By Scott Guhl
Less than a year ago, I was on my way to a pastors’ meeting when I was in a terrible car accident. My vehicle became lodged under a large piece of farm equipment. I was trapped for 45 minutes and had to be cut out of my car. I suffered a severe head injury and was airlifted to an Advocate trauma center.
Meanwhile back home, my wife gets a dreaded knock on our door from a sheriff letting her know what has happened. She gathers five out of our six children and heads to the hospital to be with me. Our oldest son and daughter-in-law meet them there.
I was unconscious during my time in the emergency department while they accessed the extent of my injuries. I had broken ribs, broken vertebrae, a cracked sternum and chemical burns on my arms and legs. But the biggest concern was brain damage.
Miraculously, scans showed my head injuries were less severe than originally thought, but I received 73 staples in my head. My wife and children were able to see me once I was stable. I think it was so helpful for them to see with their own eyes that I was going to be ok.
I was moved to the critical care unit, and in those first few days, I was unable to talk. I remember thinking, “God, am I ever going to be able to sing to you again? Am I going to be able to preach another sermon?”
During that time, my family was overwhelmed with support from family, friends and members of our church. And it seemed everyone we knew, and many we didn’t, were praying for us. And their prayers were heard.
My family and I were so blessed by the care I received at Advocate. My doctors, nurses and everyone I met were so wonderful. I never saw anyone just doing their job or going through the motions. It was clear that every person we came across had a personal calling and mission to help others.
As a pastor, I spend a lot of time in clinical settings, but this experience really changed my perception of hospitals. I have even commented that it was a joyous experience.
With the support of family, my care team and all the prayers, I made it through. My recovery has been nothing short of a miracle. I am back doing what I love.
I would like to thank all the caregivers for following your calling to help others, I want to thank my wife and kids for their dedication and love. And I would like to thank all the donors, who give generously in support of quality health care in their community. I am honored to be among you.
There are so many ways to pay it forward. For some it is giving back for the compassionate care received at an Advocate hospital. Please consider making a tax-deductible gift in support of the <fund name> of <site name>today.
I have seen the impact philanthropy can have, from providing state-of-art facilities and equipment, to offering support services and education programs. Your gift can make a difference for families—like yours and mine—for years to come.