Following a near fatal accident and a trip to heaven, Ian has been declared a walking, talking miracle!
In May 2012, Ian was cycling to work when he was hit by a truck carrying scaffolding. The lorry side swiped him and then ran over him. A witness said that some scaffolding then fell on top of him making matters even worse. The road was closed for four hours while emergency services attended Ian at the scene. The chances of survival were slim at best.
Ian was born into a Christian family and grew up in Sheffield, UK. He attended church (Sunday school and Boys’ brigade) with his younger brother. Ian says,
“As two of the five boys in the church, my brother and I got fed when we went to church parties. The girls would do ballet, violin pieces, poetry, etc. So one New Year’s Eve we [boys] asked for a slot. It was life changing! We sang Larry Norman’s ‘I Wish We’d all Been Ready’. The church leaders then asked a group from Cliff college, the local bible college, to take a weekend mission. There at the parade service I realised I needed Jesus as a friend and Saviour, so I became a Christian.”
Although academically Ian was doing well, the school he attended was rough. Ian stayed on until he was eighteen and then took a computer studies course which prepared him for finding employment. His field of work took him up and down the country. He worked in Swindon, Wiltshire for a while, but it was the move back to Sheffield which proved to be another life-changing occasion. Ian met Sharon at a church event. They married, started a family, and life was good.
A Fantastic Opportunity
Alongside Ian’s usual work he was able to get involved in Christian outreach through radio, festivals and sports. He particularly enjoyed baseball and played for Sheffield Bladerunners. Another exciting challenge came with Ian’s move into coaching;
“The President of The British Baseball Federation, turned up and announced we had won a grant backed by the council and the police force, so long as we coached kids in the area. Then, out of blue, he said I was the one to coach the kids! My wife announced, ‘that’ll be good’, as she was pregnant with our first child. So my baseball coaching role started, after Sheffield came Bath, then Swindon, Bristol and Great Britain. All in God’s timing and from simple to ‘Broncos’, adults, Juveniles, defensive coach, Assistant Head Coach to Head Coach of Great Britain Juveniles.”
Family life was good with two young boys, and alongside Ian’s full-time computer work he was involved in youth outreach. Then, in 2012, another life-changing event shook the whole family to the core and almost lost Ian his life;
May 2012 – I was already helping with Olympics preparation all over the country. One morning I went to work, normally by cycling to the train station, then the train journey and a walk to office. Except this one day… I woke up thinking something was wrong with my leg, – ‘oh, it’s in plaster of paris’ – and fell back to sleep. I was subsequently told there had been five weeks in between. I had spent five weeks in a coma before waking up briefly in the Intensive Care Unit. I then spent the next two months in ICU.
Ian found that he had been hit by a truck carrying scaffolding. He very nearly died. Medical staff informed him that he was given a three on the Glasgow Coma Scale, which is very low. A one means the patient is dead, and a sixteen means wide awake and functioning normally.
Recovery took a long time, but considering the very poor prognosis, Ian is a walking talking miracle. He says,
All I can say in this space is that God moves in miraculous ways. If people say do you believe in miracles, my reply is YES! You are looking at three. One, I can walk, two, I can talk, and three I can actually hold conversations! Now I’m just waiting for fourth miracle, to run again and run round those bases!
Following the faithful prayers of family and friends, Ian has made a remarkable recovery. During his time in a coma he saw a glimpse of heaven. He concludes;
“Oh yeah and by the way, heaven is a cool place to go to, even for a short time. I was told it wasn’t my time and God hasn’t finished with me yet; Oh boy!”
Story by Ralph Burden
Photo supplied by Ian.