“Due to graphic content, viewer discretion is advised.” For those of you that know me or have followed my story, you know that I grew up an alcoholic and drug addict. In May 1996, due to health issues, I made the decision to stop the cycle I was on. I made a conscious effort to stop the drinking and drugs.
Come June 1996, I was working as a home health aid taking care of an elderly lady that had Alzheimer Disease. It was a blistery Southern IL day. This dear lady was freezing so I was unable to turn the air conditioner or fans on. And I was instructed to not open the windows or doors as she was an escape risk. After several hours of working in what felt like an oven, I contacted her son and informed him I had to leave for the day, as I felt as if I were going to pass out from the heat. I asked him to return home.
I recall leaving her house, jumping into my S10 pickup truck, turning the air and radio on and the next thing I remember is hearing a train whistle blow. I looked to the right then to my left, it was then that genuine fear gripped me. I saw a train barreling down the tracks, heading right for my door. The engineer and I looked each other in the eyes. I know the fear in his eyes was echoing the fear he saw in mine. I was stopped on the tracks. What happened?? How did I end up stopped on the tracks?
The very next thought I had was “Oh my god, I need to move!” It is obvious from the pictures that I moved just enough to prevent impact in my door. By Gods mercy, I do not recall the actual impact. The next thing I remember is spinning around and around. I began screaming as I saw the train speeding down the tracks in front of my spinning vehicle. I finally came to a stop and sat there dazed and confused, watching the train going by.
I heard a woman and man yelling, asking if I was alright. I guess I’m alright, I’m breathing. Oh no! My truck is smoking, it’s on fire, I need to get out of here!! I was unable to open either door. The drivers side door would not open due to the impact of the train and the passenger side would not open because a railroad tie went through the door and out the windshield (almost decapitating me). This is why I stopped being pushed down the tracks. The window in my door was gone so I knew that was my means of escape.
Somehow I found myself walking down the tracks, past the train, to the voices calling out to me. When I arrived at the intersection, the woman introduced herself to me, informed me she saw what happened and that she was a nurse. Her and the nice gentleman held me up for a bit until I went into shock, where they then laid me in the bed of his pickup truck. We waited for over an hour for rescue to arrive.
Finally, a Fairfield, IL fire rescue unit arrived on scene, accessed me and loaded me up and off to the hospital we went. I will never forget this fireman. He talked to me the entire trip to the hospital. While communicating with me, he kept calling me the wrong name. I kept arguing with him and telling him that’s not my name. His response “I know your name is Lori, but, as long as I keep calling you the wrong name, you’re staying alert and arguing with me. I CAN’T (emphasize given) let you go to sleep.” In my ignorance, I responded I didn’t care his reason, he didn’t know if I was going to live or die and if I died, I wanted to hear my name being called out. Thank God for His mercy! Had I died, I would now be spending the rest of eternity in hell. I did not know Christ as my Lord and Savior.
Once we arrived at the hospital, it was discovered my neck was broken in two places, once from when the train hit me and the other from going out the window of my truck. I was 6 feet off the ground in a ditch and obviously landed on my head when I went out. I also broke my lower back among multiple lacerations and bruises.
It has been a long road to recovery. I would love to say I’m completely healed from this encounter but I cannot say that. I still suffer from those injuries and have had one surgery so far. I made it until 2016 before I had the surgery though. The Dr. told me that by the time I was 35 years old, I would have bilateral breast cancer (due to the severity of the bruising) and in a wheelchair. As of this writing (May 30, 2019), I am 52 years young and walking on my own two feet and no breast cancer!
God has been so good and merciful to me. It was through getting hit by a train that opened me up to hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and surrendering my life to Him. I know in Whom I believe! I know Jesus is my Healer!! He is my deliverer!
I’ll close with Romans 8:38-39 “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, not things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Blessings & hugs, Lori Skipper