Ken and Phyllis were in Asheville, North Carolina camping which is one of their favorite things to do. They have converted a van to do just that and it has taken them all over the country the only exception being California and Hawaii.
It is while doing the very thing they enjoy that Ken was severely injured. As dusk set in, he stepped out to get some water in order to put out their campfire. Unaware there was a large rock in front of him, he tripped and fell hitting his head.
As a result he is now a quadriplegic unable to move his arms or legs. He has a tracheostomy and is currently dependent on a ventilator to breath for him. We have been contacted by his family to bring him back home to Indiana.
We arrive at his bedside and are greeted warmly by Phyllis with tears in her eyes as she shares her relief to be going home.
Ken although unable to move or speak, greets us as well not only with a sweet smile of his own, but a sparkle in his eyes as they too reflect his thankfulness. As Phyllis hugged the staff and said her goodbyes, we gently move Ken to our cot. Their daughter who had been staying with them, escorted us out to the ambulance as she will be driving back to Evansville.
During our flight Phyllis shared a little of their story with us, as Ken rested. They have been married for 59 years. Ken retired from AT&T in 2000 after 35 years of service. They have 2 daughters, 2 grandsons, 2 granddaughters, and 1 great-grandson and 1 great-granddaughter. Their entire family live close and they recognize how blessed they have been.
Camping has been something they have enjoyed for many years. Phyllis is a member of the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) and Ken has been involved with the Brotherhood Men’s Ministry at their church for over 30 years. She said without the love and support of their family they could not have made it through their current circumstances. Their children and grandchildren have taken turns going out to North Carolina to be with them in the hospital. She also said they have great faith in the Lord and know that He is always in control no matter what, and this is no different.
Our flight was fairly short and we arrived in Evansville safely. We transferred Ken from Abe to the ambulance for our short ride to the rehab facility. We found the staff ready and waiting for Ken. We tucked Ken in and prayed with the two of them.
Phyllis was looking forward to going home once he was settled for a nice shower and nap in her own bed. However, after 59 years of marriage she will not be away from his side for long she assured us. Please pray for Ken’s rehab and that he will be able to breath on his own.
BUT LET ALL WHO TAKE REFUGE IN YOU BE GLAD; LET THEM EVER SING FOR JOY. SPREAD YOUR PROTECTION OVER THEM, THAT THOSE WHO LOVE YOUR NAME MAY REJOICE IN YOU.
Thank you to Hal, Eric, JR, and Edith for sharing this mission with me. Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.
Shelli Engle RN