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Accidental Electrocution Tests Farming Family’s Faith

When Zach went to investigate a smoking combine he had no idea his life and the lives of all who loved him were about to change forever. Read Transcript

NARRATOR: The soybean harvest was

going as expected for Zach Short and his crew until a call

came over the radio that a combine had started smoking.

When Zach arrived he went to climb on the combine

to investigate, but no one realized

it had come in contact with a low hanging power line.

12,000 volts of electricity shot through Zach's body.

With Zach's hands still gripping the ladder,

the crew used a plastic shovel to pry him free and called 911.

EMS Shane Pearson responded to the call.

The biggest thing I noticed right off the bat was his feet.

His work boots had just kind of been blown open.

He was in a very critical condition at that point.

NARRATOR: Zach was transported to the nearest hospital.

At the time, his wife Jodi was at home

with her 1-year-old daughter, Brindley.

I got a phone call that Zach been an accident,

and my first question was, is he alive?

Because I had no idea how bad the accident was.

And it was his mom on the phone and she said she didn't know.

NARRATOR: Jodi rushed to the hospital with Zach's parents.

When you get to the hospital and you can just

smell burnt flesh everywhere, it's pretty bad.

You don't know how bad it was.

They told us that he was going to be flown

to a different hospital, and that's when it really hit us

that this is not good.

NARRATOR: Zach was life-flighted to Via Christi

Hospital in Wichita, Kansas, and admitted

into their burn center.

Dr. Robert Bingaman was the attending physician.

He had some of the deepest electrical injuries

I had ever seen.

Both of his lower extremities were severely burned.

Actually, areas on his feet and ankles were charred.

The chances of living were no better than 50/50.

NARRATOR: Doctors put Zach into a medically induced coma

and worked around the clock to treat his burns.

Meanwhile, Jodi and the rest of the family

prayed and spread the word.

I posted on Facebook and that's

the minute the prayers started.

NARRATOR: Doctors were able to stabilize Zach,

but he was still in critical condition.

Three days later he went into cardiac arrest.

The nurses pulled me in the room.

And the doctor, while he was coding,

and they were performing chest compressions on him.

And we were just behind him, rallying, saying come on, Zach.

Come on, Zach.

Come back to us.

And then finally the nurse had said, we've got a pulse.

NARRATOR: But as quickly as Zach's heart recovered,

his kidneys began shutting down and his lungs

started filling with fluid.

The doctor told us he's not going to make it.

He basically told us to tell him goodbye.

So I took our daughter in and told her

that he was going to heaven.

NARRATOR: Friends and family gathered at the hospital

and waited for him to pass.

They soon realized God was still at work.

DR. BINGAMAN: Blood pressure started to come up

and oxygen saturation levels started to come up.

And then he began to stabilize.

The doctor said, I think he's going to make a liar out of me.

I don't, I don't--

he's getting better.

God was in the room with us.

He was there and he was answering people's prayers.

There's no doubt in my mind that God touched Zach

that night and turned things around and gave him a chance.

NARRATOR: Over the next couple of weeks

Zach continued to improve.

JODI SHORT: His kidneys started working

and his lungs started to empty.

And the doctor was just like, I have never

seen anything like this before.

NARRATOR: Unfortunately, doctors had

to amputate Zach's lower legs because of infection.

It would save his life, but now they had another concern--

whether Zach had suffered brain damage.

The only way to find out was to bring him out of the coma.

When I woke up in the hospital,

it was like I had a whole bunch of dreams.

I kind of knew what happened, but not really

at the same time.

And my wife was the first one to come in there.

JODI SHORT: My first question was, do you remember me?

And he-- of course, he said.

I'm not going to forget you and Brindley.

ZACH SHORT: And then she said, well you remember

you got shocked in the field.

And that's what-- right there it clicked in my head.

I remembered exactly what happened.

NARRATOR: The next three months would be hard

as Zach struggled through extensive physical therapy

and multiple surgeries.

ZACH SHORT: I would definitely get angry

and break down quite a bit.

I just kept praying and thought, you know,

there's a lot of people out there that care about me.

I have a lot to live for, still.

I just got to keep trying.

And God kind of showed me the light.

NARRATOR: Then, on Valentine's Day,

Zach was released to go home.

His town welcomed him in the streets.

ZACH SHORT: I couldn't believe it.

I had broke down when we drove through,

because there was people out there with signs saying,

we love you, Zach.

He says, how am I going to thank all these people?

And I says, you know, from what I

can see they want to thank you.

Because you brought them back to their faith.

NARRATOR: Zach has become accustomed to his new legs

and is thankful to get back to farming

and being a husband and a father.

In fact, he and Jody are expecting their second child,

a boy.

JODI SHORT: If it wasn't for all the prayers,

God wouldn't have heard that we needed a miracle--

many, many miracles.

And we wouldn't have received the miracle that we got.

ZACH SHORT: We looked at what the doctor reports were

and how bad my injuries were and there's

nothing explains my recovery but,

you know, God watching over me.

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