Friday, June 29, 2012

'Help me!' he cried - and then. . .

Mechanic Bruce Van Natta was lying underneath a massive truck when the jack gave way and the truck fell on his stomach with the loudest noise he had ever heard.

Blood shot into his throat. He coughed and spat out a large blob. He was bleeding internally from major arteries severed in five places.

"Lord, help me!" he shouted out, twice. He saw that the left hand side of his body was only one inch thick, thinner than the thickness of his spine. The right hand side of his body was two inches thick.

The driver of the truck looked at Bruce and went into shock. The driver managed to call the emergency services and replace the jack, but only in an unstable position under one of the truck's springs.

Bruce pulled as hard as he could on the truck's bumper to pull himself clear, but passed out. "My spirit left my body," he said, "and went up in the roof of the garage. My spirit was up there looking down, at perfect peace."

Then he saw, he said, a huge angel on either side of his body, dressed in white. Their arms were underneath the bumper.

An air ambulance arrived, but could not winch his body up because there was no ambulance equipment below.

A woman knelt next to him and began slapping his face. "Bruce Van Natta, open your eyes," she said. "Bruce Van Natta, open your eyes." His spirit shot back into his body and he felt excruciating pain. Every time he closed his eyes, his spirit left his body and began to travel down a tunnel. Then the woman slapped his face and his spirit returned.

"Do you want to live?" she said. "Do you have a wife and kids?" He remembered his wife and four children. I can't die, he thought. I've got to be here for my wife and family. He decided he had to keep his eyes open.

It was more than two hours before he was in hospital. Three doctors attending to him got into a disagreement. The CT scan showed he should be dead, but his heart was still beating. "We couldn't make sense of it," said one. "We didn't know what to make of it."

They repaired the major arteries but attempted nothing more, convinced he would die within hours. Twelve hours later, his heart was still beating.

Bruce had five operations in the next 12 months, then 18 months of rehab. But there was still a problem. The average adult has 20 feet of small intestine. All but three feet of Bruce's small intestine had been destroyed, and that three feet wasn't working properly. The doctors could feed him intravenously for only a year and then he would die.

A man named Bruce Carlson heard of the problem from a prayer chain and woke up two mornings in a row feeling he had to go to the hospital to pray for Bruce.

When he arrived, he laid his hand on Bruce's forehead and prayed for the small intestine to grow. Bruce said he felt an "electric shock" and heard a snap. He could feel his intestines rolling around.

X-rays and CT scans showed his small intestine had grown an additional seven feet in answer to prayer.

Bruce left his business and is now engaged in full-time Christian ministry.

You can read the full story here.