“My neck snapped, my heart quit beating…”
Hello. My name is Joe Laws and I am a 175 pound, 51 year old male in great shape except I live with a now permanently altered body.
On July 17, 2011 I fell off of the top of my shed and landed on the left side of my head while also hitting squarely my shoulder and the left side of my chest… I died!
The fall broke my neck, C1 and C2, broke my back, T1 and T2, broke my shoulder and collarbone, broke one rib on my right side and broke and mangled ten ribs on my left side.
The fall immediately crushed and collapsed both lungs while badly bruising the left one. It also caused my spleen to explode and flattened it like a pancake.
Upon hitting the ground my heart was crushed just as one would stomp a grape. My heart instantly stopped beating.
Had my heart not have stopped beating I would have indeed bled to death. Dr. Richard S. Miller, my doctor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center who rebuilt my rib cage using a revolutionary surgery with titanium later told me that I indeed had nearly bled to death. He said I had lost over half of my blood internally through my spleen and that I was in total hemorrhagic shock.
Yet by some miracle I was speaking to them and telling them what all was wrong with me and what happened to me.
My wife told me to sit down and write my thoughts down on paper since the PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) was driving me insane of why was I alive.
So I did. The result was an approximately 210 page book titled: “Held by the Hand of God”.
And that is exactly what happened to me that fateful morning. My neck snapped, my heart quit beating, and my lungs quit working.
I felt something pick my soul up off of the ground and I watched my broken body just fade away. I was being held by something as my soul went at an unworldly speed towards the light. I now know what picked me up. I was being “Held by the Hand of God”.
After thirteen days in the ICU and three months at home I returned back to work stronger than ever. However the PTSD was something I would have to learn to deal with. I struggled mightily.
The writing of my book and telling my story is how my brain was finally set free.