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Alone in the Blizzard

With the help of God’s grace, a doctor finds help in a snowstorm. But who drove by was more than coincidence…

Mysterious Ways

There are a lot of lessons a young surgeon learns. One of the biggest to come my way happened outside the operating room in the dead of winter many years ago.

Back then I was practicing at a small hospital in Manchester, Iowa, about 19 miles west of my home in Dyersville. An easy half-hour drive on a two-lane country road. Easy in good weather, that is. I had a hernia surgery scheduled at 7:30 one morning. The patient was a young boy. The surgery didn’t worry me so much, but the weather did. I looked out my window before I went to sleep the night before. Snow was coating the trees in our neighborhood. The road was almost completely white. Hope I can get to the hospital tomorrow, I thought, vowing to get an extra-early start.

First thing in the morning, I looked out the window again. The snow had slowed. I can make it, I thought. I dressed, threw on my coat and hopped in the car.

The road was icy but manageable. Then, halfway to the hospital, the tires lost their grip. I tried to steer, but the car just slid…right off the road. Bam! White burst across the windshield. I’d ditched into a huge snowbank.

Shaken, I got out of the car, pulling my coat tight. The temperature was below zero, and the light snow had become a full-blown blizzard. I looked around. No cars in either direction. Not at this hour, not in this weather. The closest town was miles away. I’d succumb to hypothermia before I got anywhere. For the first time in my adult life, I was truly terrified. God, if you really are there, I could use some help.

Just then, I saw headlights in the distance. A four-wheel-drive Scout. I waved frantically. The vehicle pulled over. Inside was an elderly farm couple. “Need a ride?” the man asked. His wife offered me a cup of coffee from their thermos.

“Thank you so much,” I said, climbing into the backseat of the Scout.

“What are you doing on the road in this weather?” the woman asked.

“I’m a doctor,” I said, “and I’m headed to the hospital in Manchester.”

“So are we!” said the man. “Our grandson is having surgery today. Maybe you know the surgeon. His name is Dr. Mulay.”

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