Art Johnson, Indianapolis, IN

Total eligible bills
$57,639
Provider discounts
$22,784
Total bills shared
$34,854

After a serious accident last year, I no longer take freedom of movement for granted.

I was trimming tree branches on Memorial Day 2014 and was about 20 feet high. The branch I was cutting was heavy. When it fell, the weight shift raised the branch my ladder was braced upon and destabilized both the ladder and me.

I fell off the ladder and landed on a steel fence below. The fence is about 3.5 feet high with metal points at its top nearly six inches apart and seven inches tall.

Two or three of the points penetrated my abdomen. One even went clear through my back. I managed to get off the fence and lay down in my backyard.

I praise God that my wife, Karen, and neighbors saw the fall—and that one of the neighbors was a police officer and former EMT. After radioing for an ambulance, he administered first aid.

The Lord laid His hands on me and I’m certain there were angels all around that day. Miraculously, the fence points didn’t damage my internal organs. I was later told that one metal point came within an eighth of an inch of my spinal cord. Had it hit my spine, I would have become a paraplegic.

I received excellent care at the local hospital and underwent emergency exploratory surgery. I had two broken ribs, a fairly large hematoma, a bruised lung, fractured vertebrae, an eight-inch incision in my abdomen and other wounds. I was released after five days in the medical center, but I had to wear a back brace for a while.

I’m so thankful for the Lord’s mercy. He had everything in place to take care of my needs. The outcome of my situation could have been very different.

Karen and I (along with my doctors) were amazed at my rapid progress. After 24 weeks, gone were the five medium and large wounds we packed daily with gauze.

We celebrated the small victories—like the ability to drive again or wear a tie—because each situation was a big deal to us. We rejoiced when, after 16 weeks, I was able to return to church. In fact, I wasn’t prepared for the emotion of that day. We entered the front doors and just cried. My wife doesn’t shout often, but a “Hallelujah, thank you, Jesus!” came right out of her. She says she would shout it from the rooftops, but for obvious reasons our family no longer “does” heights!

I’m especially thankful for the freedom to walk in my church doors to kneel at the foot of the cross. There is no greater privilege.

We thank God for healing and no infections. He has truly been good. Christian Healthcare Ministries, too, was wonderful and shared $34,855 in bills after $22,785 in discounts. We are so grateful.

Later, we were grieved to hear that the police officer neighbor who saved my life passed away. We’d appreciate your prayers that God will comfort his family.

It’s been quite a journey and we hope that many people will come to Jesus through our experience. How rich God’s presence has been. We’ve witnessed miracle after miracle and are overwhelmed by the kindness of those who anticipated and met our physical, emotional and financial needs. Praise our wonderful Lord and savior!

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