My Story "beyond our realm"
For a moment look at this photo, have a mental image of it now close your eyes and envision this .... as the elevator moves you are 'wedged'/ trapped on the outside of the elevator between the shaft wall and moving elevator so essentially you are being crushed against the side walls as the elevator moves down... in essence like a train running over you! After being ground up and cut up by the elevator you free fall 5 floors and land on top of the elevator! Something even Batman could not imagine eh!
That imagery in brief, is an encapsulation of what occurred December 22nd 1988 in Edmonton, Alberta Canada.
December 22 1988: The ‘MIRACLE’ - My story "Beyond our realm"
The day began just like any other day. Nothing unusual in any way whatsoever. At the time I worked as a Photocopier Technician. Around mid morning I got a call from the dispatcher to attend to a service call at one of the largest buildings in Edmonton (at that time) – Canada Place. I parked at the underground parking lot. I attended to my service call and the usual routine would have been that I would have left for my next call. However, I found out that a colleague of mine (Wayne Lagran) was also working on a call in the same building. I decided to stay back and give him a hand. It was a little after 2 p.m. or thereabouts that we headed for the elevators to get to the underground parking lot. I pressed the elevator button and remarked to Wayne – this is taking exceptionally long to come and I suggested maybe we should just use the stairs, in case we ‘get stuck' inside the elevator. However, we were both very tired and Wayne said ‘nah, let’s just wait’, which we did. When the elevator finally came, Wayne stepped in and then just as I was in the process of stepping in – meaning I had one leg inside the elevator – the elevator just dropped with the doors open! I attempted to dive onto the platform (floor landing) but given the uncontrolled elevator drop it just snapped me down and jammed me between the elevator shaft and elevator car! I felt my leg snap, face being crushed, mouth filling with blood after what felt like a metal rod pierce through my ribs into my chest - pain beyond words, terror unimaginable and I remember ‘fighting’ to overcome what felt like a train (the elevator). Then suddenly I recall saying to myself ‘God If this is the way I am going to die I hope I will be found by family’ – at that very moment my life flashed before me – meaning I saw the faces of Mum, Dad, my brothers, and sister and then I quit ‘fighting to stay alive’. By now the elevator gears were cutting into the side of my face and forcing my head and neck into these gears – (remember these gears what they are doing for later I will disclose what stopped them abruptly) The moment I accepted ‘if this is God’s will so be it’ then I began to fade away from our world or realm as we know it – I felt like I was moving at ‘supersonic’ speed through a densely ‘dark’ and black tunnel. No longer aware of my body anymore but just me as my spirit and the realization that, that is who I really am. The body was just the shell, so to speak. All around me was this dense, blacker than black ‘darkness’. As I continued moving but not moving as we know movement, it was different and at a rate that could easily outpace the world's fastest aircraft (and yes I have flown aircraft)! I felt that at the far, far end of this long, long tunnel there was this place of indescribable brilliant ‘light’ that was drawing me or should I say I was yearning to get to and the closer I got there the greater the peace and calm – then as I got real close to where I would be in the 'light' I felt this indescribable profound tranquility, love, comfort, no pain that simply cannot be put in words. It was indescribable, no words in any language could even begin to describe the complete and absolute beauty and tranquility that just seemed to emanate all around!
As I was almost crossing into the light, suddenly there seemed to be this gentle, loving, warm ‘reassuring’ voice that seemed to speak from within – it is not how we hear with our ears – it was more like ‘hearing from within’, an inner locution. From what I recall the message was, ‘it is not your time, you cannot come now, you must return - remember when it is time to leave, you must not leave in an angry state’. I pleaded to remain but the voice within said 'it is not your time', you must return'. The ‘presence’ / ‘voice within’ disappeared and at this point I became aware of myself, as though I was suddenly back in myself and all the pain rushing back. It was pitch dark, unable to see anything, all I could do was feel around. I was ‘balancing’ sitting on what felt like a rod a few inches wide, on top of the elevator! My hands were dug into the cable that was cutting into my skin. I was filled with unspeakable terror but that 'voice' came back to within me and said 'you will be OK' and that was the last I felt or heard that 'presence' and / or voice within.
If I had taken a step in either direction I would fall to the building’s foundation! I tried to stand and I felt my leg snap at the hip and go limp. I then heard Wayne (work colleague) calling out to me. Each time I talked I felt my mouth tear apart further with blood gushing through. Eventually I was pulled out by the firemen and paramedics from between the floor and landing. I NEVER lost consciousness at ANYTIME through any of this as otherwise, I would have ended up at the foundation of the building! Now going back to earlier where I stated about the gears well – it was concluded that somehow when the gears made contact with the *medallion they stopped turning! Glory Be To God! Had it not been for it, the gears would have cut right through my neck and throat. In fact my right ear was partially severed!
‘Miracle’ Continues: I was in a coma for 3 days. The main attending Surgeon, the now late Dr.R.G. Davis stated ‘ we have worked on him for 12 hours, we cannot stop the bleeding. He is losing more blood then we can get into him. He will NOT LAST more than 24 hours’ – unquote. Upon hearing this, Cecilia (my wife) began a Novena to St.Jude (patron saint for Hopeless cases). Apparently it was when the parish priest, Fr.Len was administrating the ‘Last Rites’ to me, (Anointing of the Sick) that I came out of the coma!
