Broken Bones and Hospitals


My great niece Piper and I, and her friend Val, were enjoying a girls’ day together. We’d been to my nail salon for their manicure and had wandered in and out of various stores in Orlando’s Fashion Square Mall.

After grabbing a quick lunch, we finished our shopping at Target around 5:00 that Thursday afternoon. We were pleased with how much we’d packed into our day, since the two girls and my nephew Casey were headed back to South Carolina the next morning.

We were talking and laughing as we walked across the Target parking lot, my car already in sight. Suddenly, without warning, my right foot started slipping out of my open sandal. As I stood on my left foot and tried to maneuver my errant right foot back into place, I lost my balance. Without anything to grab hold of, I splashed on to the concrete.

As soon as I landed, both girls and several people from a nearby car quickly surrounded me. “Are you all right?” they yelled at the same time. I stayed quiet. My distorted left hand confirmed I was in trouble. After the group gingerly lifted me up, I steadied my left arm with my right hand.

We were in shock as the girls slowly guided me to my car. “You need to go to the hospital,” Piper said. Her sweet hug kept me from bursting into tears.

She called her dad, who had stayed behind at my house. As soon as Casey heard the news, he immediately grabbed an Uber and headed toward Target. After he arrived and asked me which hospital, he jumped into the car and drove us to the ORMC emergency room.

The four of us huddled together in the crowded ER, listening for my name to be called. The check of my vitals came quickly, soon followed by an x-ray. However, the call to go upstairs to confer with a doctor wouldn’t come until the next morning!

Meanwhile, my little team of encouragers stayed close by me, but we were weary and at a loss for words. As the evening wore on and no news had come, I looked at Casey and said, “You and the girls go out and get something to eat.” My body had put my appetite on hold.

Casey told me he wanted to accompany me upstairs to talk with the doctor. However, when nothing had changed by the time they returned to the hospital at 10:30 p.m., I hugged them goodbye and sent them home to get some sleep before their departure in the morning. I felt lonely without them, but I knew God was beside me.

Casey called me from the house at midnight. His words of endearment and encouragement poured love and comfort into my parched soul.

Then my cell phone died. Fortunely, earlier in the evening my friend Ella happened to call me and discovered I was in the hospital. However, now my lifeline was gone.

After dozing off and on during the long Thursday night, I heard someone call my name at 8:00 a.m. Friday morning. Finally freed from my captivity, I happily followed the nurse to my large room upstairs. Lying flat in a bed never felt so good.

Shortly, the head doctor came in. “After looking at the x-rays of your broken radius and ulna bones, I recommend surgery,” he said. I agreed.  Because I had a large room, he and his team set up camp there. After the painful process of maneuvering everything back into place, they created a temporary splint until surgery the next day.

A bright spot came Friday evening when Ella decided to call the ER. They transferred her call to the nurse in my room, who handed me her cell phone. Hearing Ella's voice connected me to life again. Soon after updating her and explaining my dilemma, she walked into my room for a visit, bearing my cell charger.

At 3:30 a.m. Saturday morning, my door burst open and the light from the hallway blinded me. A nurse exclaimed, “We found you a room!” They simply rolled me in my bed across the pedestrian overpass and deposited me in a private room in the Jewett Orthopedic Center.

Later that morning, while being prepped for surgery, the cute staff girl and I carried on a lively conversation until the drug kicked in. Of course, I remember nothing until I woke up in my own room that afternoon.

I though I would be discharged, but because of my low blood pressure, the team decided to keep me overnight. I sighed. Finally, on Sunday morning, after four days of confinement, my nurse wheeled me downstairs and out into the sunlight. Sweet release.

Now, for the most important part of my story: The results of my accident. I sensed the enemy had arranged the whole scenario. He loved putting me out of commission with only one functioning hand and isolated from my friends. What he didn’t foresee, though, was he had opened the way for me to take God into the hospital!

Two women nurses, who came to check on me at separate times, put their hand on my shouder and said, “You’re beautiful.” Now, I knew I didn’t look beautiful after being bruised and battered, my makeup long gone, and sporting a cast and hospital gown.

I smiled and said, “I don’t feel beautiful.” Both of them continued to look into my eyes. My take: they saw a light in me. When we have God inside us, He shines His light through our eyes, our smiles, our countenance. God declares,

You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

Matthew 5:14-16 (NLT)

I saw something bright in their faces, too, which prompted me to say, “You know Jesus, don’t you?” Each of them quickly confirmed, “Yes, I do.” A sisterhood was formed. In the hospital. Enemy’s plan? No! God’s plan? Yes! He created a way for the three of us to proclaim we are His daughters and to lift Him up.

God wasn’t finished revealing His plan. Since I was quite helpless after the surgery in the orthopedic ward, God brought me three special helpers—my main nurse, Julia, and her amazing assistants, Remeel and Madeline. They anticipated my every need, came whenever I called for them, and seemed to relish the chance to serve me.

In that atmosphere, we all bonded. Remeel and I had the most to talk about, since he is a Filipino and I lived in the Philippines for many years. When I told Remeel about my relationship with Jesus, he listened; yet, I sensed this was a seed-planting opportunity. I knew God would bring others to water the seeds I'd planted in his heart. On my last morning I had a chance to tell Remeel, "You are the best. You helped me every day and always seemed to know what I needed. Thank you for caring for me.” He smiled.

My young nurse Madeline was only with me for one morning, but her cheerfulness brightened my day. Before my discharge on Sunday morning, Julia, the nurse fully responsible for my care, came to my room. I was already dressed and ready to go and sitting on my bed. She sat down beside me to explain my final instructions. When we stood, she reached for me and said, “I want to hug you because you’re so sweet.”

This team of three was God’s gift to me. I believe my gifts to them were my smile, my personal interest in them, my words of thanks, and my lack of grouchiness, moaning, or complaining. I trust God helped me communicate His love to them. I was excited when God gave me the idea of mailing the three of them a thank-you note to show my appreciation. Surely, that became another touch from God.

God wants us to personally connect with the people we meet, doesn’t He? He will shine His light through us, give us the words to say, and lead us to people who need to know how much He loves them. What a privilege we have to represent our God everywhere we go, even in the hospital.

Where have you been able to shine God’s light recently? Tell us your story below.

Published by Gail Porter

Gail Porter is an author, inspirational speaker, and workshop leader. Her latest book is Will the Real Person Please Stand Up? Rising Above the Fear of Rejection.


  • Brenda Friesen

    September 6, 2022 at 10:16 AM Reply

    Dear Gail, I love it when God gives us what my pastor calls “God’s Sightings”! You could write another book about all your God sightings. I remember in the Philippines when Ella and I wondered why you weren’t home yet and we’d just have to look out the window and see you in a taxi sharing your faith with yet another driver. Your light never goes out my friend.

    Last week I had an opportunity to reconnect with a former neighbor I have not seen in several years. Out of the blue I received a call from Caroline. She had just lost her father and was having a difficult time grieving losing him so soon after she had just visited him in Minnesota. I was so touched that she thought of me. She asked if my church had grief counseling so I told her we had a group, but she said she wanted one on one counseling. We’ve been texting and talking on the phone and last week I was able to go out to lunch with her. She is a recovering alcoholic and admitted to me she had one day where she gave in and drank too much. She has started seeing a counselor and I’m praying that she will be able find freedom from her past and be set free.

    • Gail Porter

      September 6, 2022 at 4:50 PM Reply

      Dear friend, Brenda, thanks for sharing your story about reconnecting with your former neighbor, Caroline. You have been a shining light as you talked with her, listened, grieved with her, and become a prayer support in her journey toward being set free of her addiction and finding freedom. God wants to rescue her. Let’s stand by and see what God does as you continue to shine His light on her!

  • Wanda Rodriguez

    September 6, 2022 at 1:39 PM Reply

    Dear Gail, I am sorry to learn about your accident and surgery! Thank you for sharing your journey and giving God glory. I agree with the nurses, you ARE beautiful my dear friend, inside and out. May the Lord continue to give you all the help you need as you recover. Warmly, Wanda

    • Gail Porter

      September 6, 2022 at 4:54 PM Reply

      Hi Wanda! Thanks for your response and your sweet personal encouragement…as always! Thanks for your prayers for my continued healing. I pray that God is encouraging you personally and continuing to use you in lifting up the people around you, no matter what is happening in your personal life. Grateful for your friendship, Wanda, and will never forget you even though we aren’t working together now.

