Jason Mirikitani: Saved by Prayer
By Jeremy Callahan
The 700 Club
CBN.com -Army Sgt. Dick Troy: When I saw the vehicle go over the concrete median and hit the truck, I didn’t think anybody was going to live in that car. Immediately, I tried to pull over to the right hand side and get out of traffic so I could run back.
Sergeant Troy Dick was the first to respond to the horrific accident on I-10 in Beaumont, Texas on January 15, 2002.
Troy: The roof was crushed in where they had hit the semi. I saw that the passengers on the right side weren’t as injured as they could have been I thought, ‘Well, this is a good sign.’
Jason Mirikitani, a Christian camp director, was traveling with his family to attend the funeral of a relative. Seated inside the small suv were Jason, his wife, Jill and daughter, Abby, along with Jill’s father and brother. A huge gust of wind pushed the vehicle to the right side of the highway where it flipped 5 times and rolled over the concrete barrier into oncoming traffic. A tractor-trailer plowed into the vehicle. Sgt. Dick raced to help those in critical condition first, and began with Jason’s wife.
Troy: She had no pulse. There wasn’t anything I could do for her. That’s always going to bother me that I couldn’t save her. When I first looked at Jason, his scalp was laid open. You could see the crack in his skull. He had grey matter on his arm and on his leg. It was really horrific. I kept telling him how he had to stay with us for his daughter and that she needed him.
Jason was airlifted to the hospital and prepped for brain surgery. The rest of the family followed in the ambulance. Emily Kavanaugh, a physical therapist at Saint Christus Elizabeth Hospital remembers what she heard about the critically ill patient.
Emily: There was quite a bit of damage to the frontal and parietal lobe. Once people suffer traumatic brain injuries, the big overlying question is, ‘How are they going to function?’ He did have a significant number of family members and friends consistently there, checking in on him, praying around his bed.
Emily began to pray for the critically ill ‘stranger’ too, and called on others to pray.
Emily: I had my young life girls that we would gather every Sunday night and Monday night, and so we would pray together and then they would tell their friends at school to pray for this guy, Jason.
Jason defied the odds. His neurosurgery was successful, and he was released from ICU within 72 hours for physical therapy.
Emily: He just continued to make good progress, you know, walking around reading signs. You know, these were things that he couldn’t do at first, but he moved very – I think very quickly.
Jason: I just remember ins and outs of going on walks in the hospital and stuff. I don’t remember it very clearly at all. It was all very vague and very confusing.
That’s when his family showed him a video that brought everything into focus—a video of his wife’s funeral.
Jason: I watched it twice. I remember asking my parents and brother, ‘Could I watch it again?’ And I cried both times when I watched it. During all that time, there was discouragement and sadness and loneliness. I’d been married 3 years and 3 months.
With a lot of help from family and friends, Jason’s recovery took just 10 months. Today, he has only minor physical impairments.
Emily: It’s been amazing to watch a success story, something where someone really does heal all the way, I mean, completely, and has the ability and the desire to share that.
Troy: His recovery was definitely a miracle. There’s very few people that could have come back from that.
Jason: Psalm 46:1 says, ‘God is our refuge and strength, ever present help in trouble.’ And it was a horribly troublesome time, but yet there was a man who had never went that way home before, whose watch was slow, and who had military medical training to help head injuries. I am so thankful Troy was there and willing to do what he did—and unconcerned about anything but just doing what he needed to do. I meet people on probably a weekly basis that say, you know Jason, I heard about your story. And I prayed for you. And I get wet-eyed about that, of course I do. And of course, I say to them, ‘You know what—thank you! I’m alive because of people like you that prayed for me.’
Two years after the accident, Jason met Christie, now his wife. And today, Abby has a younger brother, Josiah. Jason travels around the country sharing the story of his incredible recovery.
Jason: You’ve seen my family, Abby okay and Jo Jo and my sweet wife and—and we’re all playing Candy Land. This is the bright hope and future that I get to presently live out. God just in his undeserved kindness, his undeserved favor, helps us out. Because I was laying on the side of a road, a side of the highway with my skull cracked open and god put the right person there with the right know how at the right time to save my life and completely spared my daughter. I do know that prayer and faith makes a sick person well. Cause scripture tells me that. And I do know that it has nothing to do with the size of our faith, but the size of the god in whom we have faith. And so I say come with your mustard seed-sized faith to a very large God and pray.
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