The accident was just the beginning. Then came the battle with evil and Satan.

The spot where the accident happened. Photography: J Gerald Crawford.
The spot where the accident happened. Photography: J Gerald Crawford.

Location: Center Point, a suburb of Birmingham, Alabama. 

Year: 1973.

Date: August 31st.

Problem:   Dead battery

Solution:  Walk

I needed to pick up my eight year old son from his first day in the third grade at Erwin Elementary School.

I walked a mile carrying my petite two year old daughter.   I grew weary.  Even her eighteen pounds seemed heavy. I stopped to rest, and I sat her on top of yellow fire hydrant.

We talked for a few minutes while I tied the laces on her little red tennis shoes.

Then, we continued walking directly across  the street , over  a shallow ditch, and climbed to a higher level of ground.   There we waited for the school’s three o’clock bell to ring .  Shortly,  Dei Dei said, ” I see Sta Sta.  That was the last thing I remembered  before waking up in an ambulance while  enroute to the hospital.

I turned to my right.  Stan was stretched out on a gurney and lying on  his back.   His head had been wrapped with a white tee-shirt which was now red from  three gaping open wounds producing  heavy bleeding. The blood saturated pants legs  had been cut up the front exposing his abrasions. His eyes were shut . He wasn’t crying. Neither was Dei Dei.  I did not see her.  I had no idea what had happened. I thought that both of my babies must be dead. It was my responsibility to protect my children.  Had I led them into the street?  Uncontrollable screams escaped from deep within my throat.

Stan very weakly said, ” Mom, I am okay .”

A stranger, who had come to our aid, said to me, ” Your baby is going to be all right , too. Look, she is sitting in my lap in the front seat.”

Consciousness  left me, again.

I have no recollection of the events of  the accident, so anything else that I write about  it is eye-witness accounts.

Ascending the hill, not knowing what was on the other  side of the ridge, a seventeen year old boy  attempted to pass a car on the narrow road. The accident occurred when he saw the oncoming car  as it approached the top of the hill.  He veered the speeding car to the right, hitting the bumper of the car in front of him.  His lavender, 1957 Chevrolet crossed the ditch, went up the embankment , and hit all three of us.

I  had grabbed Dei Dei’s arm (my thumb made a bruise) and  picked her up.

The car struck  my left leg and her right leg and knocked us into the ditch.  I fell on  a rock.  Mrs. Jolly  ( the stranger ) held my head in her lap and  removed a rock , splattering her apron with blood.

My neighbor called Gerald’s office at Southern Living Magazine.  He said, ” Stan has been hit by a car, and it looks real bad.”

My husband, ran to his friend, Caleb, and threw his car keys against the wall in  his office.  “I need your help,”  he cried.

They reached East End Hospital just as the ambulance arrived.  They  saw emergency medical technicians rush Stan into the emergency room.  Gerald  noticed that my head was bleeding and that my legs were wrapped with white pads.

Mrs. Jolly (now, known as our ministering angel) was holding a gauze tourniquet on Dei’s right leg.  She said, ” I was told to hold this tightly and not move.”

Gerald panicked.  “Not my whole family!” he cried.

Although I was unaware of my visual surroundings during  the darkness of my concussion, I heard the medical staff discussing our case. “The pointed metal frame surrounding the  headlight  shattered the baby’s right thigh bursting it to the bone. She is suffering the blunt force trauma of  the impact .   We will  closely monitor the situation  because of her obvious serious wounds. ” The little boy has a very serious head injury.  He will have a lengthy stay with us. ”

I heard a very compassionate voice .  ” Faye, my name is Dr. Nickell. I am a plastic surgeon.  I will be taking care of your children.”  Suddenly,  hysteria engulfed me.

Dr. Nickell operated on Dei Dei first because it was important to close the  wide and deep  wound as soon as possible to prevent infection. He used a technique to bring the wound together neatly and evenly, preserve the function of the tissue and torn muscle, promote rapid healing, and restore cosmetic appearance of the jagged edges of skin.  Her leg was wrapped in a heavy dressing that she dragged behind her as she crawled.  She had trouble pulling up with it, and she could not bear her weight on it. Walking was impossible for months.

Stan had gone under the center of the car. The driver put the car in reverse and turned Stan for a backward roll.

He suffered substantial upper external left  ear loss due to a sharp laceration . There were three acute penetrations in his head.  His forehead, just above his left eye,  was severely slashed.  To minimize risk of rejection by his immune system,  skin was grafted from Stan’s hip to repair  the piercing.

He endured a series of six painstaking, complex  otoplasties.  For reconstruction , Dr. William Nickell used Stan’s own tissue from the back of his head and his creative artistic ability to form a natural proportioned, contoured appearance.

I experience a minor circulation issue because I wasn’t getting any exercise.

My toes felt like there was a hair wrapped between them.

My knee locked  and became stiff due to a misalignment of the muscles in my leg and was accompanied by extreme pain.

The rehabilitation process took six months of intense work with a physical therapist before I walked without assistance , again.

