Clarice and Ronnie Holden: Against All Odds
By Gorman Woodfin
The 700 Club
“She said, ‘Ronnie’s been in a serious car accident, and we need to get you home. I said okay. I tell you, after that, I don’t remember much coming home.”
Clarice Holden was on a business trip to New York City when a co-worker knocked on her door with frightening news.
“I didn’t find out any of the details until I got home the next morning,” she tells The 700 Club. “He was coming home from the restaurant, and the man ran the stop sign, hit him in the driver’s door, and ejected him out the passenger window. Ronnie had his seatbelt on, but it broke it. Then it threw him out the window. The car actually turned over a couple of times. But thank God it didn’t hit him. It would have crushed him. The young man unfortunately that hit him was killed instantly.”
Ronnie was seriously injured from the accident.
“He was in intensive care,” she continues. “His neck was broken in two places and his left leg was shattered.”
Trauma surgeon Dr. John Gary Maxwell worked on Ronnie’s case.
“He had a ruptured colon that wasn’t apparent initially. We were very busy taking care of his head injury and his broken bones, and then it became apparent that there was something very catastrophic going on in the abdomen. So he required another operation to take care of that.”
After the surgery, Ronnie slipped into a coma and the doctors gave Clarice terrible news.
She says, “It doesn’t look like he’s going to make it. He probably has about three hours. At that time, I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had anything like that to happen to me. I didn’t know what to say, what to do.”
What Clarice felt she could do was pray. She enlisted as many friends and folks from church as she could to pray for Ronnie.
“I knew that I knew that God was going to heal Ronnie and make him whole again. So I just went back to our family in the waiting room and friends, and I said, ‘Guys, we are not going to be wringing our hands. We are going to believe God together.”
Ronnie was already facing an uphill battle when complications set in.
Dr. Maxwell recalls, “Ronnie’s trauma score was such that was so high that the predictors for his recovery were very low. If you looked simply at the scientific predictors, he had a very low chance of survival. Then with the ruptured colon, he had sepsis. He had bloodstream infections. He required a great deal of antibiotics.”
Clarice filled her husband’s room with prayer, hymns and healing scriptures. She made sure everyone prayed for specific challenges Ronnie was facing.
“He would have a major thing going on every hour. Some part of his body was shutting down. A fever was going up. They’d have to pack him in ice to get his fever down. His kidneys would try to shut down. Infection in his system. It was one thing right after another.
“When you’re told, nothing can help him, I just needed to know what it was going to take to get him through the night. Then we went from specifics every day, every hour, what do we need to get through this. So we asked for exactly what we needed. And that is what we got.”
One by one each medical crisis was averted. The sepsis infection subsided. Intense fevers came back down to normal levels. His kidneys that were failing began to function again. Clarice says the turning point came when he woke from his three-week coma.
“When I saw his eyes, I knew he was going to be okay,” she says. “His clear blue eyes -- I just wanted to see them. When he opened them, I knew he was going to be okay.”
Fifty-two days after his accident, Ronnie left the hospital. Today he is healthy and doing well. His intestines are functioning normally. Ronnie believes the power of prayer saved his life. He says, “I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that that’s the reason that I’m here. Her prayers and the people that agreed with her and other people praying for me… never let anybody tell you it doesn’t mean anything to pray for somebody because I would not be here. That’s the only reason I’m living is because God answered people’s prayers.”
Against all odds, Ronnie’s life is back to normal.
Clarice says, “You always fight for something that you love, that you believe in. I love him, and I believe in him. I know that I know that he was not supposed to come out. But he did. He doesn’t even look like anything ever happened to him. When God does something, he totally restores, doesn’t he? He really does. He does a great job. A lot better job than me.”
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