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No Stranger ,o t h e

Miraculous ELIZABETH PRITCHETT by: Mindy Wood

Monday May 10th Elizabeth Pritchett was jetting off work in Oklahoma City. She headed for home on 1-40 and even though she knew there was a tornado in Yukon, she was sure she was ahead of the storm. She had no idea about the nasty twister that was about to envelop her car and cause masdestruction at Choctaw Road. "A friend was sending me texts about the storm. We thought I was ahead of it and I could make it to Shawnee. I didn't know there was a tornado headed for Choctaw Road. I started getting pelted with hail. By the time I got to 1-40/240 mnction, I updated my Facebook to see if anything was near me and someone said to get to a safe place." It was too late. "I was still curving around the Choctaw Road exit when the tornado hit my car. I called my mom and she'd just picked up the phone when I started seeing debris swirling around and •hen I saw it all coming for my car super fast. 1 still kept driving, thinking I could get to safety but I didn't grasp the magnitude of the situation." The next moment Elizabeth had no visibility but there was no mistake about what was happening. She shoved her car in park. "All I could think was they don't want you in a trailer house, let alone a car. I didn't even think to start praying, it just came out of me. 1 was hysterical. I could feel the pressure completely engulf my car and the debris rattling it. I was sure it was going to flip • •-.• Almost as quickly as it had come, the tornado passed. To her amazement, she was unharmed and her vehicle had no damage but to her dismay, all of the vehicles in front her had blown out windows and were covered in power lines. Anderson Truck Stop seemed to hold some shelter but part of the roof was missing and cars in the parking lot were turned over. "There were semis and a charter bus turned over and a semi trailer had been thrown and mangled." Across the highway Love's

1 remember thinking: x did this just happen? I drove right into the tornado. I could have been killed. Thank you, Lord for saving my life." gas station was nearly gone. She drove around debris to the truck stop and there grasped the magnitude of what just happened. "I remember thinking: 'did this just happen? I drove right into the tornado. I could have been killed. Thank you, Lord for saving my life.'" That day Elizabeth was reminded about the power of prayer but she's no stranger to the miraculous. For the last seven years she has seen many answered prayers for her son, Duncan, a survivor of Shaken Baby Syndrome. When Duncan was just a few months old, he suffered severe brain damage from being brutally shaken. It was a bad case from the start. He was so severely abused that his brain and eyes continued to bleed. The doctors predicted he would be a bs'iy forever. "When he was first shaken the doctor to!d me that because his brain was in the condition it was that he wasn't going to do a lot and that he was going to be blind." Pritchett said it was very discouraging to learn that her child would never crawl, walk, talk or go to school but she clung to prayer. "The doctor scheduled surgery to remove the blood behind his eyes," said Pritchett. "On the day of the surgery all of the blood was gone." She and her fellow church members had been praying for Duncan and it seems their prayers were answered. The first of many answers to prayer would come but not without hurdles. He started having seizures, as many as ten a day. "Duncan was at a zero month old level until the seizures stopped at two years old. We were trying a fourth medication that wasn't working." Again Pritchett believes prayer helped stop the seizures.

Then Duncan began holding up his head and could finally sit up. He started drinking from a sip cup but he was still way behind developmentally. Although the state supplied her with equipment to help him learn to walk and strengthen his muscles, there was little hope. "My doctor said it was great that he could sit up but when he felt the lack of muscle tone in his legs he said Duncan would never walk." Elizabeth kept praying, fully expecting him to one day take his first steps. "I would dream about him walking," she said. "A few months later he started doing things he never did before. He started crawling, and then eventually he could stand by pulling himself up." In April 2007 he took his first two steps but what came next amazed everyone. "I picked Duncan up from the church nursery and I would always try to make him walk by setting him on his feet. We were leaving and I let go of his hand. He took off down the hall, around the corner and out the door. He'd taken only two steps his whole life. I was shocked and everyone watched in amazement!" Today at seven years old, Duncan is slowly starting to talk and completed his first year of school at Jefferson Elementary. He runs and laughs and loves ceiling fans. His mother continues to be amazed by his progress and by the many answers to prayer that she and others have prayed. As a single mother, Elizabeth admitted she often feels alone but said she knows better. When she reflected on her son's progress and surviving a tornado she said, "God has blessed me in so many ways and I know He saved me. It reminded me I'm not alone.' © • 2

No Stranger to the Miraculous, ELIZABETH PRITCHETT  

By Mindy Wood, As Seen in the June 2010 Issue of the Shawnee Outlook