During my three weeks in the hospital, I underwent some  neuropsychological  evaluation because my starch-white bedsheets appeared to be a fuzzy light blue.

A kaleidoscope of  beautiful colorful flowers were coming out of the wall.

Results of the assessment were that I had occipital lobe damage which is damage to the visual perception portion of my brain.

Permanent physical scars remain, but emotional scars have healed for all of  us.

This is what happened next.  You may find it unbelievable after the last paragraph.

While still in the hospital, my sleep was interrupted by chanting.  There were three hooded, cloaked, dark figures standing beside my bed.  I  instantly knew that the tall one in the middle was Satan.  On each side of him was a demon. Satan repeatedly said to me, ” Come go with me.”

I knew that I was hurt. I  also knew that  I wasn’t dying.   I was not afraid.  Loudly , I answered,  “No, go away!”  The nurse came in, turned on the light, and my visitors disappeared.  I  stress that I was not dreaming.

I was not taking medications.  It was NOT a hallucination!  THIS WAS REAL.  I knew that Satan wasn’t asking me to die and live with him, but to serve him on earth.

In 1977, we moved to Waxahachie , Texas.   I saw one of those emissaries as I walked down the hall of our house.  He was silent, and he just seemed to walk through the walls.  I wondered what his mission had been. I think it takes awareness of spiritual discernment to detect them.

In 1979, while visiting my parents in Birmingham, a demon appeared at the foot of my bed where he stood and looked at me for what seemed to be forever. This time, I was terrified by the aspect of Satan working against me.  I said, ” Go away, in the name of Jesus Christ, go away.”  He suddenly vanished.

May 24, 2013,  thirty-four years later, in Waxahachie: I woke up in the middle of the night to an evil atmosphere. A dark  horizontal  shadow of a  ghoul  suspended above me as if he intended to drift into my body.   I  sternly said, ”  Oh, no, you don’t!  Abolish your  action, you are not bewitching  my  soul.  Jesus is my Savior.”

Gone.

For years, I heard stories about others seeing heavenly angels.  I wondered why I would see malignant spirits.

As my belief matures, I realize that I have always had a deep

As my belief matures, I realize that I have always had a deep Christian faith, but I had been totally ignorant of evil spirits. Because of this experience, I know that my life is against the spiritual forces of evil, and that I have to wear the full armor of God, be alert, stand my ground, and pray always.

I thank God for giving my children and me an opportunity to take another walk–with Jesus–not only with our feet, but as a result of our faith.

 

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  • Caleb Pirtle

    I will never forget that day, although I would like to. And I will never forgive the look on Gerald’s face when he ran into my office. Nor will I ever understand how on earth we were able to drive over the mountain and reach the hospital at the same time the ambulance did. I guess the Good Lord gave us a shortcut just like he kept his hands on you, Stan, and Dei Dei.

    • Faye

      Thank you for being there for us that day and every day for the past forty years.

      • Caleb Pirtle

        I wouldn’t be anywhere else.

  • Sara Marie Hogg

    Thanks for sharing this. It is chilling. I am sorry for the horrible pain and rehabilitation, emotional roller-coasters you and your family had to go through. I believe you. I have a very vivid imagination and sometimes see these THINGS in the periphery. (I often have difficulty w/ my imagination and “slap many things down” not knowing if they have true substance. They have never approached. Maybe they are waiting. I am glad to know what to say to them if they do. If you have not written a detailed book about this experience, I hope you will. I suspect many others have had similar experiences but are afraid to tell anyone.

    • Faye

      Sara,
      Thanks for reading my blog and for your comments.
      Don’t pass this off as your vivid imagination. Maybe these “things” do have substance.

  • genabeam

    Wow!
    Never knew about the accident. Knew you were a woman of faith, just
    didn’t know how strong. May God continue to strengthen you in your fight
    against Satan. He is there, we just don’t all “see” his presence, but
    that’s definitely who we fight everyday. God bless.

  • Becky Trull

    Wow ! I like reading your blog I have always known you are a women of faith and he certainly lives within you and the family .It’s great being in Church and Bible class with ya’ll .God is in your heart for real .

  • Carol Ray

    You had told me some of this, but not the whole story. God is faithful! And we are overcomers by the Blood of the Lamb! You have walked thru the fire and NOT been consumed!

  • Dana Wanninger

    Aunt Faye, incredible story and very well written. I was too young to understand the extent of that accident and I’m glad I now know what your family had to endure. What incredible faith you have! And then to have the opportunity to show Satan that you belong to God and ONLY God is really a blessing.

    I went to school with Dr. Nickell’s daughters and I have forwarded this to them so they can read how he touched your lives and to share it with him too.

  • Conley

    Faye I get chills reading this account of that terrible day. Sherry had told me about that accident but I had never heard, in Paul Harvey’s words “the rest of the story”. I am so glad that you posted this so that I have the opportunity to read your account. Yes there are demons and they were totally defeated at the cross but they still fight on. The spiritual warfare is intense and most are not even aware that it is happening. Satan can opress us but he cannot have us because we belong to Christ.

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