What follows is the text of a message I posted to the New-Wine mailing list describing my recent electrical accident, and some of its significance to my faith in Jesus.

To: new-wine@grmi.org
Subject: 20,000 volt blast!

...And it wasn't the anointing, either ;)

But seriously, I want to tell a little story of God's faithfulness. On
the evening of April 4, 2002, I had a bit of an accident involving my
#2 son's kite, a ladder, a paint roller, a 20,000 volt power line and
three goldfish[1]. In short, I was electrocuted to the tune of 20K

Having arrived home late from work into the midst of family chaos (not
entirely unusual with four kids), I elected to rescue my son's kite
from the electrical line where he had somehow gotten it entangled
during the day. At the time, I really hadn't realized that the wires
were high-voltage lines; in fact, I hadn't thought about them at
all. They were simply an inconvenience that had to be dealt with,
preferably before the sun set for the evening. It turned out that the
kite material itself was wrapped around the wire, so I lashed together
a bamboo pole to try and untangle the mess. This worked well for a
while, and when I noticed the transformer attached to the wires I
thought, "I never realized that there was a transformer on that pole
before". I gave the matter no further thought. 

The wind picked up and my poor bamboo pole was proving to not be
strong enough to push the kite against the wind. My wife came outside
to see what I was doing and suggested that I switch to using some
telescoping paint-roller poles that our landlord had left in the
garage. This seemed fairly clever to me, so while she went back in to
put the children to bed, I lashed together a new pole made out of
aluminum paint roller extensions. I climbed back up my aluminum
ladder, and yes indeed my new pole worked a lot better. I was finally
able to flip the kite up and over the wire and


The next thing I knew I was looking at my something brown, possibly my
foot. Yep, that was definitely my boot. Why was I looking at my boot?
And I didn't seem to be vertical anymore. In fact I was lying on my
back on the ground with apparently no body (at least none that I could
feel) and my boot inexplicably directly in front of me. Nope, I was
floating slightly above the ground. Actually, I felt the buzzing of an
electric shock[2] all through my body.

I thought "<expletive mode=alliterative>! I'm shocked"[3]. Suddenly,
even though I still couldn't move anything, everything made sense. My
foot was still apparently touching the ladder which must mean that I was
still in the circuit[4]. But how could I move myself out of the way
while the electricity held me? I don't really know how I did it, but I
rolled away from the ladder. I discovered that I had some control of
my left hand now. I also discovered that I was wailing like a
baby. I'd been wondering what the strange noise was. My body was still
buzzing, so I figured that I needed to get farther away from the
ladder. I dragged myself off the lawn and onto the driveway. By this
time I was actively shouting for my wife to come and help me. I
managed to get my legs under control, but my right hand was definitely
messed up. It felt *hot*. And my right arm was just flailing about: it
looked like a snake attached to my shoulder.

Anyway, I staggered into the house, all the while wondering why I
couldn't stop shouting since my wife was obviously unable to hear
me. Once I got inside, I started running cold water on my burned
hand. I couldn't even feel it. If I thought that the house was chaotic
when I got home, it was nothing compared to the way things got with an
injured dad. My wife was on the phone to the ambulance dispatcher[5],
my four-year old daughter was screaming, the kite-flying son was
pestering me for explanations of everything, #1 son was trying to keep
daughter from freaking out, The two-year-old asking "is it owie dad?"
After about twenty minutes, I discovered that my left leg also hurt.

Taking off my pants, I found five large burns on my left thigh, to
match the five craters the electricity had blown in my hand (which was
finally starting to hurt). Eventually, the ambulance arrived. They
took me off to an emergency department in Dublin where they bumped me
to the head of the queue, drugged me, took x-rays, and transferred me
right away to the burn unit at St. James' hospital downtown. At
St. James' I had to endure a series of execrable puns from the head
nurse, while they hooked me up to various machinery and prepped me for
the doctor's visit.

When the doctor came, he proceeded to explain some of what had
happened to me. In particular, that electrical burns cook you like a
microwave: from the inside out. He was particularly worried about the
problems I was having with my right hand; I could move my fingers
slightly but not my wrist. He measured the pressure in my forearm[6]
several times. He told me that surgery might be necessary to relieve
the pressure build-up and prevent additional complications, but over
the course of the next several hours the pressure dropped to
acceptable levels. The heart monitor[7] showed no prolems, either.

Ok, what was the point of this exceedingly verbose and graphic
description of an unfortunate incident in my life? Well, aside from
trying to do a good job of telling the story ;) There is a God-factor
operating here, which I find rather interesting. I attended one of the
Morningstar Prophetic Conferences[8] in 1998 where, in a break-out
session of 200 or so, Bob Jones prophesied to us in the room that we
were all entering a seven-year training program with the Lord, and
that we would all complete it. He explicitly told us not to worry
about dying along the way - God was going to carry us through to the
end of the course and subsequently use us.

I thought, "Right. This prophecy is going to be *so* verifiable, now
isn't it? Are we going to have some kind of grand reunion in 2005 and
count heads?" Well, this prophecy has a *lot* more credibility with me
now, because I have survived this accident relatively unscathed[9]:
According to the best statistics I've been able to find on the web 1
in 6 electrocution victims die before they ever reach the Emeergency
Room. I haven't seen a breakdown of that statistic into low-voltage
(< 500V) and high-voltage accidents, but the anecdotal evidence that I
have heard from Electric Co. representatives and friends who have
worked in the business is that the death rate from high-voltage trauma
is *much* greater ("They're mostly blown to bits"). Additionally 75%
of high-voltage injuries result in amputations. I am alive and
whole. If that doesn't testify to God's faithfulness *and* argue for
the accuracy of this prophecy, I don't know what would.


There is more to the story, of course, but much of it is fairly
personal. God has been using this time to show me a few things about
the difficulties I've experienced over the last few years. In
particular, I never really realized that the healing process is
immensely frustrating...but that would be a story for another time.

1 Thess 5:20-21 (NASB) Do not despise prophetic utterances, but
                       examine everything carefully; hold fast to that
                       which is good.


[1] Actually no. There were no goldfish involved, although you could
    argue that, instead of my brain, I was using the goldfish for
[2] If you've ever gotted zapped with household power, you know
    exactly what I mean.
[3] Really, this was my exact thought. I wish I could do this well
    when I'm trying to write songs.
[4] This was clearly a mistaken perception. If I had been in a 20KV
    circuit this long I would have been very thoroughly dead.
[5] The ambulance got lost and couldn't find the house.
[6] Not a particularly pleasant procedure, involving a moderate-sized
    needle jab, but fascinating, nonetheless.
[7] AC-shock victims are susceptible to heart arrythmias leading to
    possible heart-attacks in the first 24 hours.
[8] I *think* it was the "level 2" conference in August, but that's a
    detail that my memory has not seen fit to keep very fresh...
[9] And yes, there are still healing issues, both short and long term,
    but that's not the point of this excessively-footnoted article.

David Rush
Last modified: Tue Jun 11 23:30:06 IST 2002