEVER BEEN TESTED LIKE

THIS.

AND IT WAS ALMOST LIKE GOD

PUT THIS THOUGHT INTO MY

HEAD, YOU KNOW WHAT, BETH?

IT'S TIME TO START BELIEVING

WHAT YOU SAY YOU BELIEVE.

GOD WAS TAKING CARE OF US

EVEN AT THAT POINT.

I THINK BETH AND I AND

TAYLOR ALL FELT A PEACE

ABOUT WHAT WAS GOING ON AT

THE TIME.

Reporter: EVENTUALLY

GIBB STABILIZED.

HE WAS HOSPITALIZED FOR SIX

MONTHS AND SPENT ANOTHER

THREE YEARS IN THERAPY.

HE HAD TO LEARN TO WALK,

TALK, AND FUNCTION AGAIN AT

A NORMAL LEVEL.

AT THE TIME, I DIDN'T

REALLY -- I WASN'T REALLY

AWARE OF HOW MANY PEOPLE

WERE PRAYING FOR ME, BUT I

BELIEVE THAT'S WHAT SAVED MY

LIFE.

I HAVE HAD, IN 30 YEARS,

MANY, MANY, MANY SEVERELY

INJURED PATIENTS.

I DON'T THINK ANYBODY CAN

TOP WHAT GIBB OVERCAME.

HIS CHANCES FOR SURVIVING

AND FOR PULLING THROUGH,

PARTICULAR WHERE HE HAS COME

NOW, WOULD BE LESS THAN

ONE-TENTH OF 1%.

TRULY MIRACULOUS.

Reporter: BETH SAYS

THEY COULDN'T HAVE MAY IT

WITHOUT THE EARTHLY ANGELS

WHO WALKED WITH HIM.

PEOPLE LIKE GIBB'S FOOTBALL

COACH AND YOUNG LIFE LEADER,

COACH SCOTT.

COACH SCOTT WAS THERE FOR

MY FAMILY.

I DIDN'T KNOW HOW MUCH HE

WAS DOING BEHIND THE SCENES,

BUT I FOUND OUT LATER HE

PRETTY MUCH CARED FOR MY

FAMILY THROUGH THE WHOLE

THING.

Reporter: GIBB WAS

WEARING A HAT BY JEFF

FOXWORTHY WHEN HE WAS SHOT,

AND HE GAVE HIM ANOTHER

ONE.

JEFF IS NOT ONLY A GREAT

COMEDIAN, HE HAS A TRUE

HEART FOR GOD AND HAS BEEN A

HUGE FRIEND TO OUR FAMILY.

Reporter: BETH WAS SO

HUMBLED BY THE LOVE AND

SUPPORT, SHE WROTE, "AND

THEN CAME THE ANGELS."

AND SHE HOPES TO ENCOURAGE

PEOPLE GOING THROUGH SIMILAR

SITUATIONS.

I FELT REALLY GOD-PRESSED

THAT I NEEDED TO WRITE THIS

AND I NEEDED TO GLORIFY GOD

THROUGH THIS AND HELP

ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO DO THE

SAME AND GO TO HIM FOR HELP,

INSTEAD RELYING ON OUR HUMAN

WEAKNESS.

THIS HAS REALLY INCREASED

MY FAITH BY SHOWING ME

FIRSTHAND HOW POWERFUL GOD

IS.

THIS WAS AN IMPOSSIBLE FEAT,

FOR ME TO GO FROM BEING SHOT

IN THE HEAD TO GETTING

THROUGH COLLEGE, GRADUATING,

AND GOING OUT AND LIVING ON

MY OWN.

AND IT IS JUST UNFATHOMABLE

HOW POWERFUL HE IS AND ALL

HE HAS GOT ME AND MY FAMILY

THROUGH.

EMBED THIS VIDEO


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