Victory Over Death and Darkness
Ten years ago I woke up from a medical coma in Billings, Montana.
Five days earlier, while I was working at a Catholic ranch for delinquent youth in northwest Wyoming, I was nearly killed. One night, while we were camping out at a site in the middle of the Wyoming high desert, in an attempt to steal the keys to a truck so they could escape from the ranch, four teenage boys waited until I fell asleep. I was in a sleeping bag under the stars. They snuck out of their tent and picked up irrigation shovels nearby. Their goal was to knock me out so they could easily steal the keys. They gathered around me, counted to 3, and then repeatedly pummeled my head—about 8-10 hits—causing a skull fracture and blood clot on my brain. One boy, not involved in the assault, ran to the staff house to get help.
Help arrived. I was airlifted to Billings. The following morning I had head surgery—a 3-inch by 3-inch piece of skull was removed (to be replaced 5 months later)—to address the bleeding on my brain and swelling. Had this boy not ran, I would have bled to death that night.
He saved my life.