April 30, 2010 by wcobserver
By Terry Ropp
Have you ever heard of one of those situations where something bad happened but everything else that could go right did? That is just what happened to Larry and me on March 1. Larry was driving north on 265 about half a mile south of the Hogeye Mall, gawking at a new house being built on the hill and wondering which Ogden was building it. Sure enough, his tire went off the edge of the road and caught in deep mud. He slammed into a ditch culvert head on. Instead of becoming his coffin, the old Escalade became his armor. It jumped four feet into the air and landed on top of the culvert. The air bag inflated and Larry was knocked unconscious. The first thing he saw when he awoke was the landmark outhouse on the other side of the road with the sign “Home of the Office of the Mayor.” He knew he wasn’t in heaven.
The next thing he knew a man asking him if he was okay. Larry said, “Sure,” and opened the door to get out. The stranger said, “I think you better wait. Your ankle looks pretty bad.” The man’s wife called for an ambulance and another woman was there to see if she could help. Larry reached for his phone and called me at work. He said, “I’ve been in a bad accident, but I’m okay. I knew the Escalade would die one day, but I never figured I would be the one to kill it!”
When I got to the hospital, Larry was a mess. He just looked at me and said, “I guess God isn’t done with me yet.” They thought he had a bunch of injuries: broken ankle, broken knees, broken pelvis, cracked ribs, and a spinal or neck injury. Unbelievably they kept eliminating injuries until only the ankle was left. After several hours I called our friend, David Holmes, pastor of the Christian Community Worship Center next to the Hogeye Mall. I had barely hung up before he was there…just in time for Larry’s ankle to be set for the second time. At almost midnight, David helped me get Larry into the car. He picked up our medicine, and then helped me get him into bed. I never could have done it alone. By this time it was too late for me to get someone else to assess a new teacher in Elkins, and to postpone would have been devastating for her. Last year’s housemother from Larry’s Alpha Gamma Rho chapter, Brenda Rae, came at six a.m. to stay while I assessed the new teacher.
We have no idea who the people were who helped Larry at the scene of the accident, but whoever you are, you have our deepest gratitude as do all the rest who have helped or called or visited. Larry has had successful reconstructive surgery on the ankle and will be laid up for a couple of months. The deep pain in his chest from the air bag, however, will be with him a lot longer.
By the way, we learned the new house Larry was gawking at is being built by Nathan Ogden who is getting married shortly.
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