A Mother's Story Of Triumph Over Tragedy

Faith in the face of tragedy.  Four years after nearly losing her son in a horrific bus accident in East Texas, a mother is putting her story to paper. In June of 2002, a bus carrying a Dallas area church group slammed into a concrete bridge support on I-20 in Terrell.  Four teenagers were killed and 30 were injured.

The mother of one of the injured teens, Terri De Shazo-Arnett, has written a book about the long hours and days of her son's recovery. She spoke with us about the book, and how her faith got her through.

It was June 24th 2002 and it was a little after 9 o'clock when the bus crashed.  Underneath the debris Jeremy De Shazo laid buried alive.

"They had triaged him dead. What I didn't know was they had a body bag. They were ready to bag and zip him when the youth director found him," says Terri De Shazo-Arnett, Jeremy's mother.

"He was in pieces... his body was shattered," says Dr. Luis Fernandez, Trauma Surgeon at Trinity Mother Frances Trauma Services.

After 5 weeks in the hospital, 10 surgeries and countless prayers... Jeremy was on the road to recovery.

"When this happened I had no one to relate to, no one to talk to and it was like no one understood," says Terri.

So Jeremy's mother, Terri, decided to write a book to start the healing process.

"I knew that I had to put it down.  I knew it wouldn't be just for me it would be for other people. People need encouragement and need to know that God loves them," says Terri.

The title of the book is from a conversation with one of the doctors.

"He said it pays to be young doesn't it.  And I said yes sir, that is true. However, and it just came out, you may have a P-H-D but I know G-O-D," says Terri.

Jeremy says he doesn't remember the crash or most of his time in the hospital, but has lived it through his mother's words.

"It was hard just to read that from the first few chapter I was going good, then it started getting deeper," says Jeremy.

Jeremy says it was tough reading what his mother went through.

Terri's book is available at some Christian book stores and at amazon.com.   As for Jeremy, he is now a sophomore at Richland College, studying to become a high school music teacher.

Karolyn Davis, reporting.  kdavis@kltv.com