Thanking real heroes and God for their role in this miracle
Forget fictitious superheroes.
Collin Snyder says crews should be making movies about emergency medical services, firefighters, police and people who do ordinary things in life — like giving blood.
About two months ago, Collin, my 24-year-old cousin, was part of a perfect miracle only God could have orchestrated. Today, his family is going to meet the rescue team who helped save his life.
Collin, Rachel, his wife of less than two years, and their son, Samuel, who now is nearly 6 months old, had enjoyed a perfect “10” day Oct. 22 that included successful delivery of the All Saints church financial report, a banquet, a walk at a reservoir and beautiful weather.
Collin, who played basketball, and Rachel, who was a cheerleader, had been high school sweethearts at New Riegel High School and were crowned homecoming king and queen.
They had enjoyed all the little things on the fall day, and it was a family-oriented day.
The trio headed to the back yard of their Walnut Street home in Fostoria to play catch with their labradoodle, Micah, and had been out there just a couple of minutes when a boy shot a broadhead arrow with a hunting tip toward a target.
Collin had been holding Samuel but handed him off to Rachel to keep him warm. Less than 10 seconds later, they heard the “pop.” Collin landed on his stomach.
The arrow had ricocheted off a nail on a deck, traveled over a fence and into the yard where the family was playing, and lodged itself into both of Collin’s legs, nearly completely severing the femoral artery in his right leg and hitting a branch of the femoral artery in his left leg.
“It was pure accident. … We just feel like someone guided the arrow,” Rachel said.
Collin and Rachel told the boy, who later was sentenced in juvenile court, it was OK.
“We were both oddly calm,” Collin said, reflecting on the entire situation.
Sgt. Kent Reinbolt and Officer Travis Ricker of Fostoria Police Department responded to the Snyders’ home. Reinbolt said Collin was talking and seemed to be in good spirits.
“He seemed fine,” he said.
Acting Capt. Jerry Goodman, Harry Miller, a firefighter/EMT, and Kyle Blausey, a paramedic, responded for Fostoria Fire Division. Blausey recalled running past Rachel, who was holding Samuel.
He thought, “This guy can’t die today. … This can’t happen today.”
Blausey, who has been a medic since 1995, recalled being scared and saying something in his head to God: “I need help.” He said he never has had a patient as calm as Collin.
Goodman said Collin was holding the arrow with one hand between his legs and was talking well. Collin eventually lost consciousness, and the crew performed CPR, successfully getting a pulse back, on the way to ProMedica Fostoria Community Hospital.
“Thank God the ER staff was ready for us. … If they weren’t ready, it would’ve gone completely downhill,” Blausey said.
Rachel recalled freaking out for 30 seconds when they were in the local hospital.
Then, she immediately went to prayer. She called people to start praying and told the receptionist to call her priest.
Rachel had a wave of calm come over her. She said it wasn’t that she knew everything was going to be OK, but she felt peace or calmness that could not be explained.
She said she went right to faith and prayed to God not to take her husband. She kissed him and told him, “Jesus is with you.”
Collin was flown from Fostoria to ProMedica Toledo Hospital, where he underwent a surgery lasting at least six hours. Throughout his entire recovery, he received at least 17 units of blood.
Thank God for blood donors and for volunteers like Collin and I’s grandma, Dorothy Clouse, who worked countless hours at blood drives before she died.
Collin and Rachel were surrounded by family and friends, and loved ones in the Toledo waiting room joined hands for prayer. It is humbling to know one is loved, Collin said.
During Collin’s recovery, he joked with his dad that he still could run faster than him.
He also wanted to know how the boy who shot the arrow was doing and recited Psalm 23, which in part says: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me. You set a table before me in front of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Indeed, goodness and mercy will pursue me all the days of my life; I will dwell in the house of the Lord for endless days.”
Collin recites the Psalm aloud when he goes on walks at the reservoir. So many parts, he says, speak to one’s heart.
“It just poured out,” he said.
Collin was walking with a walker four days after the accident and without a walker eight days after it. He was able to walk down the aisle for his friend’s wedding just shy of three weeks from the day he was struck.
Collin said he was told the medical crew won’t know the long-term affects until his next couple of doctor’s appointments. A full recovery is possible, and he has returned to work full time as an accountant at Ag Credit.
Rachel said the situation confirmed the couple’s faith that there is a God, and it still would have done so, even if would’ve ended badly. They felt him so strongly, she said.
God didn’t let Collin go, Reinbolt said.
“God was there for him on that day,” he said.
Collin reflected on the fragility of life and said everyone has the same destiny: One can’t come out of life alive. But, he said, the things one does in life defines the person.
“There’s hope beyond the grave. … There’s hope beyond death,” Rachel said.
There could be no greater gift than having Collin still with us.
Thanks be to God for all who played a role in this perfect miracle.