It all began on a normal Wednesday afternoon, December 5, 2001. My dad, Mike Durrett, went to work on the new house we were building. Steve Curry, the plumber, and my brother, Casey, were there helping out. They worked for a while, until it started getting dark and decided to quit for the day. Steve, Casey and Dad went out to their vehicles, and Dad realized he had forgotten something in the house. Casey and Steve waited for Dad to get “the folder” he had left in the house. Minutes went by and still he hadn’t come back out. Steve heard noises coming from the back of the house. He started yelling “Mike!!” He got no answer. Steve and Casey ran to the back of the house where the basement was and found Dad lying on the ground in a puddle of blood. Casey screamed and held Dad close to him. He had fallen from the stair well onto the basement floor, hitting his head. Steve called 911, and proceeded to call Stat Flight. He knew it was bad. The emergency crew arrived within minutes. People started coming from everywhere wondering what was going on. Casey went in to shock, screaming and yelling. EMS loaded Dad up in the ambulance. He was fighting. All you could hear was moaning and groaning. He would not reply to anyone.
Justin and I practically flew to University of Louisville hospital that afternoon, making the record time of 36 minutes. When we arrived, they would not let us see Dad for a while. Finally, a nurse came out and allowed 2 people to go in. Mom and I went in first. I wasn’t prepared to see my dad for he had never been in the hospital his entire life. We walked through the doors and to his bedside. He was very agitated and jerking all over. They hadn’t cleaned him up. He didn’t know who we were. Mom and another nurse had to catch me because the sight of Dad almost made me pass out. Mom said that we needed to be strong. I walked out and let others go back. Lots of people were there in the waiting room. Still no update on the condition that Dad was in. The night passed by slower than any night of my life. Dad was transferred into ICU. The staff finally told us that he had a brain injury and the brain was swelling. A drain tube was inserted into his skull to try and relieve pressure. The pressure readings stayed high and there was no other choice than to go in and remove part of the brain to allow some swelling. The family discussed this and we decided whatever would be best for Dad. The surgery went fine. His head was wrapped up tight; the left side had no bone flap. The doctors explained to us that this part of the brain would not affect speech, motor skills, or anything that would not make him normal. That was a blessing.
As days went by, Dad stayed in stable condition, still not knowing who anybody was. He had good days, and he had bad ones. He remained in ICU where he had the greatest nurses ever. They grew on our family and we grew to love them. It was like they were sent by God. One night, Dad’s pressure got up real high and his heart dropped very low, like to 17. The doctor came out to the waiting room and told us there was no hope. He said we needed to make a decision to turn Dad off of life support. Dr Meyer had given up on Dad. When he said that to us, we never once thought about giving up. There was one other option, and that was to put Dad in a coma for three days. That is what we decided to do. Those three days were rough. Nobody ever left his side. We talked to him, rubbed him, and constantly let him know we were with him. Mom had gone down to the chapel, for she was growing weary. She prayed for a sign that God would let Dad be alright and for him to stay with us. She begged God not take him away from our family. When she came in the waiting room, she was waving her hands, crying, and shouting. She told us that God told her that Dad would live. Her sign was that God told her, “and on the third day, he arose.” We practically had church right there in the waiting room. When the medicine was turned off, Dad slowly started responding to us. He would squeeze our hands and he finally opened his eyes. He still didn’t know us, but we didn’t care. The doctors came in and evaluated him. They seemed to be in amazement of how quickly Dad was recovering. He eventually was able to sit up in the bed, smile, and he was even taken off the ventilator. It was like he was a baby in a grown man’s body. He loved sucking the water out of the swabs we would clean his teeth with. He would take our hands and kiss them. He knew deep down who we were. He knew we were a part of him. Eventually Dad got moved to the seventh floor. He was given a helmet that he had to wear on his head when he was out of his bed. He loved riding in the wheelchair, but he hated that helmet. He would give us kisses when we would lean down to his face. We had him writing his name, and he would listen to CMT on the TV and sing songs we didn’t even think he knew. God’s grace fell down on us when things like that happened.
As time went by and improvement was shown, Dad got transferred to Frazier Rehab Center for rehabilitation. He had to go to classes and learn all over again, how to talk, how to walk, and basic skills of everyday life. He amazed the staff at how quickly he would respond to them. He began to say our names and knew who we were when we walked in the room. He begged us to take him home. There were days we had to call family members just so they could talk to Dad and tell him everything was going to be alright. He would cry his eyes out and beg me to take him home with me. It broke my heart to see him like that. Mom and I would cry, but we would never let Dad see us. FINALLY, the day came when the doctors said Dad could go home. All the men loaded up to go get Dad and Mom.
It had been 3 long months since they had seen Green County. We made signs and hung balloons. Anxiously waiting, they pulled in the driveway and we ran and hugged him. He was so glad to be home. We had visitors one after the other for weeks. As time went by, Dad was back to normal. He sang with the Durrett Family and went to church. One Sunday, at Gabe, he made his testimony. That testimony was the greatest testimony anyone had ever heard. God was in that church that day, just as He had been in that house that December night. He never left us. Dad had surgery a while back to get the bone replaced back in his head. He looks absolutely normal. If you didn’t know, you never would. Dad loves to show pictures, and tell his story to people. He still doesn’t know the pain that his family went through; he says he doesn’t want to know details of what happened. It scares him. He claims that he knows the reason why this happened to him. He wouldn’t tell anybody but Mom. A friend at his work asked him to speak at his church. Dad was hesitant to say yes, but he did. The Durrett Family went with him and sang songs. Dad spoke for the first time about his accident and told the reason why he thought this happened to him. He said that the devil was after him. He said that God told him that he heard the cries of his family and friends and that God had spared his life. Mom spoke and gave her testimony. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room. I personally think that God wanted Dad to rest for a while. He is a major part of everything that goes on within our family, our church, the singers, his work, and on top of that, he was building our house. He is not ashamed to tell people what God did for him. Mike Durrett is a very well known person throughout Kentucky. Now, he is known as “Miracle Mike.” It is an honor to have a miracle within our family. People can look at us and it gives them hope. Thank God for miracles.
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