I rarely, if ever, suspect the presence of angels.
This is one of those times.
We had not heard from my sister (who lives in another state) for two days.
We were very concerned.
Because of an alleged breach in security at her high-risk workplace (court case pending) she had recently suffered a life-threatening assault. Her 250-pound assailant (my sister is petite) broke her hand in the scuffle, but the crime also caused significant post-trauma stress resulting in panic attacks and nightmares. She was on medical leave and under medical care at the time of the event detailed below.
During her ongoing trauma recovery, my other sisters and I talked with her daily on the phone. Sometimes more than once per day. “Call at will, 24/7” was and is our mantra.
So when she had not responded to our voice messages for two days nor to her husband’s calls (he was working in another part of their state) we were concerned.
When she finally contacted me, her voice was shrill.
“Oh my God! I just spent the night in jail,” she sobbed. “They said I was drunk but I wasn’t. I kept telling them something happened in my brain. I don’t remember what happened; I don’t know what happened,” she repeated, over and over, “and they put me in jail. But I wasn’t drunk…”
What?! My sister? Jail?…
Her words jumbled together but I learned her husband was with her and she was in a hospital. He later clarified what had happened and what was happening. She had been jailed as a result of reckless driving the police assumed was caused by driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
She was asked to prepare a summary of what she recalls of the incident for her upcoming court hearing. It reads as follows.
I don’t remember losing consciousness, but I remember regaining consciousness while driving. On regaining awareness, I looked at the speedometer; it registered 84 mph. I looked out at the road and realized somehow I came to be on the wrong side of South ___. Though I could see and hear again, the right side of my body was paralyzed, completely without feeling, dead. I could not move my foot as it was jammed on the accelerator. I tried to heave my paralyzed right foot off of the accelerator and then I went blind again, losing all vision, just hearing the wind and engine noise. Then I lost consciousness again. As far as I could tell, this whole sequence of events was a few seconds long.
My next experience was coming to consciousness and asking a police officer to administer a breathalyzer test. I was very disorganized and confused; I did not know what time of day it was or why I was where I was. I did not understand what the officer was saying to me. Her speech was garbled to my hearing and I was desperately trying to understand her directions. Then I remember going black again.
While in jail I briefly remember “coming to” again trying to figure out how to use the public phone to call my husband. I was not able to understand the mechanism and began to black out again. I remember lying down on something hard, either a bench or the floor. I do not remember getting out or going home the next morning. Apparently I called my husband and he came to my house in _____ and transported me to a hospital where I was admitted to a locked psychiatric unit and stayed for ten days due to acute suicidality. I have no memory of my admission for the first 2 days of my stay and very spotty recollections if the first five days or so of my whole experience.
The Presence of Angels
The judge will review her summary, the police report, and the 911 call log that reveals multiple reports of a driver careening at a high rate of speed in and out of the wrong lane of the 55 mile-per-hour two-lane highway ribboned with numerous S-curves. That driver, my sister, narrowly missed multiple head-on collisions.
The judge will review the toxicology report revealing no drug or alcohol influence.
And an MRI is also scheduled to help determine what happened in her brain during those crucial minutes: seizure? Stroke? “Dissociative Fugue”  episode related to the workplace assault (she had just been to her workplace to collect her paycheck)?
Her legal team is confident.
It is rare when I suspect the presence of angels.
This is one of those times.
Clear to all, my sister should not have survived–nor should the passengers in any one of the multiple cars she “narrowly missed” on that treacherous highway have survived.
Share your own story, if you have one, of a time you suspect the presence of angels.
 “Dissociative Fugue” also known as “Psychogenic Fugue”:
Image from the public domain.
- Psalm 91 in the Midst of the Fray: Verses 9-10, and Share Your Story (pnissila.wordpress.com)
- Psalm 91 in the Midst of the Fray: Verses 7-8, and Share Your Story (pnissila.wordpress.com)
- Psalm 91 in the Midst of the Fray: Verses 5-6, and Share Your Story (pnissila.wordpress.com)
- Psalm 91 in the Midst of the Fray: Verse 4, and Share Your Story (pnissila.wordpress.com)
- Psalm 91 in the Midst of the Fray: Verse 3 (pnissila.wordpress.com)
- Psalm 91 in the Midst of the Fray: Preface, Verses 1-2, and Share Your Story (pnissila.wordpress.com)