Scripture says the following about receiving God's healing grace: "Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven." James 5:14-15
An overly summarized medical report: Partially severed right ear, 3 vertebrae fractured, fractured hip, fractured pelvis, fractured ribs, deflated lung, loss of gall bladder, ruptured viscera (liver, pancreas, bowel), ruptured iliac artery (this is where they could not trace the source of uncontrolled bleeding). I was in hospital for close to 2 months of which, about 2 to 3 weeks in intensive care. Multiple surgeries were required including bowel repair, further complicated by post-op pneumonia. It was stated that in all likelihood I may not walk or speak again!
All is possible with God - the fractured pelvis, fractured hip, fractured vertebrae and fractured ribs all HEALED ON ITS OWN, without medical intervention!! It could not be addressed by the medical staff as they were dealing with the multiple and repeated surgeries, that I needed!
It was eventually determined that the elevator malfunction was cause by an elevator technician who was working on it at the time but ‘forgot’ to put a sign saying it was ‘out of service’ Apparently as I was stepping in the elevator he happened to ‘jump the circuitry’ thereby disabling the safety feature that usually prevents an elevator from moving while the doors are open! This was concluded after Technical Specialists were flown in from the USA and Japan to determine what went wrong.
During my long recovery phase, I prayed the prayer to St.Jude on a daily basis to spare me from having to undergo any further surgeries. No surgeries were ever done again!
While I was in the Intensive Care Floor, in one of the Recovery rooms that was shared by another patient a rather 'unusual' thing happened. There was a nurse who was exceptionally very caring. One day the patient said to this nurse ' you have a young child?" The nurse was very disturbed because apparently she had lost her daughter at few years of age, The patient went on and said " your daughter is well. I have seen her, she was being carried by Jesus and is very happy". He went on to describe her clothes which the nurse confirmed were hers and the description matched. As well he relayed details that only the mother would know. It made me realize even more!!
They said I may not walk again and I was wheel chair ridden for 3 months but again God did the impossible. It was at Good Friday 3 p.m. Service, I was sitting on the wheel chair and the time came for receiving the Eucharist from 'within' I was told to get up and walk to the altar. I stood up, obviously not totally upright because the stitches on the abdominal area were still healing and walked a step at a time received the Eucharist and walked back to the wheel chair! Needless to say everyone there including myself were in tears and stunned! I was in great discomfort but I WALKED! Praise God!
Later on I even resumed Kung Fu training and went further in the martial arts training in Tai Chi, Wing-Chun and Qiqong! So again we see the power and glory of God!
They said I may never speak again but I went back into music and played the guitar, drums and sang in a band which I do to this day! Praise be God!
The late Dr.R.G. Davis, renowned Surgeon in Canada (the attending Surgeon when I was taken into the trauma emergency department) was profoundly touched by the ‘miraculous’ survival and recovery! He made it a point to make time out of his hectic schedule to attend my wedding!
Likewise, a renowned 'Rastafarian' Reggae musician Frank Carroll former studio musician and lead guitarist for Bob Marley came to be good friends with me and was greatly moved by my experience and miracle that for my wedding he insisted as a wedding gift he and his band would like to play ' no fee' and he did! In fact, he even got me to jam with him a couple songs (played the guitar). When I was leaving Edmonton, Alberta to move to Toronto, Ontario he gave me an 'autographed' photo that he signed with the words ' Jah love' which for 'non-rastas' :)) means 'God's love'. He now resides in Florida, USA and still keeps in touch!
We moved to Ontario, Canada in 1991. A week after moving to Ontario – the headline article in the newspaper was about a 10 or 12 year old boy who was in an elevator accident! Just seconds before he was pulled out his hands slipped and he fell to the foundation and died. It troubled me greatly as to why this boy did not make it. Some months later came across another newspaper about a man who also died in an elevator mishap! Again I wondered – why was I spared? Perhaps it is so that I bear witness to His glory and bring hope, faith and trust in those who have become lukewarm or simply given up.
Meeting Blessed Mother Teresa:
It was through a Salesian priest Fr.George Pereira that I met Blessed Mother Teresa. To this day, I vividly recall in detail that ‘special’ day! I remember ‘feeling’ this ‘amazing, aura of tranquility and holiness that emanated from Blessed Mother Teresa. Looking in her eyes, I felt my ‘unworthiness’ just to be standing next to her. Blessed Mother Teresa in her humility and love put me at ease. Just before we left, I requested if I could have a photo with her to which she humbly agreed to. When we were leaving, Blessed Mother Teresa gave me a medallion of ‘Mary help Of Christians’, she blessed it and said “Where ever you come across a ‘child’ who is sick and in need of help – pray three ‘Hail Mary’ to ‘Mary Help Of Christians’ and she will heal them” - unquote. For whatever reason, from that day on I had this medallion constantly on a chain around my neck. I have always considered it a great gift from God, to have been given the privilege and honor, for me to have met Blessed Mother Teresa at Mother’s House in Mburahati, in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania in 1985.
On September 4th 2016 Blessed Mother Teresa was cannonized as Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta!