TUSCUMBIA, AL (WAFF) - A vacation to the beach nearly ended in tragedy for a local preacher. His trip was cut short when a crash left him wondering if he would ever step behind the pulpit again.
Three years ago, Jerry Crowden, his wife, daughter, and her friend were beach-bound. They made it as far as Montgomery when they saw another driver come through an intersection.
"He had run the red light… and he t-boned us in the driver's side and rolled us two times. My wife was able to get out of the passenger side of the truck. Then I pulled my daughter and her friend out of the truck. When I got out and stood up, I just collapsed," Crowden recalled.
Hospital tests revealed his neck was broken in three places. He was transferred to UAB. Doctors warned Crowden there was a possibility he would be paralyzed from the neck down. A tedious surgery left him with three metal screws in his neck, three metal plates, six pins, two 18-inch rods. He was on life support. The prognosis was grim.
"[They] just didn't give me any hope for walking. But I told them that the Lord had promised me that I was going to walk that day," Crowden said.
The promise was kept, just 36 hours after surgery. While his spinal cord was not severed, it was damaged. Jerry's faith played a big part in his healing. His range of motion is limited, but that doesn't stop Crowden from counting his blessings.
"They call me the Miracle Man at UAB, even today," he said. "Never say 'I can't.'