Alicia Moyer, Oak Harbor, OH
- Total eligible bills
- Provider discounts
- Total bills shared
Our family joined CHM in December 2013. As a family of 14—which includes six biological children and two sibling groups adopted from foster care—we needed something budget-friendly. As homeschoolers and operators of a horseback trail-riding farm and a Christian campground, we like that CHM gives us many healthcare choices and aligns with biblical values. However, the most significant factor is that the ministry is a mechanism for Christians to support each other spiritually as well as financially.
We didn’t know how those prayers and encouragement would help us navigate the troubled times ahead and help sustain our family through two serious automobile accidents.
On Oct. 24, 2016, our 15-year-old son, Elijah, was driving a golf cart while completing his daily chores. Neither Elijah nor the driver of an oncoming garbage truck saw each other. The truck, going 40 miles per hour, struck the golf cart.
Our 20-year-old daughter, Caileigh, was giving a riding lesson in our front yard and saw Elijah’s body fly 25 feet and land facedown in a muddy ditch. Caileigh leapt over the fence and ran to him, screaming for my husband, Doug, to come running from our barn.
Emergency crews arrived and a helicopter took Eli to the hospital. I accompanied him, dazed but amazed he was alive. His injuries included several broken ribs, a head injury with two large lacerations, a dislocated and shattered elbow that required surgery and significant bruising with road rash.
We praised God that he was discharged after several days in the hospital and needed only to undergo physical therapy.
In the meantime, I contacted CHM to request prayer and the staff listed our name on the prayer card sent with each monthly billing statement.
The CHM family sent many notes, letters and cards to encourage us and tell us about the prayers they were lifting up on behalf of Elijah and our family. We were humbled by the outpouring of compassion and love from so many Christian brothers and sisters we’d never met. Our faith was strengthened.
We thought life would get back to normal, but another fiery trial was yet to come. On Jan. 11 we awoke at 4 a.m. to a police officer shouting Doug’s name from outside our house. Sleepy and disoriented, I followed Doug to our kitchen where I heard the dreadful words, “Your kids have been in a terrible accident just down the road.”
I’ll never forget that moment when reality struck me as fiercely as the winter wind whipping through the doorframe and the sound of helicopter blades slicing through the night air. I looked out our side door toward the curve by the bridge and, sure enough, I could clearly see a spotlight and fire truck lights. Oh no, I thought. Not again!
Our 18-year-old daughter’s Suburban was a mangled mess wrapped around a tree; I could see Denna’s terrified face as she sat pinned in the vehicle. Emergency responders said Eli—our son who was involved in the October accident—was already en route to the hospital and that Frederick (“Zac”), our 13-year-old, was severely injured and also would have to be extracted.
For three hours rescue crews worked tirelessly to free Denna and Zac from the wreckage. I remember praying, “No matter what, God, You are still good and I trust You. I want my kids to stay here with me. Selfishly I pray I get to keep them, but they are in Your hands.” Since I couldn’t find any more words, I just prayed the same ones over and over.
During those hours—the longest of our lives—a police officer gave us the unbelievable details of the night’s events.
Our teenagers left a church friend’s home around 11:15 p.m. Denna had no memory of the accident; she must have fallen asleep. Both boys also were asleep when the vehicle crashed into the tree at 11:45.
Though the wreck occurred just 200 yards from our home, no one heard the noise. We live in a remote area, so no one passed by until almost 4 a.m. when a woman on her way to work found the children and called 9-1-1.
Denna’s phone was destroyed in the accident. Since Eli was conscious and not trapped in the vehicle, the children decided their best chance was for him to make it home to get us. However, in those moments of panic Eli couldn’t “find” his right leg, which was twisted at a bad angle. After carefully lifting it, he tried to lower himself to the ground, but his broken femur and not-fully-healed elbow from the previous accident caused him to fall and break several ribs on the running board.
Meanwhile, Zac screamed and moaned in pain as he floated in and out of consciousness. The impact had pushed him from the passenger seat to the second row, where a tire was lodged between his legs and his foot was turned 180 degrees the wrong direction.
From the driver’s seat where she was trapped, all Denna could do was squeeze Zac’s hand to try to keep him awake, while encouraging Eli as he army-crawled to the front of the Suburban. “You have to make it, Eli!” she shouted. He continued crawling toward home, all the while looking for something to use as a crutch so he could try to walk. Arriving at a road sign about 25 yards from the car, Eli made a last-ditch effort to stand, but collapsed again.
It was 45 degrees with 50 mph winds. Eli’s head and face were bleeding; his ribs, arm and leg throbbed. Rather than passing out trying to make it down the road, he curled into a ball, rolled into a small gully with his back to the wind, and for about three hours waited and prayed.
As Doug and I slept, we had no idea that our precious children were fighting for their lives in their crushed bodies and praying unceasingly in their crushed spirits. Denna was devastated at the pain she inadvertently caused her brothers. Eli felt terrible he couldn’t make it home to get help, especially every time he heard Zac start screaming again.
Emergency crews first freed Denna from the wreckage. The doctor who arrived with the helicopter wanted to call in a special team that would amputate both of Zac’s legs to remove him from the vehicle. Our township’s first responders were heroes that night, asking for more time to get his entire body out. They were successful about two hours later and Zac was freed—with both legs intact.
It was surreal to be in the emergency room with trauma teams simultaneously working on three of our children. Cut-off clothing and boots were everywhere; rings, necklaces, wallets and such were handed to us in containers and bags. There were X-rays and CT scans, IVs and pain shots, doctors, nurses, specialists, surgeons, pastors, family, friends—prayers, prayers and more prayers. We were exhausted in ways we never knew were possible.
In the days and weeks to come, we leaned heavily on the knowledge that people everywhere were praying. I called CHM to ask if our brothers and sisters could pray. Not only did the person I spoke with at CHM agree to share our prayer request, they prayed for our family right there on the phone. Truly a blessing!
God performed so many miracles, perhaps the greatest of which was the tree—the only one on that stretch of road—that stopped the Suburban from careening into a marsh and submerging our children into deep, freezing cold water. In Eli’s earlier accident, the garbage truck hit the golf cart at just the right place to prevent more serious injury or death. Denna had the clarity of mind to know she had to help Zac stay conscious and the January air was cold enough to prevent him from bleeding more. Eli was kept safe on the side of the road.
Friends, family and church family stepped in to help with finances, meals and childcare; they even built a small addition and wheelchair ramp for our house! Neighbors down the street let us borrow their wheelchair van for transporting Zac to and from appointments.
At the time of this writing we’ve not yet submitted to CHM any medical bills for sharing by ministry members. We’ve been approved to receive assistance from Medicaid and are waiting to learn to what degree it will help with our bills. We know our heavenly Father has a plan.
Most importantly, God spared the lives of all three children—Eli twice! God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.
Editor’s note: Moyer family updates, including videos, can be found by searching “Moyer Miracles” on facebook.com.