Yesterday, around 2, when I arrived at Martín and Laura´s house, Martín was already in an ambulance, with three police cars, a crew from a local cable tv station, Canal 6, and a group of probably 40 neighbors.
When I saw from where Martín had fallen, I immediately expected to hear the worse possible news. Then I was told that not only had he fallen, he had also received an electrical shock that precipitated his fall. The scene was tragic.
Martín fell from a 4th-floor ledge, fell on top of a small, tiled porch roof, and then to the street. He and several other men from the church were lifting 3 meter (20 ft.) sections of angle iron from the garage space below to a storage area on the roof of the house. Apparently, in the maneuvering of this long section of steel, part of it made contact with the electric lines.
The electrical shock apparently entered his right hand, and left his body at his right foot. I have heard the following comments since the accident…that if the jolt would have been horizontal (from hand to hand) he probably would have died from the shock. If the jolt would have been on the left hand side of his body, (where the heart is), he probably would have been killed from the shock. And if the electrical shock wouldn’t have exited his body at all, he would have been electrocuted outright.
The shock was only half of the accident. Falling four stories was the other half. He fell on top of a section of fencing (and bent that), then on top of a tile roof, then to the street. The small section of roofing served to break his fall. He ended up on the street.
There is much, much more to this story. Many neighbors witnessed it. News spread quickly that the pastor of the nearby church had an accident. Someone called an ambulance…the family still doesn’t know who. It arrived remarkably quickly. This is Mexico. That doesn’t always happen.
I saw Martín in the ambulance, right after the accident, alert, in pain, talking to the paramedics. I breathed a sigh of relief. He was conscious. He was, curiously, seemingly in control. Apparently, however, not everything he was saying made a whole lot of sense. He had several gashes in his head, but very little bleeding.
He was “rushed” to one hospital, then transferred to a better one. When Mayra and I arrived at the second hospital, Martín´s parents and siblings were already there. Miguel and Armando, men from the church, arrived soon after. A doctor finally appeared, and asked to speak with Laura.
In the meantime, emails and Facebook updates spurred people all over the world to pray. An International House of Prayer group in Dallas. Church prayer groups in Puebla. A group of churches in Ohio. The staff of a sports ministry in Colorado. Students at Corban University in Oregon. Missionaries in Spain, Guatemala and Canada. People from Massachusetts to California. I have NEVER, in my experience, witnessed such an outpouring of prayer, as technology facilitated communication.
I watched Laura as she came out of the room, after quite some time speaking with the doctor. She was composed. That was very good news. She related how Martín did not have any major broken bones, just some facial bones around his cheek on the right side. They were watching a blood clot on his head. His eyes were very bruised, and he wasn’t able to open his left eye yet. He couldn’t remember why he was in a hospital. But he was conscious, and responding.
We breathed a collective sigh of relief. This morning, Laura once again updated us. Martin continued to respond well, and was recovering. Tests continued to look for internal injuries and burns. But he was able to talk, had vision out of one eye, and asked to be read a portion of scripture from Psalm 18.
Here is the portion:
1 I love you, LORD, my strength.
2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield[b] and the horn[c] of my salvation, my stronghold.
3 I called to the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
and I have been saved from my enemies.
4 The cords of death entangled me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
5 The cords of the grave coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.
6 In my distress I called to the LORD;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears.