By Debbie Shelley

The Catholic Commentator 

Becky Wilson, a member of St. Patrick Church in Baton Rouge, speaks in a matter-of-fact way when giving the details of an accident that nearly took her life 29 years ago. But when enumerating the blessings of her spiritual journey that occurred during that trying time she is swept away with emotions.  

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Becky Wilson prays the rosary before serving as lector at the 4 p.m. Vigil Mass at St. Patrick Church in Baton Rouge. She has participated in this ministry at various churches since 1972. The rosary she is holding played a vital part in the miraculous healing of her hand following an accident which nearly took her life. id=”0″>Photo by Sherri Hayes 

 

Wilson recently shared her story with her parish as it, along with other churches in the diocese, have been hosting drives to help replenish the dwindling blood supplies at local blood banks during the summer. 

“When I was young, I was giving blood. I never dreamed that my life would depend on the generosity of others or that I was going to need someone else’s blood. I never thought that I would ever have to take advantage of the good that others offer,” said Wilson.  

She was accompanying someone on a business visit at a construction site in Alexandria when two thousands pounds of wood fell on her from 15 feet. One of her legs was almost severed, and the other leg and both arms, hip and pelvic bone were badly damaged. 

“I was laying there for what seemed for eternity,” said Wilson, who saw some of the damage to her body.

Her eyes brimmed with tears as she talked about the first of many miracles.  

“God was already at work because the hospital (Rapides Medical Center in Alexandria) was within my vision,” said Wilson. 

She was “ready for the Lord to take her” if it was his will.  

Emergency responders put a tourniquet around her knee, and a helicopter picked her up to bring her to the hospital.  

“And that’s when the battle begun,” said Wilson.  

She underwent a 10-hour surgery to stop the bleeding and stabilize her. Her five children were notified that she probably would not survive.  

Wilson said another miracle occurred when a new orthopedic surgeon did some critical procedures that helped save her hand and life.  

“He told me  later that  he looked at me and he said ‘God guide me because I don’t even know where to start,’ ” Wilson said. 

After they stabilized Wilson, a doctor, who is originally from Turkey and one of two doctors in the United States with enough experience to do the extensive repairs needed to reattach a finger that was severed from Wilson’s hand, was in Alexandria.  

In her initial recovery, doctors told Wilson she would likely lose her hand, and if she didn’t, it would take many surgeries to make it look like a hand again.  

“The doctor and medical staff were in my room, and I was told and I asked for a rosary. The doctor wrapped the rosary around my hand and I asked him not to remove it for a while. When the doctor unwrapped it several weeks later, he said, ‘My God, it’s a miracle,’ ” said Wilson.  

Her hand only required one minor surgery. She credits the healing to Mary’s intercession and keeps the rosary in a special box when she’s not praying with it.  

While surgical scars witness to the hardships she endured, Wilson paints a more pastoral vision of her overall experiences during the past years.  

She said while recovering in the hospital her sister, Elizabeth Dent Summrall, showed her a painting of Jesus as the Good Shepherd she bought for her that she would place in her home when she returned, and presented her with a poem she wrote, “Gentle Shepherd.” 

That painting, poem and prayers, and spiritual books offered by a physical therapist and loved ones helped her through an accompanying intense spiritual battle. She had vivid visions of good versus evil involving loved ones, the community, state and nation.  

Her “go to verse” then, and now, is 2 Timothy 1: 7: “For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control.” She also receives confirmations that the Blessed Mother is by her side.  

Wilson estimates that she received 20 pints of blood as a result of her accident and she went through 18 surgeries in 10 years and she has pain that “comes and goes.” But Wilson, who has been involved in different ministries, particularly lectoring, during the years, said her faith and continual miracles let her know even the worse of pain is “worth it” for the spiritual strength she gains.  

“When you think about what they did to Jesus, the agony that he went through, my pain is nothing. Easter is my favorite time because it makes me realize that what I suffer every day is nothing compared to what he suffered. And he rose from it,” she said.