I Love Life: A Father’s Story of Hope
Sarah James, who received massive head and chest injuries after she was thrown from a truck, was in a coma for ten weeks. The parents of the high school senior refused to believe the doctors who kept reminding them the girl wouldn’t make it another day. Sarah’s father, Tim, was tired of the dismal prognosis and finally blurted out,
“Instead of telling us she’s going to die every day, why don’t you get all your behinds and do something to help our girl. I want Tina out of that bed.”
Unfortunately, an hour didn’t go by when a member of the hospital staff reminded Sarah’s parents she was going to die. But, the family didn’t listen.
“In my heart, I really believed Sarah was going to survive,” Tim told me. “My wife and I refused to let go of the only thing the doctors didn’t prescribe---hope! We also prayed 24 hours a day along with our church members who stayed with us during Sarah’s hospitalization.”
The days slowly passed and the agony of watching their comatose daughter was getting more difficult to handle. Tim wanted to do something for Sarah, even if it meant sneaking in her room and feeding her ice cream. Tim picks up the story:
“There was another patient with Sarah who had been in an accident and came out of a coma. Her boyfriend told me that he had fed his girlfriend some ice cream earlier in the day. I asked him how he managed to feed her when his girl friend had a trach tube just like Sarah. He told me the tube didn’t keep her from swallowing. I went outside Sarah’s room and asked a nurse if I could get some ice cream. She returned with a cup of strawberry ice cream, which Sarah doesn’t like at all. I figured ice cream is ice cream.”
Tim placed a tiny dab of the confection on Sarah’s lips. When the ice cream melted and ran down her throat, Tim scooped up a second bite.
”When I looked up, Sarah’s eyes were wide open,” he recalled. “I burst into tears! For me, I was witnessing a miracle!”
Tim didn’t tell the nurses about the ice cream because she wasn’t supposed to be fed since the IV solutions were sustaining her. But, during the night, Sarah regained consciousness again and this time in the presence of her night nurse. He ran out of the room at 2 am and yelled at the family,
“Come on, everyone---get in here. You’re not going to believe this. Her eyes are open.”
Sarah James, the girl who was supposed to die, has since returned to high school and recently re-entered dance class. Sure, it’s been a painful and gradual recovery. But, Tim and his wife, Lynda, were convinced their daughter would survive. Thanks to their faith, a heavy dose of perseverance and a spoonful of strawberry ice cream, Sarah James is completely recovered!