  • Carol Gehring

    September 6, 2022 at 2:05 PM Reply

    What a beautiful letter, Gail. We never know in our life’s journey when something will happen and we will meet people with whom we can connect. I’ve been in those situations many times (getting old), and a smile, bright eyes and no complaining does wonders! I always remember how hard these nurses work and how tired they must be!

    Hope your healing goes well. Maybe we can get together in Portland later this fall?

    Hugs and God’s blessings.


    • Gail Porter

      September 6, 2022 at 4:58 PM Reply

      You are so right, Carol, we never know whom we will meet in our life’s journey! I enjoyed hearing about how God has used you in similar situations! Will be in town in October. I think we’ll be able to get together, because Carolyn is working on a time for the whole group to meet. Sending hugs and God’s blessings, too.

  • Becky Doel

    September 6, 2022 at 7:44 PM Reply

    Dearest Gail, so sorry to hear about your accident but delighted to hear how God used you through this trial. It’s not what happens to us but it’s how we respond.

    You did not give a detailed account of what happened to your left hand and anything else that was injured. Praying you through the healing process.

    You asked about being s light for Jesus and Bill and I got to I do that this last weekend in Canada. Because of restrictions close family members could not attend a daughters marriage but as friends we attended. Not in their place but with their love and well wishes to the new grooms family. We went to be a blessing but got blessed as well by all the grooms friends and family.

    May others see Jesus through our daily living together and the richness of His love for them.
    Take care our friend! Miss you!

    • Gail Porter

      September 12, 2022 at 7:23 PM Reply

      Dear Becky, thank you for your love and concern for me. My healing has been amazing! I thank God and all those who prayed for my recovery. I loved what you said: It’s not what happens to us, but how we respond! So true, and God helps us have His response, doesn’t He? It was so meaningful to go through my days at the hospital and simply follow God’s lead in what to say and do! I loved hearing about the opportunity you and Bill had to join the wedding party and be a blessing to the family as you shed God’s light on them. And so like God to bless you in return! I sent you an email about my upcoming trip! We’ll be in touch. I so agree with your specific prayer that all of us would show others the rich love of God. We are so blessed to be loved by our Father God! And I’m blessed to be loved by you!

  • Joanne Roberson

    September 7, 2022 at 9:02 AM Reply

    Thank you, Gail, for sharing your story of a disruption and I’m sure a disappointment. I appreciated your reminder that although this seemed like a victory for the enemy, it was truly a beautiful confirmation of the power of God at work in your life bringing just the right people into your life at the right time. Thanking you for letting the light of God’s love shine through you to encourage the medical team around you. Praying for complete healing ❤️‍🩹!

    • Gail Porter

      September 12, 2022 at 7:32 PM Reply

      Joanne, I enjoyed the way you perfectly described what took place in the hospital! I was the one blessed when I experienced the power of God working in and through me and ministering to those dear people. And this is a perfect time to say I see God’s light in you, Joanne, and have seen the way you alter your plans in order to help others. Thanks for your prayers. My healing has truly been amazing. I am almost back to normal, and getting ready for my rescheduled trip.

  • Carol Rubesh

    September 21, 2022 at 10:30 AM Reply

    Dear Gail,

    I always look forward to reading your Monthly Musings as I know I will find out something more that God is doing in and through your life. This time, He really surprised you and used you in ways your never ever imagined would be happening. God truly was in this experience from the beginning until now and who knows what is going to happen in the lives of the nurses and others who cared for you….just because they saw in you the love of Jesus shining, and were so connected with you even though you hadn’t met before.
    Proverbs 3:5-6 has taken on new meaning for me in the past several years: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path (or make your path straight”. I used to always think about these verses that it was all about what He wanted to do in my life…and what my future was going to hold….but to me over these years I have understood it in a slightly different way. Yes, He will always direct and lead me in decisions I must make, but I think every day he is leading me and directing my path IN ORDER to meet someone along the way He knows must come to know something more about His love for them, and that need to be encouraged. It puts a new bounce in my day, when I leave the house asking God to make me sensitive to His Holy Spirit to reach out to those He is placing across my path. Praying for you for complete healing…and as you head out on your trip. Love you, Carol

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