The doctor was waiting for him, and it was soon decided he would be flown to Denver, CO. Soon after, "Plan B" came into action because there was a storm between Goodland, Kansas, and Denver. We
were flown to Wichita, Kansas, where he was taken to the trauma unit at Via Christi Hospital. I was immediately met by a chaplain, Cecil, from the hospital as I departed the ambulance. He was so kind to stay with me the whole time my husband was being looked over and scanned. The CT scans were normal and they found no burn marks from electricity, so they put him into ICU, stitched up his ear, and tried to ease him off sedation. As I watched this, I soon realized he was behaving the same way he was when we had found him on the floor – agitated, non-purposeful movements with no responsiveness
to commands from the doctors and nurses. At this point, I felt my heart sink, as there had been no
change and this excellent team of trauma doctors had no idea what was wrong. They decided to keep
him sedated and let him and his brain rest, as this was the choice of treatment, regardless of whether he
had a severe concussion, had been shocked, or had some other type of brain trauma from something
Meanwhile, Jesus was already showing His amazing love to us in so many ways. Our wonderful pastor
and his dear wife cancelled her elbow surgery scheduled for the next day in Denver, so they could
escort our children to Wichita. Because all of my in-laws live much closer to Wichita than Denver,
they were able to arrive that night as well. More dear friends showed up in the following days. Thanks to
Facebook and the blessing of living in a small town, word about the accident spread rapidly, and we
were so encouraged to hear about more and more people praying for Travis. Jesus even sent people we
have never met to minister to our family through gifts, cards, and scriptures. Our 18-year-old son led
us in communion twice for the healing of Travis. One of our friend's granddaughter, Savannah, could
see her grandma was feeling sad and asked what was wrong. As our friend told her granddaughter
about Travis, Savannah held up her little hand and said, “I've got this covered.” This five-year-old
made her way over to her rock garden, laid her head on the rocks, and prayed. She then declared that
God had told her, “He's going to be fine. God told me He'll heal him in three days.” We held tight to
Savannah's message, as well as to the scriptures we'd been given and the scriptures we'd see on the wall
every time we went into the ICU. One of the most meaningful scriptures given to us was, “The Lord
will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:14)
On Friday, there still had been no change in Travis' condition, so they did an MRI and an EEG. They
were becoming suspicious of irreversible brain cell damage from a possible lack of oxygen. However,
both tests were normal, except for the EEG showing slowed brain waves, which they said would be
expected due to sedation. On Friday night, our church held a community prayer vigil for Travis, and
many came and prayed. As far as I can remember, this was the first prayer vigil held in Goodland. We
also continued to hear about numerous prayer chains Travis was on throughout the country. There was
truly an awesome number of people praying for his healing.
Later Friday evening, after the prayer vigil, one of the ICU trauma doctors came out to the waiting
room to tell us they thought they had seen some signs of understanding and responsiveness, as Travis
had possibly looked at them when they called his name and may have wiggled his toes upon their
request. He said they would call us during the night if Travis awoke. We went back to our hotel room
feeling very hopeful that night.
Saturday morning came, and as much as I was trying to be happy and hopeful, there was no denying
my mood was sad. Our children were sleeping, so I went downstairs to eat breakfast with my friends.
I was telling them I was sad because the doctors had not called during the night, which meant Travis
was still not awake. Shortly after this conversation, the phone rang, and the ICU doctor (who I'm pretty
sure had worked beyond his 24-hour shift), called to tell us Travis was awake and responsive. I ran
upstairs to tell our children, and all of us rushed across the street to see him. Our first question to
Travis was, “Do you know who we are?” He smiled and nodded yes! We were beyond happy and
relieved. The next several hours were spent reminding him where he was, as he slowly became more
and more alert. By the way, this was the third day. Little Savannah had truly delivered a message from
the Lord. “At that time Jesus said, 'I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have
hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. ” (Matthew 11: 25)
Travis was able to be moved out of the ICU on Sunday, and after several additional consults, a spinal
tap, and another EEG, he was dismissed on Tuesday afternoon. The neuro-ophthalmologist put him on
seizure medication, which was something we had never considered because he has never had seizures.
