Bill and Heather Murk (his youngest daughter, 12yrs. old at the time of the accident) were involved in a nearly fatal auto accident on December 7th, 1999. While Driving through a one-lane construction zone, they were hit head-on in a 90mph + collision with a 40,000-lb, 18 wheeler gravel truck. The trucker was trying to avoid a stopped flatbed truck in front of him, and swerved right into the Murk's path. His truck, along with the Murk's car, was completely totaled.
Although a miracle that they survived, they were both in critical condition and were rushed into emergency surgery. Because of internal bleeding from lacerations and bruised organs, Heather was critical condition for the first eight months. Her precious face was left unrecognizable, having over 450 stitches. The plastic surgeon did a masterful job saving her left eye, which had been completely exposed (with glass cutting through the cornea). He also was able to save her tongue, which was over 95% severed in the back. Miraculously, no bones were broken.
Bill, on the other hand, suffered the dislocation of his left hip, as well as having both hips crushed. He may face several future surgeries. He was in traction, lying flat on his back, for 10 weeks. He then was brought by ambulance to a re-hab hospital. He stayed there for 2 weeks, to begin physical therapy. One week after returning home, he was re-admitted for a life threatening blood clot that extended the entire length of his right leg.
Although Heather's eye had been completely exposed, no eye doctor had reviewed her case. We didn't find this out until several days after the accident occurred. When we discovered this fact, we summoned one immediately. He was irate, and said: "This child has had glass go through the cornea of her eye. At the very least she should have been rushed in for emergency, laser eye surgery." He became more and more perplexed as he said "Are you sure no one else has touched her eye? Because this glass has been removed, and the surgery has been completed perfectly, but not by a human hand". We serve a God who can accomplish miracles.
We were told that Heather would never speak or sing again. After she had been examined by different specialists, they said they wanted to give us some hope. We were told that, perhaps with many years of speech therapy, she might regain some of her speech, but that there were no guarantees that she would ever sing again. The evening after receiving that rather grim prognosis, God restored her speech within one sentence. She has also been given back the gift of singing as well.
As you can imagine, Heather's face was decimated. The doctors and nurses that saw her in the emergency room said that they had never seen worse head trauma, facial lacerations etc. In fact, the plastic surgeon who was called in said that he didn't know if there was anything he could do for her, even with years of plastic surgery. Again God worked another miracle, because aside from Heather's initial surgery (which was stitches immediately following the accident), she has had no plastic or reconstructive surgery whatsoever.
Although God has performed some incredible miracles, there are still numerous challenges that exist to this day. For instance, although God has brought about incredible healing and restoration of Heather's face, a day does not go by where she doesn't have to pick glass out of her face, her scalp, her legs, her tongue, etc. She is also dealing with numerous medical conditions, including Raynauds disease (a circulatory condition, causing extreme cold in extremities and occasional temporary paralysis), Hashimoto's Thyroditis (a condition where her body is trying to kill off her thyroid) and Celiacs disease (complete intolerance of wheat/gluten - effectively reducing her diet to fruit and vegetables).
And of course Bill will be dealing with the repercussions of crushed hips for the rest of his life (pain, stiffness, physical limitations, etc). We know that God can accomplish miracles, we've seen Him do it. So there must be a reason that He's allowing these various "challenges" to remain. Could it be that He has a higher purpose and a plan? Stephen Curtis Chapman's song says it best...
God is God and I am not
We know first hand that not only is God a God of miracles, but He is also a God of perfect timing and will never allow us to be tested beyond what we can bear (1 Corinthians 10:13). And no matter what things might look like, God is still in control (Jeremiah 29:11). We have found peace, joy and contentment as we put our focus on the problem solver, instead of the problems. And we can truly rejoice and give thanks in all things, because no matter what happens around us...All is Well.
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