The highway stretched for mlles. The midday sun beat down. As
billboards and motels sped by, Pam Morgan yawned.
The music tour she and her songwriter husband, Phil, had
embarked upon made the 32-year-old Kansas City, Missouri, mom
weary. Her girls, five-year-old Kayla and 21-month-old Alisha were
wiped out, too. Kayla had fallen right to sleep. But Alisha,
overtired, began to fuss, so Pam made her way to the back of the
van to soothe her. But while trying to quiet Alisha, Pam, more
tired than she realized, dozed off, too.
Then, suddenly, tires screeched. Glass shattered. Metal
exploded. And Pam was flying above bushes, skidding across rocks,
gravel, dirt. And then... darkness.
When her eyes fluttered open again, Pam struggled to make sense
of the haze around her. Slowly walls came into focus, then the
hospital bed and Phil's face, damp with tears.
Where am I? she panicked. She tried to speak but couldn't. Why
is Phil's arm in a sling? she wondered. And then she remembered.
An accident! she realized. Kayla and Alisha! she
screamed -- but no sound came out.
"Don't worry," Phil soothed, reading her eyes. "The girls are
Days passed before Pam was strong enough to hear what had
happened. The van had gone out of control and veered off the road
slamming into a bridge abutment and landing on its side. Phil and
the girls had been wearing seat belts, so other than Phil's minor
injuries, all three were fine. But Pam...
"You were thrown out the window," Phil said.
"But I'm alive," rasped Pam, finally able to speak again. She
reached for his hand -- but couldn't. "I can't move my arms,"
she cried. "Or my legs!"
"Honey... that's because... " But Phil couldn't go
"Tell me," Pam whispered.
"You nearly died!" he cried. "We almost lost you!"
"Tell me," Pam persisted.
Taking a deep breath, Phil began: "Doctors say you have what's
called a 'complete spinal cord injury.' You're...
And as chilling as a winter wind the horrible truth tumbled
out: Pam would be a quadriplegic for the rest of her life. Hers
was the worst case of spinal dislocation doctors had ever
seen&emdash;she would never walk again.
No! Pam breathed. And that night staring into the darkness, she
thought of her girls. We're in the middle of teaching Kayla to
ride a bike, she wept. And Alisha's just started running on those
chubby legs. They need a mother who can...
No, she decided, wiping away her tears. I've got to be strong
And so Pam did what she always did when fear seized her: she
sang. Of all the songs she loved, the words of one Phil had
written filled her head: "God chooses who He uses to do mighty
deeds," she warbled. "The broken and the ruined are all that He
Now I'm the one who's broken and ruined, she thought. Yet never
had the lyrics held more meaning for Pam; never did the melody
strike such a deep chord within her heart. And in that moment, she
felt her faith rise.
I'm going to beat this, she vowed. I will walk again.
The next day, Pam felt a new sense of calm. "I'm going to walk
again," she announced.
"Well... " one nurse stammered.
"It's good to be positive," another began, "but... "
Their silence spoke volumes. They don't think I can do it, Pam
realized. But when she told Phil, she received only smiles. And
when he described the accident on his website, folks they never
even met began rooting for Pam, too.
"I'm not much of a praying man," a man from halfway around the
globe typed, "but I believe there's something special planned for
Something special, Pam agreed as she had the nurses hang
Kayla's drawings of rainbows and angels on the walls. And she
tried to remind herself of it as she underwent skin grafts, spinal
fusions, bone reconstructions -- 10 surgeries in all.
Then one day, a friend was painting Pam's toenails red when she
"What happened?" Pam worried.
"You moved your big toe!" her friend cried.
"I did?" Pam gasped.
"It's probably just involuntary movement," a doctor
"Let's see if you can do it again."
Pam stared at her big toe. "Move," she whispered. Nothing.
"Move," she urged again.
The doctor's jaw fell open; Pam's friend began to cry. They'd
witnessed the impossible: Pam had moved!
It was just a twitch, but for Pam, it was a sign that nothing
And over the next weeks, Pam showed other signs of
improvement -- a muscle jump here, the sensation of pins and
needles there. But when she was released from the hospital 2 1/2
months after the accident, she still couldn't walk... or change
a diaper, or fix dinner for the girls. "I can't even feed
myself'." she sobbed.
"Hush," Phil soothed. "Everything's going to be fine."
And as Kayla and Alisha raced into the room to greet Pam
squealing as they climbed into her lap, she knew he was right.
A month passed, then three, then five. Pam never missed a day
of physical therapy, and, little by little, her body responded.
The strength in her left leg increased; feeling returned to her
arms. One day she moved her knee sideways. Another day, she raised
And six months after the accident, Pam's therapist smiled.
"You're ready," she announced, positioning a walker before
"I-I can't!" Pam panicked. "I'll fall!"
But as she stood there, Pam suddenly heard music rise from
somewhere deep inside. She took a step. Then another. She was
"Thank You, God!" she wept.
Pam's doctor just shook his head in disbelief. He pored over
medical literature dating back more than 50 years looking for an
explanation. "But there isn't any," he marvels. "To have a
complete spinal cord injury, then walk again... there's no
other way to classify this except to say it's miraculous!"
Pam couldn't help but agree. Soon she was back at the
playground with the girls -- and not long after that, she and
Phil were in the recording studio recording a new CD inspired by
Pam: Living Proof.
And today, as the curtain rises Pam winks at her little girls
offstage, and from the bottom of her soul, she sings:
"I know how it feels to lay by the road while the rest of the
world goes by / I know how it feels to be helpless and scared /
But I'm living proof that God still works today . . . by the power
of God I stand."