CBN.com Rain pounded the windshield as Natalie Elders dropped her daughter off at school on April 10, 2003. Her husband, Dewayne, left earlier to open the family convenience store for the day. Then his phone rang – Natalie had been t-boned by a pickup truck.
Dewayne arrived on the scene of the accident, “The car had been hit bad and knocked back against the guardrail. I was looking for Natalie of course, and they already had her out of the car, she was in the ambulance and the paramedics were working with her. At the time she was lifeless.”
The local hospital could not handle Natalie’s multiple trauma injuries so the family followed the ambulance to nearby Asheville, North Carolina. At first, the doctor was hopeful.
The doctor told Dewayne, “He said, she’s in a coma but he thought she would wake up within 24 hours. She didn’t wake up in 24 hours; she didn’t wake up at 36 hours, and at that point we met with the doctors again.”
An MRI showed Natalie’s brain stem was almost completely severed. If she ever woke up – she would be a lifetime quadriplegic.
“My faith in God, which was the only thing I had. You know on the day of Pentecost, God sent us the Comforter, and that is pretty much all I had,” Dewayne said.
For ten days, family and friends waited and prayed. On Good Friday, doctors saw Dewayne down.
“He told us that without divine intervention there was no chance that Natalie would ever wake up. He said I want to meet back with you on Monday and he said at that point I want you to think about taking her off of life support,” Dewayne didn’t know what to think. “I guess in my mind I thought it was pretty well over, we we’re going to have to make a decision Monday and at that point I said, ‘God, it sure would’ve been nice to have a miracle performed, I know you can do it, it’s Easter!”
Word spread of Natalie’s condition. Churches in eight states were praying for that Easter morning when Natalie’s sister called Dewayne from the hospital room.
Dewayne remembers, “She said, ‘Would you like to have some good news?’ and she said Natalie had woke up and immediately we were just ecstatic. We sang Amazing Grace around her bedside and tears rolled down Natalie’s cheeks – that was pretty much all the response we’d had, but it gave us hope.”
Despite the doctors’ grim prognosis, Natalie quickly improved. Ten days later, she was transported to a rehabilitation facility under the care of Dr. Edgardo Diez.
Dr. Diez said, “When she was admitted she was in a very bad situation. She was confused, she was not oriented, she was not eating by herself and she had a feeding tube. Essentially, she was what we call total care; we had to do everything for her.”
Natalie began the slow process of rehabilitation. It was May and the doctors expected her to spend Christmas in the rehab hospital. To everyone’s surprise, she walked out six weeks later!
Even Dr. Diez was amazed, “I think for a person with this much trauma and the way she came and the way she left, I was very pleased too that she made such a good recovery in what I consider a short period of time.”
Natalie credits the Lord, “God is an intensely powerful God! What was going to take me many months or even over a year to do, God allowed, God did through me in just a matter of weeks. He can heal the blind, He can raise the dead, He can do whatever it is that He wants or needs to do, or is in His will! The miracles He worked in my life, they did not stop when he woke me up. First, they said I would never wake up and I did. Then they said I would be a lifetime quadriplegic, they need to just put me in a nursing home.
They said it would take 12-18 months to be anywhere near ready to go home and in 6 weeks I walked out! So, God was in control the whole time.”
Dewayne says since 2003, they’ve celebrated Easter for two reasons, “It’s when our Lord rose on that third day, but it’s also the day Natalie rose from the dead too! A miracle was performed that day and I just have to give God the glory.”