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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

This blog is a record of events in the life of Joseph Taggart and his family since his spinal cord injury while body surfing in Guatemala in January 2006.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

One Year Ago - Remembering Promises 1/5/07

One year ago on Wednesday the 5th of January Joseph injured his neck. This weeks blog entry is in Joseph's own words, when he spoke at the Hunter East Stake Youth Conference in June (see blog entry "Speaking, Linking and Sinking with 'Good Cheer' -- 6/25/06).

"We went down to the beach. On the West coast of Guatemala it is quite marshy, it reminded me of the everglades a little bit. You have to take a swamp boat about an hour from the mainland over to this little island where there is a decent beach. The surf there was AWESOME, about seven foot waves, and that’s fun. The tide was coming up and the waves were big and strong. We didn’t have any boards so we were just kind of body boarding (you swim with the waves and let them bring you to shore). You’re powerless in the waves and they toss you around, a good little thrill.

We had only been there about 15 minutes and I hopped on this one wave and was riding it in when it felt like the wave just picked me up and chucked me. I went head first into a sandbar. At that point I broke my neck. My head came down to the right and I broke my C-4/C-5 joint. Immediately while I was still under water, I lost all motion in my legs, my trunk, and my arms below the shoulders. All I could really do is wiggle my neck around and my shoulders a little bit and that was it. I was being tossed around for about 10 minutes under water. I was kind of beached up and pulled back down. I didn’t really feel that my life was in danger, because I’d be beached for a second then it would pull me back down, kick me back up then pull me back down. When I’d end up face down I could turn my head a little bit to get some air before the next wave. I was just waiting for my friends to realize I wasn’t screwing around. I don’t blame them. I was a goof-ball, I would have waited 15 or 20 minutes before I came to check to see if I was okay.


It is interesting what goes through your mind at that point. When I was 18 I received my patriarchal blessing . . . I’d been given a promise that no matter what, during my life, I would be physically capable of doing whatever was necessary that the Lord required of me (I’m paraphrasing a little bit). As soon as I hit my head, all of that rushed back to me. I remembered that promise. Those promises are real. Whether they come through our patriarchal blessings, the scriptures or our priesthood leaders, those promises are real. It was interesting because I wasn’t panicking, I wasn’t freaking out. There was this instant spiritual knowledge: “Okay, so this is how it is going to be.” I had even commented to my father, back when I got my blessing: “Wow, this sounds like I’m going to be in a wheelchair or something”. It’s just the way it sounded to me. Now it was just instant knowledge, “Oh, this is how it’s going to be. . . at least I have a cool story to go behind it, I didn’t trip on a rock in my front yard or something. . .
It’s amazing how the Lord can give us promises, and if we are worthy-- we’ll be just fine. That’s what I wanted to express to you, as long as we are worthy, and we keep our end of the bargain, everything is going to be okay."

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joseph,
I served in the EBM and often read your blog when I need an uplift. Today, again, I got what I came for. Your positive nature and eternal perspective has helped me through another challenge. You have blessed the lives of people who hardly know you, people like me.
Thank you,

Judi (Masson) Pickell

Jan 7, 2007, 2:39:00 PM  
Blogger Stephanie (Record) Davis said...

You are such an inspiration! I love you read about you and all your faith and the faith of your family!

Jan 15, 2007, 8:58:00 AM  
Anonymous kylie gilmore said...

I am glad to see that you are doing well. I was worried for a long time about you, but didnt really know how cope with the accident. I cant believe that its been a year and to think how much improvement you ve achieved. I wish you the best and hope to visit you in the near future.

Kylie Gilmore

Feb 1, 2007, 9:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your continued ability to lift others through your experience. I truly enjoy reading about what's happening with you and how faith always pulls us through. Take care!

Love, Aunt Julie

Feb 13, 2007, 3:56:00 PM  

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