On June 26, 2003 I was driving my husband Arnold home to Ada after an eyelid surgery at the Surgicare Midtown Center used by the Dean A. McGee Eye Institute physicians in Oklahoma City. Due to third cranial nerve damage during Arnold's first brain surgery in 1992 (not performed by Dr. Francel), he had endured numerous eye surgeries to try to improve his almost non-functional right eye. The muscles in the eye were mostly paralyzed. Dr. Scott Sigler, Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon formerly of Dean McGee, was operating to lift his droopy eyelid. The damaged right eye could not be completely fixed through of problems such as the eyeball being slanted in position rather than straight up and down and it cannot move from side to side either. Also, his pupil is fixed.
As we neared Ada, Arnold slept beside me in the passenger seat and I found myself getting sleepy. We had to get up at 3:15 a.m. that morning. I got out of the car 45 minutes earlier to walk around and try to wake up some. The next thing I knew my eyes snapped open and I was heading toward the side of a concrete bridge at 65 m.p.h. I had gone to sleep at the wheel! There were cars coming in the opposite direction. I quickly turned the wheel to the left and avoided the bridge. I told Arnold I had gone to sleep and he was immediately wide awake. I was definitely awake too after my close brush with disaster.
Driving toward the house, I wondered what force had caused me to awaken so suddenly. I reflected upon the prayers I had prayed earlier for a safe trip and also the prayers of Dr. Bradley Farris, a caring, inspiring Christian physician who stopped by while we were at the surgery center. Dr. Farris, a Neuro-Ophthalmologist, had operated on Arnold's eye three times in the past to reposition it. I could only conclude my Guardian Angel or the Holy Spirit had intervened to save our lives. It made me realize anew how precious life is and how quickly it can be snuffed out--in a heartbeat. I thank God for saving us and others from death or injury. We are truly blessed!
Arnold and Nancy Allen
Dr. Paul Francel has retired from medical practice and has become a minister. He graduated from seminary August 24, 2012. God bless you Dr. Francel and good luck!