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Debilitated Pianist Dreams of Playing Again

Gilbert wasn't expected to live after he crashed into a mountainside. He miraculously survived, but with the long road of recovery ahead of him, playing his beloved piano again would take nothing short of a miracle. Read Transcript


ANI HOVSEPIAN: I waited, and I waited.

Several hours went by.

First, I texted him.

And then I started calling him-- no answers.

And this is very unusual for Gilbert.

NARRATOR: Ani Hovsepian finally did

get a call that December evening in 2014.

Her husband Gilbert had been in a motorcycle accident

and was being flown to Huntington Hospital

in Pasadena, California.

Ani was given few details, so she prayed it wasn't serious.

At the hospital, the head doctor told her otherwise.

And I thought he would say, oh, go in and visit him.

But he said oh, you need to go in and say your goodbye.

I said, Lord, I surrender.

You need to take over.

NARRATOR: Gilbert had veered off the road

and crashed headfirst into a mountainside.

Along with multiple broken bones,

he had massive brain trauma and wasn't expected to live.

But family and friends who gathered to pray

believed differently.

And I pray, Father God, for the physicians.

I was just praying in my heart that, Lord, You see everything,

and You know what's ahead.

So honestly, if I didn't have my faith,

I don't know what would I--

it would be impossible.

NARRATOR: Over the course of the night, the prognosis changed.

They said, well, it looks like he's surviving.

But he will be paralyzed from neck down.

NARRATOR: Two days later, Gilbert woke up,

and tests confirmed he wasn't paralyzed.

But it wasn't over.

He had to overcome a bout with memory loss

and still faced a multitude of surgeries and months

of physical therapy.

Even then, doctors expected he could be permanently disabled.

We kept pushing through and praying.

And then it was constant pray, take a step forward,

pray, take a step forward.

NARRATOR: Gilbert was fully aware of what was at stake,

but he still trusted God.

GILBERT HOVSEPIAN: I knew that God is going to show up.

God is going to change things.

God is there with me.

NARRATOR: That's because this wasn't

the first time God carried his family

through difficult trials.

While living in Iran, they were persecuted for their faith.

I was 17 years old when my dad was killed

and was martyred with 26 stabs of knife.

Was it easy?


Was His grace enough?

Yes, His grace was enough, even then.

NARRATOR: After a year of surgeries and physical therapy,

only one thing hadn't been fully restored.

The fingers on his right hand were locked closed

because of nerve damage.

Of all the possible outcomes, this troubled Gilbert the most.

He felt his purpose and passion was

leading others in worshipping God

through his talent as a pianist.

They said, Gilbert, that's it.

There is no hope.

And this is my situation.

This was.

I couldn't move my fingers.

And I couldn't even shake hands.

NARRATOR: The physician in charge

of Gilbert's physical therapy, Dr. Raffi Balian.

He could not use his hand to play, because that was

his profession, as you know.

So that was a limitation that we thought

would be devastating for him, because that

was the end of a career almost.

NARRATOR: Still Gilbert pressed on and managed

to get one finger to work.

It was extremely hard.

But again, I knew that God is good.

I can't see God's goodness in this area right now,

but God is good.

NARRATOR: While Gilbert came to terms with his disability,

he and his family continued to fast and pray

for complete healing.

Almost seven months after the surgery,

I went to friends to share the gospel

and share my testimony actually.

This couple came up to me.

They said, we are led by the Holy Spirit

to pray for your healing.

That couple, they prayed over my hand, my fingers.

I received that word by faith, even though, again, I

had my doubts.

But praise God, His grace is even beyond and above our faith

and understanding.

The next morning, I woke up.

And when I woke up, my fingers opened up.

I couldn't even believe that this is happening.

And when I came to Los Angeles where I live,

I went to EMG test-- the nerve test.

And the doctors said, wow, interesting,

your nerves are regenerating.

That was a total surprise.

And it was unbelievable when we first saw it.

I know.

Nothing can change my mind or reassure me

that it was anything other than a miracle.

His faith, his determination played a major role

in his overall recovery.

Exceptional is probably the right word.

It's amazing, also.

And I think we can also use the word miraculous

for this kind of recovery.

NARRATOR: Gilbert is still using his gift through his family

ministry, helping people in the Farsi-speaking world worship


I knew my purpose very clear.

My purpose in life is to know Him and to make Him known.

And through this accident, I got to know him much more,

praise the Lord.

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