With all the horrible news out there, it’s nice to see something uplifting once in a while.
But this is more than just that. This is something else. Miracles, and angels walking the earth-type stuff right here in America. KHQA-TV in Missouri has the story from a bad wreck on a highway…
Even odder, the black-garbed priest does not appear in any of the nearly 70 photos of the scene of the accident in which a 19-year-old girl almost died. No one knows the priest and he vanished without a word, said Raymond Reed, fire chief of New London, Mo.
“I think it’s a miracle,” Reed said. “I would say whether it was an angel that was sent to us in the form of a priest or a priest that became our angel, I don’t know. Either way, I’m good with it.”
The victim in the car crash, Katie Lentz, is a sophomore at Tulane. She’s still in critical condition. But she survived.
And until the mystery priest showed up, that didn’t look like it was going to happen…
Reed’s team and emergency workers from several other jurisdictions tried for at least 45 minutes to remove the twisted metal from around Lentz. Various pieces of equipment broke and the team was running out of choices. A helicopter waited to carry Lentz to the nearest trauma center. Though Lentz appeared calm, talking about her church and her studies toward a dentistry degree, her vital signs were beginning to fail, Reed said.
“I was pulled off to the side by one of the members of the” helicopter evacuation team, Reed said. “He expressed to me that we were out of time. Her condition looked grim for her coming out of that vehicle alive. She was facing major problems.”
At that point, Reed’s team agreed to take the life-threatening chance of sitting the vehicle upright so that Lentz could be removed from it. This is dangerous because a sudden change in pressure to the body can be critical, he said.
That’s when Lentz asked if someone would pray with her and a voice said, “I will.”
The silver-haired priest in his 50s or 60s in black pants, black shirt and black collar with visible white insert stepped forward from nowhere. It struck Reed as odd because the street was blocked off 2 miles from the scene and no one from the nearby communities recognized him.
“We’re all local people from four different towns,” Reed said. “We’ve only got one Catholic church out of three towns and it wasn’t their priest.”
Reed and the other emergency workers were on their knees. The priest of about medium build, maybe 6-feet-tall, stood above them.
“This priest approached Katie and began to pray openly with her,” Reed said. “He had a bottle of anointing oil with him and he used that.”
Another firefighter who had been watching said it appeared as if the priest also sprinkled Reed and two other emergency workers nearby with oil.
Everything happened quickly after that. Twenty emergency workers pulled together and sat the car upright, Churchill Lentz said. Katie Lentz’s vital signs improved and a rescue team from a neighboring community suddenly appeared with fresh equipment and tools. Lentz was removed and rushed to the hospital.
Sorry, guys. That’s a miracle. And when it was over and the responders wanted to thank the priest for his help and inspiration, he had vanished.
“We all go back to thank this priest and he’s gone,” he said.
Initially, they assumed he had to get to his home church to lead Sunday services. But then they looked at their photos of the scene.
“I have 69 photographs that were taken from minutes after that accident happened — bystanders, the extrication, our final cleanup — and he’s not in them,” Reed said. “All we want to do is thank him.”
Katie Lentz, who’s been upgraded from critical to serious condition in the hospital, is going to recover. She has two broken femurs, a broken tibia and fibia, broken left wrist, nine broken ribs, a lacerated liver, ruptured spleen and bruised lung. But her mom says there’s a bright side…
“She sustained a lot of injuries, however, her face is beautiful, her teeth are perfect, she is sunshine, and everyone who’s contacted us — those emergency personnel, the Missouri State Patrol, the deputies, the firemen — they are all saying the same thing, she never cried, she never screamed, she would just say, ‘pray for me and pray out loud.’ “
There’s a God out there. He’ll come to our aid if we ask him to. The Lentzes can attest to that, and so can the firemen and other first responders on the scene in New London, Missouri on Sunday.