“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” — Romans 15:13
An Edmond woman is to spend her third Christmas in the hospital, but she remains hopeful that one day soon she will go home.
Glenda Kay Hutchison and her husband, Ed, said that hope stems from their faith in God — a hope that is ever present during the holiday season of miracles.
The Hutchisons get emotional when they describe the life-altering accident Glenda Kay had in 2010 — and the several times she almost died as a result.
The couple said Glenda Kay Hutchison was involved in an accident involving the pickup she was driving the day after Thanksgiving three years ago. He said he found out about the accident as he prepared to return home from his job as a crude oil tank driver.
Ed Hutchison said he was greeted with shocking news when he arrived at the hospital where emergency medical providers had taken his wife. Glenda Kay Hutchison's aorta had ruptured, her left lung had been punctured, three of her vertebrae had been cracked and her neck ligaments had been stretched. Ed Hutchison said the accident also left his wife with massive abrasions on one of her legs so much so that “it looked like a watermelon had been scooped out.”
He said emergency surgery was necessary and though she survived the lifesaving medical repairs, she is now paralyzed from the waist down.
Ed Hutchison said after surgery, his wife lay comatose until two days before Christmas, when she woke up not realizing that she had almost lost her life.
Three years later, the Hutchisons can recount many ups and downs in her progress as doctors and nurses have tried to help her heal.
Ed Hutchison said he left intact the Christmas decorations his wife put up before her accident. Small bits and pieces of holiday cheer from their Edmond home, like miniature Christmas trees, have made their way to Glenda Kay's hospital room.
“It's not a big decorated house but it serves its purpose,” he said of the holiday decor. “It brings the Christmas spirit.”
Though she has been a patient at several metro hospitals, Glenda Kay is now at Kindred Hospital, an acute care medical center in Oklahoma City which she says has become a caring second home, of sorts. She said she and her family stay positive by reading Scripture, praying and receiving visits from ministers like the Rev. Fred Huff of Balko, family members, friends and numerous church members from Edmond's Henderson Hills Baptist Church. Glenda Kay also has been an avid fan of the University of Oklahoma Sooners football team and the Oklahoma City Thunder, cheering the teams on from her hospital bed.
And though they think of these three Christmases, they still have one hope.
Misti Peterson, the Hutchisons' daughter, said she did not know how strong her mother was until she watched her battle her injuries from the accident and the resulting complications. She said her mom's accident and extended hospitalization has given the family a new perspective about life.
“I just think she's an inspiration to everyone. I think most of us would have given up a long time ago,” Peterson said
“I'm very proud of her.”
Her cousin Ann Hays, an advocate for seniors and senior issues, shared similar sentiments.
Hays, who also lives in Edmond, said she has been inspired by her cousin's perseverance, particularly since she has been close to returning home several times only to have a setback stop her from doing so.
“Each time, her hope was to be home for Christmas,” Hays said.
Glenda Kay Hutchison said having the support of her family has been crucial, plus the friendship and prayers of countless others. She said she and her husband drove a truck together for years, which drew them closer together. She said their close friendship — they will celebrate 30 years of marriage in January — has benefited them greatly over the last three years.
Glenda Kay recalled a time when doctors told her she would be unable to breathe on her own. She said she and her husband had to make the decision about whether or not she would be placed on a ventilator. She said she did not want to be hooked to a ventilator for the rest of her life.
The couple said after praying together, they allowed doctors to take her off the ventilator.
They consider it miraculous that her breathing returned to normal soon afterward.
Glenda Kay said she had prayed and told God that she was placing herself firmly in His hands. Ed Hutchison said he wanted an ongoing opportunity to be the strong partner his wife needed to get through her trials.
“I had prayed to God to allow me to show my wife who I really am. I wasn't ready to lose her. God gave her back to me,” he said.
The pair said those answered prayers will sustain them this Christmas.
“Our faith — that's what keeps us going forward,” Ed Hutchison said.