Angel in the Ambulance

A mother's worst nightmare turns into a miracle thanks to a heavenly healing hand in this excerpt from Dreams of Angels.

- Posted on Sep 1, 2014

ambulance with lights flashing speeding down the highway

On the Friday before school started,  I was cleaning and equipping the bus I would drive that year. I had parked it near my mom’s town house, and while I scrubbed the seats and made the windows sparkle, Travis Daniel, my four-year-old, played inside at Mom’s. At least that’s where I thought he was until he startled me from the street: “Hi, Mommy!”

“Danny, you’re supposed to be with Grandma.” He was all smiles at the foot of the steps leading onto the bus. “You stay right there,” I said. “I’m coming out now.”

I turned to put down my rag and cleaning spray. When I looked again through the open bus door, my body tensed and the scene unfolded like a dream.

A black Chevy Blazer sped past. Danny was flattened against its front, as though he had been sucked into the grillwork. The driver stared straight ahead in disbelief, his arms stiff on the wheel as he tried desperately to brake. In horror, I jumped out of the bus, covering my mouth with my hands. After agonizing seconds the car stopped, and Danny, in T-shirt and shorts, skidded across the searing asphalt on his back and lay crumpled in the street.

“Danny!” I screamed, weak with fear. I couldn’t move. At the back of my mind the gruesome question hammered away: What if he’s dead? What if he’s dead? “Not my Danny. Please, God,” I prayed. “Not my Danny.”


A silent instruction directed me: Run to him. I raced across the pavement and dropped down beside my son. I knew I shouldn’t move him; he was unconscious. Another instruction: Lay hands on the sick and they shall be healed. Immediately I put my hands on Danny—all over his body. “Please, God, heal my boy.”

“Come on,” someone said gently, “let’s call Victor. The ambulance is on its way.” Victor, my husband, was on a house-painting job. I didn’t want to leave Danny, but a couple of neighbors who had heard the Blazer’s screeching tires took me by the elbow and guided me to my mother’s house, where I phoned a message to my husband. I wanted to get back to my son, but when I hung up, another instruction came: Start a prayer chain. Quickly I called a friend from church: “We’re in desperate need of prayer,” I said. “It’s Danny. He’s been hit by a car.”

My mother took the phone when the ambulance arrived, and I ran to it. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the driver of the Blazer sitting on the curb crying. Someone helped me into the ambulance, where two EMTs bent over Danny. We roared off, siren blaring. Lightly stroking Danny’s cheek with my finger, I noticed the huge swelling that had formed on the back of his head. Put your hands on his head. I followed the instruction, my praying and breathing becoming one, but Danny’s face turned a sickly purple. The EMTs worked frantically. “We’re coming in on code blue!” one barked over the radio.

We burst into Commonwealth Hospital, where a medical team took over. Victor was there, and so was a crowd of people, some of them strangers; all were praying for our son.

A doctor came out and took us aside. “X rays show that Danny’s neck appears to be fractured,” he said. “He’s hemorrhaging. We’re especially worried about his spleen, and he has severe burns on his back.” Danny’s chances of survival were slim. “He has to be moved to Fairfax Hospital; it’s better equipped.”

Danny was loaded back into an ambulance, his X rays traveling with him so they could be looked at immediately. Victor and I followed the ambulance to Fairfax, where we discovered another group of people holding a prayer vigil for Danny. Some of them introduced themselves. “I work nearby and wanted to come.” “A friend called and asked me to pray.”

All because of a single command to start a prayer chain, I thought.

Danny was on the second floor, being prepared for surgery. When Dr. Russel Seneca, the surgeon, approached us, a stillness filled the room. “We have to operate to stop the bleeding,” he said. His report echoed the one we’d heard at Commonwealth: Danny was in danger. “Dear Lord,” Victor whispered, “be with our boy.”

Someone grasped my hand. Everybody in the room went down on bended knee, and we prayed, some of us aloud, some silently. The room seemed electrified with energy, and I heard one man predict with conviction, “There’s not going to be any surgery on this child.”

That’s impossible, I thought. If Danny has any chance at all, it’s with surgery. I thought about all the miracles God had performed already: the instructions he had put in my mind, the number of people he had brought together in prayer, and the confidence I felt that no matter what happened God would be with Danny.

Everyone got up just as a nurse rushed in: “Mr. and Mrs. Mosher, Dr. Seneca wants you upstairs right away!” Victor and I, expecting the worst, went to the second floor.

“We took another set of X rays,” the doctor said. “That’s standard procedure. But the X rays are conflicting: The second set shows no fracture in Danny’s neck. What’s more, the bleeding has stopped. There’s no need to operate.” Victor and I stood silent.

“I’m baffled,” Dr. Seneca went on. “We all are. We’ll keep Danny under observation here for a couple of days, then send him home.”

For the rest of the day and overnight, Victor and I traded shifts at the hospital. On Saturday Danny regained consciousness. He was transferred from the ICU to a room in the children’s ward, and I sat by his side. “Precious, Mommy’s here. You’re going to be all right.” He just stared at me, not saying a word.

Sunday morning Dr. Seneca released Danny. He would need physical therapy to learn to walk again; the third-degree burns on his back would take time to heal. And, of course, his dad and I worried about emotional scars.

“Keep Danny on the living room couch,” the doctor advised. “Let him be in the center of activity. Get him to talk about the accident, anything he can remember.”

At home we got Danny settled on the sofa. Mom, Victor and I gathered round and assured him he would be up and playing again soon. “Danny, do you know what happened?” I asked.

Concentrating, he looked at me. “The black car hit me.” He was straining, thinking back, trying to find the words in his four-year-old mind.

“Is that all you remember?” I asked.

His face lit up. “I remember the angel that flied!”

“There was an angel?” I pressed, wondering what Dr. Seneca would say about this.

“Uh-huh. In the ambulance. He put my arms around his neck and flied with me.” I was relieved to hear that Danny had been dreaming pleasantly and not traumatized right after the accident. God is good, I thought.

“I saw the man sitting on the side of the road,” Danny went on. “He was crying.”

Danny was describing something he couldn’t possibly have seen while he was unconscious!

“Where did you go?” Victor asked.

“The angel took me to see Jesus and I sat on his lap. He was bright, like a big lightbulb! Everything was bright!” Danny took a breath and finished, “Jesus said he was going to heal me.”

From the beginning God had sent me the reassurance that my son was being watched over. Danny hadn’t been dreaming about his angel any more than I had dreamed the instructions that had carried me every step of the way through this ordeal, giving me the peace of mind to cope with the accident.

With therapy Danny learned to walk again, and the burns on his back healed with no scarring. In fact, there was no scarring on his body at all, except for a tiny circular bald patch on the back of his head—the only physical reminder of what had happened.

Today, my son is 17, and he likes to be called Travis. He is a big strapping fellow with one more year of high school. He’s a certified EMT at Manassas Park Volunteer Fire Company 9, which is just four doors from our home. As a junior member of the fire brigade, he assists at accident scenes and other critical situations—just like the EMTs who came to his own rescue 12 years ago.

“Sometimes I wonder why God decided to keep me around,” he says. “Maybe it’s to help people.” When I hear a siren wail I know that if Danny’s on duty he’ll do all he can for whoever’s in trouble, and I imagine my prayer flying to heaven on the wings of the angel that “flied” him there.

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