2MHDs the Story
-2 MetalHeads –
A true story of God’s mercy and grace, followed by redemption and blessings.
To properly tell our story some background must be explained. I was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico in March of 1976. When I was three years old I was moved to Oklahoma (the state that I would consider my “roots”) where I lived until I was in middle school. At this time I then moved to North Carolina where I was to meet my future bride and start the rest of our lives together. While in Oklahoma I developed a love and passion for baseball and spent a lot of time training with my Dad and others around us who were very talented in the game. When I got to North Carolina I continued training and eventually was successful enough to get recruited to play college ball.
While all of this was happening to me there was a girl born in Jacksonville, North Carolina in March of 1977. Being that she was born and raised in J-ville (as we call it) which is minutes from the beach She was raised with a love for the beach and the ocean. As she grew up she developed skills in softball, dance, and cheerleading (basically being great at everything that she does…which can be aggravating at times ;o)..). While developing these skills she fell in love with dancing and all of the different styles that she could study. However, some of them took center stage in her mind and one of those was Hip-Hop. This love for dance and choreography along with her cheerleading eventually allowed her to get recruited to college to dance and cheer.
This is where our story really begins!
When I arrived at college I did everything I could to be as successful on the field. Our success in college was plentiful, we were nationally ranked at times, and we won our conference, and even attended the College World Series. I personally could not have been any more prideful or arrogant in myself that I was. In my sophomore year, I saw a girl walk through the cafeteria that I absolutely, at first sight, fell in love with. Our shortstop at the time had actually attended high school with her and told me her name and that is when I decided that she would be lucky to have me. I never had the nerve to actually speak to her that year so I went home for the summer and tried not to think about her, however that did not work. She during that summer took a job teaching cheerleading camps all over the nation. She drove with other instructors all over the nation stopping from state to state for week-long camps and training sessions and then would move on to the next location. In July of 1996 she and a friend headed off to another camp in Colorado and during this trip is when tragedy struck. As they were driving through New Mexico Krystal turned over driving duties to her friend and laid back in her car to get some sleep. The girl then proceeded to pass a car with the sun in her eyes and hit a Lincoln town car head-on doing an approximated 80mph. The devastation in the accident was extreme; everyone in both cars was killed except for Krystal. Because she was reclined back in the chair the car simply wrapped over her crushing her. She was cut out of the car and rushed to Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque, NM (the same hospital I was born in). Upon initial evaluation of her injuries it was determined that she had crushed her skull on the right side, as well as a crushed right elbow, right knee and a day or so later they discovered that she had in fact broken all of the toes on her both her feet At that time she was flown back to North Carolina where she received several reconstruction surgeries and had a set of metal plates installed into her face. After a long summer of recuperation and painful rehabilitation, she was “urged” to go back to school the very next semester. After protesting for a short time she did indeed return to school and try to work her way back into a routine. Well as anyone who has had a serious accident knows it changes you and simply going back to your life isn’t that easy. During that next semester, I remained in love with myself and tried to get the nerve to ask Krystal out. It finally came right before Christmas break of that year to which she replied a perfect, crowd deafening NO! Obviously my teammates who were lucky enough to witness my ego going down in burning flames were more than willing to remind me that she indeed said no and then turned around to leave me and my gaping mouth standing by ourselves.
After the Christmas break I continued to pursue (I believe the total was up to 32 (not joking) times I asked her out before she said yes) her and we finally in February were able to go one our first date. We continued to date on and off generally having issues due to the fact that she did not see what a great catch I was and I probably reminded her to many times. When that summer came she went home to attend community college to better herself, I, on the other hand, stayed behind in Fayetteville to see how many parties I could attend and how much trouble I could start. When she left for the summer we were in an “off” period so as the summer went along I was driven crazy with emotions of absolute torture to be near her and see her. So I did what any egomaniac would do and I wrote her a letter and gave her an ultimatum in a date and specific time that I would wait for her to decide to be with me and after that I was making the decision for her (It was July 13, 1997, at 8:00 pm.). Now you may be asking yourself how does he remember that time so well, you are about to find out. When 8:00 pm came and went I was very angry and truly to be honest inside just devastated.
So I borrowed my roommate’s mountain bike and set off for a ride. Upon entering our college campus I prepared to jump some speed bumps when the front wheel came off of the bike. The front forks of the bike then planted into the hot July asphalt and I was slung into the asphalt face first. I hit the road right under my left eye without even planting my hands (the doctors estimate with leverage and force I hit the ground around 50-60mph.)
I immediately stood up to see if I was alright and noticed things were not good. The security guard that saw me crash came running over and immediately called 911. I was taken to the major hospital in Fayetteville then my parents were called to come down. Upon their arrival, my mother literally walked into a room and did not recognize me (could have been because my nose was missing). That hospital decided that I was injured too severely for what they could handle so they LifeLinked me to Chapel Hill for further care. Once I arrived they assessed my situation and informed me that I had shattered my skull, removed my nose, and pierced my lining around my brain which put air on the frontal lobe. I went into surgery and they installed my very own set of metal plates. Afterward, the doctor informed us that my injuries yield a 2% survival rate. Meaning if there are 100 people in a room myself and one other person got to live, the others would not survive. I spent roughly 9-11 days in that hospital and went from 215 lbs to 140lbs due to the trauma. I received a tracheotomy, a new nose, a few cool scars and a serious wake up call from God. I can remember about 90 minutes of my stay in the hospital and 60 of those were when a beautiful angel came to visit me. Krystal had called around 9:00 pm to talk and try to work things out when she was told about my accident. She came to see me during my stay and I don’t remember talking with her but I remember her sitting on my bed.
Well if you have made it this far then I encourage you to read on, we are almost done and this is the important part. In Romans 8:28 we read “..for those who love God all things work together for good…” and this is the case. Though the accidents were tragic and painful and full of challenges that are too many to go through in this forum it was a binding factor in our relationship. We now understood each other; we understood what the other went through and was dealing with. It formed a bond that has allowed us to withstand all the trials of marriage that most do not make it through. We have been blessed with 4 beautiful children that are our daily reminder of God’s Grace and Mercy (and sense of humor). We have been fortunate enough to be used to help plant churches and win our neighbors to Christ. He has allowed us to take place in ministries that make a difference for his kingdom. And we consistently seek God’s face everyday for guidance, for comfort, and for the energy to keep up with the kids.
I told you all of that to say this:
I would not be here if it were not for the Mercy and Grace of my Father in heaven and His son Jesus Christ. So if you do not know without a shadow of a doubt where you will spend eternity then please email us, or go to your local church to speak with a pastor so that you can get that settled. Life can change in an instant, be prepared.
We have and do present our testimonies at all sorts of events, if you would like for us to come to speak please feel free to contact us. Thank you and God Bless!
Tyler & Krystal Harrison
2 MetalHeads –