On a cold and cloudy day in Maui during Spring Break 2014, my family of 4 planned to drive around the island to see the beautiful sights of Hana Road. But, a serendipitous series of events changed our plans. We went to the parking lot outside our hotel to get our car, but it wouldn’t start. (I accidentally left the lights on in the rental car overnight). So, while my husband waited for AAA to jump the car, I took the children to the recreation room.
Our 11-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter dashed ahead of me. Three steps behind them, as I opened the door to the recreation room, I saw my son with a cord in his hand and sparks flying from the wall. His eyes met mine as he tried to plug in an air hockey table. I ran to him as he fell to the ground. Hunched over him, I saw his fingernails were singed black with smoke from the sparks that sprung from the outlet.
A lump swelled in my throat. My chest tightened. Thoughts swirled in my head. Did my son get electrocuted?
Panicked, I ran down the hallway for help. The hotel called a medic and she did an EKG on site. The EKG reading spit out the results: abnormal.
Our relaxing Maui vacation turned surreal and chaotic as my husband rode in the ambulance with our son to the Maui Memorial Medical Center. My daughter and I trailed behind them in our newly jumped rental car.
At the hospital they ran numerous tests on our son and did another EKG. The doctor on-call studied the EKG and determined that our son had been electrocuted. To add to our surprise, the doctor also found that our son had a congenital heart defect called Wolf Parkinson White Syndrome that no one had picked up on.
Our son had complained of a rapid heart rate from time to time during his childhood. I had taken him to his pediatrician who found nothing wrong with him. He chalked it up to anxiety as most of the times he had these events, it was before or after swimming or playing soccer games.
Thankfully, God showed us in Maui that our son did in fact have something that could have been fatal. Shortly, after our Maui trip, our son had an ablation surgery at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. A top-cardiologist reconnected a loose nerve in his heart that caused his heart rate, at times, to accelerate to 200 beats per minute. The abnormality has been corrected.
Today, our son is a healthy 15-year-old and leads an active lifestyle running track in high school. People always say things happen for a reason. God has a plan for everything and nothing is left to chance. When I look back on our trip to Maui, although it still frightens me as I write this, I am grateful for not being able to not drive the Road to Hana. The electrocution saved our son’s life.
What sometimes appears to be a set back, it can prove to be a blessing. On our last day in Hawaii, I took a picture of a rainbow bathed in light with a backdrop of gray clouds. I believe it was a wink from God, showing me that he is always with us even during our most difficult times.
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