When I first heard the story of how Richard drowned, I was reminded just how great God is. :) What? How could he have drowned if he's living?? Well...God is awesome. The year was 1975 (the year I was born), Richard was two 1/2 years old, playing around the garden where his parents were working. They had gotten a lot of rain that spring, so the creek nearby was especially high, and his parents were trying to keep their eye on him as they planted their vegetable seeds. As any parent knows, it can be difficult if your child tends to wander.... Richard was riding his little white play horsie everywhere he went...around and around the nearby trees, around (and through) the garden... and several times his mother found him standing in the shallow water at the edge of the creek when she went looking for him. Lynette (Richard's mother) decided to take a break from the garden to fix lunch. She looked around for Richard, having just seen him a few minutes before--but could not find him. Calling his name, she soon came upon Richard's little white horsie, lying on its side on the bank of the creek--but no Richard. She then saw that he was floating face up (submerged), in the middle of the creek, his lips a vivid blue. Fear and terror overwhelmed her as she splashed into the water to get her son (she was about 5 months pregnant with their 2nd child). Richard's father, Paul, was right behind Lynette, and took him from her...giving Richard a little shake to try and revive him...but he was lifeless. Paul placed Richard on the bank of the creek...they called out for a neighbor to call an ambulance, and then wondered what to do. Neither Paul, nor Lynette had ever been trained to give CPR...but they felt the urgency to do something! Paul began to administer CPR, praying that God would guide him. Moments seemed to slowly tick by while life gradually began returning to Richard....but not without a long, hard battle with death. By the time the ambulance arrived, Richard was breathing and crying, but was fighting everything that touched him and not comprehending who his parents were. At the hospital, Richard finally recognized his parents, and the doctors told Paul and Lynette that Richard was good and healthy....there was nothing in his lungs, though his stomach was very full of water! Amazing news after having gone through such a struggle with death itself!!! I wondered how a person could drown without any water in his lungs, and this is what I read on "Wikipedia":
If water enters the airways of a conscious victim the victim will try to cough up the water or swallow it thus inhaling more water involuntarily. Upon water entering the airways, both conscious and unconscious victims experience laryngospasm, that is the larynx or the vocal cords in the throat constrict and seal the air tube. This prevents water from entering the lungs. Because of this laryngospasm, water enters the stomach in the initial phase of drowning and very little water enters the lungs. Unfortunately, this can interfere with air entering the lungs, too. In most victims, the laryngospasm relaxes some time after unconsciousness and water can enter the lungs causing a "wet drowning". However, about 10-15% of victims maintain this seal until cardiac arrest, this is called "dry drowning" as no water enters the lungs. In forensic pathology water in the lungs indicates that the victim was still alive at the point of submersion; the absence of water in the lungs may be either a dry drowning or indicates a death before submersion. ......An unconscious victim rescued with an airway still sealed from laryngospasm stands a good chance of a full recovery. Artificial respiration is also much more effective without water in the lungs. At this point the victim stands a good chance of recovery if attended to within minutes. In most victims the laryngospasm relaxes some time after unconsciousness and water fills the lungs resulting in a wet drowning
I also read that a person's brain can survive 6 minutes without oxygen, w/o damage done.....and Paul & Lynette are sure more than 6 minutes had gone by between noticing Richard missing, and when Richard started "coming to". There was no damage done.... :) :) :)
Many times we have thought about the drowning, wondering at God's purpose. I love the husband God chose for me, and I'm so thankful his life was spared. :) : ) Happy, happy birthday, Richard. I love you! :) :) May this 36th birthday be a renewed reminder of God's gift of life to you....some 33 1/2 years ago on the banks of a creek in Oklahoma. :)
With much love and gratitude to God,
Your wife, Sara :) :) :)
p.s. I used the following source: "The Beautiful Way" [Faith Publishing House] The Little Boy That God Brought Back to Life, article vol. 26, No.3, Part eleven, 1975.