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Love and Support All Around

A woman’s faith is bolstered when her faith community comes to her aid after her husband suffers an accident.

Marti Stevens and her husband, Joe
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I was nine months pregnant with my third child when I got a phone call from my brother-in-law. My husband, Joe, had fallen off a two-story building and injured his head and was in the emergency room of Memorial Hospital.

I went down there as quickly as possible and two neurosurgeons ushered me into a tiny room. “Mrs. Stevens,” they said, “Your husband must have immediate brain surgery. Do we have your permission?” I answered “Yes” in a shaking voice, thinking of our new baby, due any day.

Joe survived the surgery and the surgeons came out of the operating room downcast. I asked them what was wrong and they told my relatives that Joe had a three percent chance of living.

I spent most of my time in the restroom, praying, as I waited to see Joe in the neurointensive care. His head was swollen to the size of a basketball. The doctors were afraid of my reaction, since I was due any day.

During this time, many people came to our door with $500 and $1,000 in cash. “We heard about Joe,” they said, “and we wanted to help.”

Several churches in the area also sent money. The deacons at our church offered to help financially, but I told them the Lord had provided and I had more money now than ever!

After many months in Memorial Hospital, Joe needed to be rehabilitated. They sent him by ambulance to the Veterans Administration Hospital in Augusta, Georgia.

I met with the doctors there, and they were all so negative in their comments about Joe. They said I’d needed to hire a full-time nurse for Joe when he came home. I carried Amy to the meeting in her infant carrier.

When Joe was finally released from the hospital he weighed 93 pounds. Nevertheless, he tried to do a little refinishing work. His first customer listened closely as Joe explained he was just out of the hospital and had thousands of dollars in medical bills.

“There is a fund at our hospital for people like you, Joe,” he said. “I’ll help you with it.” 

The next day, I called the finance office at the hospital, and they said our account had been “zeroed!” The customer had been the C.E.O. of the hospital system! God is so good!

Our church helped in many ways. They brought food 24/7, prayed constantly and a lady in the church kept Ben, who was 11, and Brian, who was 8, for me for a month, took them to school and cared for them.

Others babysat Amy for me—they gave me a huge shower, and my arms got so tired unwrapping gifts! I think everyone overdid in every way.

Joe gradually improved and now he’s 100 percent well! He has no residual problems. Now, when I have a little problem, I can remember those days 21 years ago, and trust the Lord for the future!

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