Tuesday, December 13, 2005

A pregnant skydiver survives fall

Advent intervention for skydiver and her baby

They both survive a face-first fall

Every once in awhile a story just jumps out at you...and has to be told! And, this is one of those stories that warms the heart.

Shayna Richardson of Siloam Springs, AR, was making her first solo jump when her chute malfunctioned. She hit a parking lot face first at about 50 miles per hour...and though she was badly hurt, she survived. "I heard a snap and just started spinning," she said. "I didn't know what to do to fix it. I didn't know how to make it stop."

She cut away her primary chute so that her emergency chute could deploy, but it didn't open the whole way. She spun out of control, straight for the pavement below. Her last thoughts were, "I'm going to die." She remembers nothing of the impact...but she survived!

She broke her pelvis in two places, broke her leg, and lost six teeth. She now has 15 metal plates in her head and body. "I went into the first surgery," she said, "and they cut me from ear to ear and cut my face down, removed the shattered egg-shell bones and replaced them with steel plates." "I egg-shelled my entire face..." she said.

And, surprise! for when the doctors were treating her, they discovered that she was pregnant. Four surgeries and two months later, both Shayna and her baby are fine. The baby is healthy, its limbs and face intact...and heartbeat fine!

A great story of grace, isn't it?

It reminds me of an account I read about a tail gunner in WWII who fell from 18,000 feet without a parachute...and survived with no major injuries. He reached a terminal velocity of around 115 to 122 miles per hour [based on the friction generated by his burned flight suit and pack], yet woke up beneath a pine tree, lying on his back in snow...wondering if it was heaven!

He soon realized it wasn't heaven when the German patrol found him. But the commandant took him before the other Allied prisoners, and said in English, "Gentleman, behold a miracle!"

He celebrated Christmas that year with a little more fervor... :-)

God bless you all this Advent!

And never, ever...ever give up!

What is impossible for us is just God doing His thing. Isn't that the real meaning of Advent?


UPDATE: Click here to watch Shayna's out-of-control plunge!

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