However, two chemicals that were elevated in his blood work were consistent with seizures; one of
those chemicals can also be indicative of electric shock.
So what happened? That's the "million dollar question." Even after a very detailed, high-resolution second MRI, we still don't know. We know he did not have a heart attack, a stroke, an aneurysm, spinal meningitis, encephalitis-some of the biggies. We know more of what did not happen to him then what did happen to him. He has no memory of that afternoon, even several hours before the accident. No one thing explains the partial coma he was in for three days. Some of us suspect it was several different events all coming together at the same time, kind of like the perfect storm.
But here is what we do know: we know God is so good, we know God answers prayers, and we know
there is power in prayer! We know because of prayer, God saved Travis' life. Prayer might be the
reason the tests did not show anything; maybe so much prayer went up so fast, that God had already
begun the healing process before the scans and tests were done. We know God had it all under control
and, upon looking back (hindsight is 20/20), we know God was preparing us for this event several
weeks before it happened. We also know God is bringing our community together in corporate prayer.
Because of this incident, I even gained a new prayer partner, whom I've never met. We know God
wants His people to talk to Him through prayer, and He wants us to pray often, with a thankful heart,
about everything. Philippians 4: 5b-6 says, “The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but
in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
We also know God wants the Christian community to be there for each other and with each other, not
only lifting each other up in prayer, but also helping each other and breaking bread together. Our pastor
preached on Acts 2: 43-47 on the Sunday after Travis woke up. This passage talks about this very thing. So many people reached out to us – our family, church family, friends, and neighbors cleaned
our home, mowed our lawn (including our rentals' lawn), brought in meals for a week, washed our
laundry, took care of our animals, came to Wichita to be with us, took communion with us, and prayed
for us. Some of the little children in our church even drew Travis pictures, illustrating their “get well”
wishes and prayers. It has been incredible and we have felt so blessed!
This incident has also been very convicting for us in that we need to be much more aware of others'
needs. Travis and I are especially prone to getting caught up in our own little world, and we had
become way too busy for our own good. We had come to the point of glorifying busyness, without
realizing that was what we were doing. We had great intentions of being there for our brothers and
sisters in Christ, but we really weren't there for them like we could have been. However, God loves us so
much, He allowed us to have a wake-up call. I have heard others say they wouldn't change the past
even though they have experienced trauma or tragedy, and I have to agree. I wouldn't change this
experience either, for we have never felt more loved by Jesus than we have since June 25, the day
something mysterious happened to my husband and people responded by being the hands and feet of
Travis continues to heal and is doing better every day. He is taking it slowly and isn't pushing himself,
thus one of the lessons we've learned. He has become closer in his walk with Jesus, as have I. We are
studying God's word together, and we're praying together, which is something I had longed for. Our
marriage and family are stronger than ever, and our faith is as well. We are once again growing in our
relationship with the Lord.
So my challenge to myself and all of you reading this is that we spend more time with Jesus so we can
become more like Him. This will help us be mindful of those in need, asking Jesus how we might be
able to help. We need to back up from our busyness and invest our energy in directions that really
matter – God's agenda vs. our agenda. We need to spend more time relating with and worshipping
Jesus, being like Mary instead of Martha. (Luke 10: 38-42) We need to not only pray more but come
together in corporate prayer more often. Prayer is the one tool that Christians have access to that can
bring God's power into play better than anything. Yet we tend to use it only a fraction of the time. We
treat prayer as a last resort, saying things like, “Well I guess we'll just have to pray.” Instead, prayer
needs to be our weapon of choice to wield against the enemy. “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions
with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all
the saints.” (Ephesians 6:18) I pray we all become better about being the hands and feet of Jesus.
What a powerful way to bring glory to God, Who is so deserving of nothing less. “Glorify the Lord
with me; let us exalt his name together.” (Psalm 34: 3)
____________ _ _ _ ____________
Angie Witman has worked for Meier Clinics in Northwest Kansas for nearly 16 years. She has been married to Travis for 22 years, and they have two children. Their 18-year-old son will be attending school at Biola University in CA, and their 12-year-old daughter will be a 7th grade student in Junior High. One of their favorite activities is sitting by the pond and waterfall the whole family dug and built in their backyard. This is her favorite spot to meet with Jesus.