Family Draws Strength From Prayer and Faith After Church Bus Crash

On a sunny June morning last summer, the news shocked everyone.

A charter bus, carrying teenagers from a Dallas church, headed to camp, had crashed on I-20 in East Texas.

Terri DeShazo will never forget that morning. "I'd reached over and turned on the radio and I heard the bus from Metro Church headed to church camp in Louisiana has crashed," remembers Terri. "And i lost it. I called the church, they didn't know anything. I couldn't get a grip, then Kevin (Terri's husband) walked and he told me four children had died. Actually they had reported five at first and turns out Jeremy was the fifth child."

Jeremy DeShazo had just graduated from high school. He had decided to go summer camp to seek God's will about where to go to college. He had just settled in with his compact disc player on, about four or five rows from the front, when the charter bus ran off the road and slammed into a bridge support. Thrown threw the front window, 15 feet in front of the bus, his skin was burning from a pool of battery, hydraulic and transmission fluid where he landed. Emergency workers walked by him three times, before someone discovered he was still alive.

"We then got the phone call around 11 o'clock from Tyler that he had been life flighted," says Terri. And I was going...Tyler!!!!, where is Tyler? And I was going I don't know where that's at"

Jeremy was one of two patients brought to East Texas. Waking at Mother Frances Hospital is his first memory that had gone wrong. "I'm not where I'm supposed to be," remembers Jeremy, "this is not right. I had things coming out of my arms, a tube in my side and my chest you know and I don't feel very comfortable."

Jeremy's injuries were numerous and life threatening. He had chemical burns over 40 percent of his body. Several bones were broken, his pelvis was ruptured, and he had a severe head trauma. Doctors had to shock Jeremy's heart just to keep him alive. While the family knew very little about Tyler, they soon came to believe it was God's will Jeremy was brought to East Texas.

They also knew Jeremy was dying.

"I've never experienced that with doctors. A lot of doctors think they are god, not these, they know God and what a difference that made. Every surgery, he had eight, they would come in and they would pray over him with us and we just knew it would be okay. The Holy Spirit is so prevalent at that hospital its so God oriented, it makes all the difference in the world."

A difference between life and death.

After weeks in the hospital and months of rehab, Jeremy has now started his college career. Attending Richland College, a change he attributes directly to the accident. Life is slowly getting back to normal. But the accident and the time spent in a Tyler hospital is never far from this family's mind. Just a couple of months ago the Deshazo's came back to Mother Frances Hospital thank the doctors who not only cared for him, but prayed for him. The family says they will never forget the days of prayer and the strength of God's word they stood upon in East Texas. And the lessons they have learned about the power of prayer and the power of faith in God's promises.

"The power of prayer, its just awesome," says Jeremy. "I can't even explain it, there are no words can explain this. Its impossible."

"I had my times when I felt like someone needed to hold up my arms like with Moses. That's when I knew so many prayers were going out. So many across that town of Tyler. Because so many churches had met with me that first and second day, that whole week. They said, we're fasting, we're praying, we're holding you up. People I didn't know, I did not know who you (Tyler) were from Adam. What a wonderful source of strength. But the thing is God is always greater, He is a great provider, and you just have to take Him at His word."

Clint Yeatts Reporting