Sunday, August 28,2022, was a day that changed our lives. My husband was involved in a catastrophic motorcycle accident after church that day, sending him by ambulance to Mount Carmel East, where he received the care that saved his life and kept our family whole.

Cornell preached that Sunday at our church, just like most other Sundays, and we had planned a cookout at our house later that day with friends. I left the church around noon and I didn’t hear from Cornell the rest of the afternoon and into the evening.

After getting no response to my texts and calls all day, and making a trip to the church parking lot to find it empty at 8:30 p.m., I began calling area hospitals to see if he had an accident or emergency and was hospitalized.

I found him at Mount Carmel East and spoke to Sheri a trauma nurse practitioner there, who told me he had arrived at the hospital by ambulance at 2:45 p.m. She stayed on the phone with me until I arrived at the hospital parking lot. Met by a security guard in the emergency room, he escorted me to the elevator to take me to the intensive care unit. By this time, it was 9:20 p.m.

Sheri hugged me when I entered Cornell’s room. He was being readied to go to Interventional Radiology because he was bleeding internally. He had coded in the hours prior, a fact I learned the following day from his surgeon.

For the next 28 days, I arrived at the hospital at 6:30 a.m. and the nurses would update me on his condition. They explained his condition and related treatment in laymen’s terms, so I could more easily understand what was happening. The level of care he received was amazing. He was right where he needed to be.

I emailed Dr. Wilber, president of Mount Carmel East, to make sure he knew what the extraordinary caregivers at the hospital had done to save my husband. The next morning, Dr. Wilber was on the floor thanking the nurses and taking the time to meet Cornell and me.

It was still touch-and-go for Cornell, though. Several days after Dr. Wilber’s visit, the chaplain, John, called me in the evening to tell me that Cornell had coded and I should come back to the hospital now. That was a tough night. They brought Cornell back and he coded twice more that night. After the third code, Sheri came into the family consultation room where I was with my family, and she was tearful. She held my hands and said, “We have a pulse and he’s stable. I’ve witnessed a miracle.”

I believe Cornell is alive today because of how God worked through the doctors and nurses at Mount Carmel East. He was later transferred to a long-term acute care hospital where he stayed for 6 weeks before going to a rehab hospital for another 6 weeks. After finally being discharged by the hospital on December 22, he continued to recover and rehabilitate at home. By January 2023 – still in a wheelchair – I took him to visit the doctors and nurses who cared for him at Mount Carmel. He was able to stand and lean on the nurses’ station long enough to shake the hands of the people who saved his life.

Sheri and I have developed a lasting friendship from this experience, an unexpected, but welcome outcome from this tough time. Months after Cornell’s accident, my daughter was involved in a crash when I was on my way to meet Sheri for lunch. When I called her to let her know that I was not going to be able to keep our lunch meeting and told her why, she met me at the hospital and stayed with me while my daughter was treated. It’s hard to even put into words what that meant to me.

Cornell is doing well. He’s had a lot of physical therapy and may need further treatment. The mental part of his recovery has been challenging. As a veteran and retired Columbus firefighter, he’s used to being strong and capable. It’s hard to lose those capabilities, even temporarily. But he is back to work and back to preaching and still the head of our family. That’s what counts most.

I left my job and joined Mount Carmel’s marketing and communications team in early 2024. I’m now a proud colleague who’s been personally impacted by the care our health system provides. And I couldn’t be more grateful for it.