Thursday, November 24, 2005

God's Blessing on this Thanksgiving

Early Saturday morning, driving home from a gig in Savannah, the members of the Christian rock band "Any Given Moment" were tired and eagerly anticipating reaching their homes in Atlanta Georgia. It was on a lonely stretch of I16 between Savannah and Macon when the SUV, carrying 5 members of the band and two others drifted slightly to the center median. The young driver, not realizing the effect that their trailer would have on the van, over-corrected and instantly, the whole rig started cartwheelling.

After flipping 4 times and landing on an embankment on the right hand side of the freeway, one of the occupants, guitarist Luke Hickok, looked back to see two of their number missing. He wrestled the door open and found his buddy, and fellow guitarist, Michael Jones, about 25 feet from the van. He had been ejected from the vehicle as he was one of two people who did not have a seat belt available to him. With one look he realized that Michael was too severely injured for him to be able to do anything for him. He called to Kyle, Michael's brother and bass player for the band over and Luke went in search of his sister Shea. She was the other occupant who did not have a seat belt available to her and thus, was also ejected from the van during one of its flips. She was found pinned under their trailer and so immediately, three of the band members lifted the weight off of her only to find her stiff and unbreathing. Luke carefully turned her on her side and suddenly she coughed up blood and started to take in air again.

Twenty minutes later, the ambulance arrived. In the meantime, Michael had died in his brother's arms. Michael was 19 years old and the boyfriend of Shea. He was a committed believer in Jesus Christ and therefore, is at this moment, in Paradise with his Savior. Thousands attended the three different services that were held this week in the north Atlanta area where he grew up.

Meanwhile, Shea has been clinging on to life. The doctors did not expect her to live the night given the horrific nature of her injuries. She experienced massive trauma to her upper body which collapsed her lungs. Most of the bones in her face are shattered, one of the most excruciatingly painful injuries any human can experience. Ironically, it may have been this pain that kept her alive given that she screamed for the entire trip to the hospital. This kept her lungs functioning, if only partially, and may be why she survived.

Tens of thousands of people are praying for Shea and her family. Steve Hickok is my business partner and so his emotional trauma affects me deeply as well. Steve is one of the most talented painters, photographers, and worship leaders in the country. His wife, Susan, is a beautiful and gifted individual in her own right. They have two sons, Luke, a talented 15 year old guitarist and Jesse, a 9 year old kid who is just now coming to grips with this tragedy.

Pray for them all.

For Shea's current status visit her blog.


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