Miracle Moments
An Angel Named Gabe  

INDING HIS WAY down a deserted section of Scenic Loop Road on the outskirts of San Antonio, the cyclist was enjoying the unusually warm February morning sun on his face as the cool breeze blew through his hair. Ordinarily, he wore a helmet. But today he noticed hibernating mice had nibbled the padding from the inside of his protective head covering during the winter and used it for nesting.

Anxious to continue his first ride after a long winter, the cyclist was on his way back home to pick up a spare helmet and never even saw the speeding car that sent both him and his motorcycle flying off the highway and through the air.

The offending motorist drove away in a cloud of dust leaving the cyclist lying in the gravel on the side of the isolated road. He passed in and out of consciousness. He had no idea how long he had been there when he sensed someone kneeling beside him. The stranger’s name was Gabe and he had a cell phone—an unusual piece of technology in 1985. Comforting the seriously wounded and delirious cyclist, Gabe phoned 9-1-1.

Pullquote“Don’t leave me,” the cyclist pleaded, holding the stranger’s hand. “I am here—everything will be fine,” Gabe answered soothingly.

The paramedics arrived a short time later. Gabe kept his promise as he climbed into the ambulance and accompanied the injured man on the bumpy ride to the hospital. In the frenzied activity of the emergency room and once the cyclist’s condition had been stabilized, Gabe suddenly disappeared into thin air… without leaving his full name.

After a difficult surgery to repair a fractured skull and subdural hematoma, the neurologist told the injured man’s frantic wife that they had done “the best that they could,” and warned her that her husband might live in a vegetative state for the rest of his life. At least he was still alive.

Nine days later, the cyclist walked out of the hospital under his own power with only a lingering hearing loss in his right ear and a huge incision on one side of his skull.

He still enjoys riding his motorcycle, but every time he passes the spot on Scenic Loop Road where he was nearly killed, he wonders just who “Gabe” was, and why his own cell phone does not get reception in that out-of-the-way spot.

Barbara Davis
CHRISTUS Transplant Institute
San Antonio, Texas