For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16, KJV)
While teaching neuroanatomy and histology to freshmen medical students at LLU during the 1960s, I maintained my clinical skills by occasionally serving as an emergency physician. One time, while on duty at the San Gorgonio Pass Memorial Hospital in Banning, California, I saw a man running toward the hospital with a very limp, pale boy in his arms.
As he entered the emergency room huffing and puffing, he yelled:” Save my boy! Please save my boy! Whatever it costs, I ‘ll pay it, but p-l-e-a-s-e, save my boy!” The burse and I assisted in placing his unconscious son on the gurney, quickly assessing his son’s condition. The man talked on :”A friend of mine likes to play chicken. When we meet on the road, he often steers his car toward mine to see who will chicken out first. I didn’t notice him soon enough today to get out of his way, and we crashed head on! My son, sitting on the seat beside me, flew forward, striking his head on the windshield and his abdomen against the dashboard.
This was before the days of airbags, car seats for children, and mandatory seatbelts. I was concerned that the boy may have ruptured his spleen. As I inserted an intravenous line to obtain blood for tests– including type and cross-matching for transfusions– I requested that a general surgeon come immediately for definitive treatment. The patient’s father continued talking as the nurse and I worked diligently to save his son. “If I had waited for the police to arrive, my son would have died. So I carried him across town, running all the way! It was about a mile from here,” he exclaimed.
Fortunately, the surgeon arrived promptly and took the boy to surgery. He found the spleen intact but a large tear in the liver, with significant blood loss. The boy lived– thanks to a father who loved him enough to run a mile carrying him to the emergency room– with help from intravenous fluids, quick surgical intervention, blood transfusions, and tender loving care.
Lessons I learned that day: 1) Don’t play chicken, because someone eventually is going to get hurt! Rules of the road should be obeyed! 2) Our loving heavenly Father loves each of us very much as His children. He says:” Save my boy! Save my girl! Whatever it costs, I will pay, just save my children!” And the cost was very much– the life of an innocent person. Jesus died, willing to shed His own blood to pay the supreme price for our salvation.
– Everet W. Witzel, LLUSM class of 1962