When Leah Morgan Singleton of Concord, her husband Dwayne and their daughter Layne went on a mission trip overseas, they didn’t expect to return home on a medical transport plane. The three went on a family friendly mission trip with a total of 29 people from Journey Church in Griffin, to minister in churches, orphanages, a school for the deaf and a home for the handicapped. They were ministering along with pastor Michael Moody at Fairview Bible College in Hanover, Jamaica. Their mission changed when Dwayne was cleaning a mop on the second story of their dormitory. He slipped, grabbed for a spigot and it broke off in his hand, sending him backwards off the balcony about 10 feet to the ground below. ’I heard my neck crack when I fell and I had already had previous back surgery, because of my scoliosis,’ he said. ‘I fractured a vertebrae in the fall. Luckily, Jason Terry of Pike County was there. He’s a paramedic. Dr. Robert Hall was also on the trip. Jason got me stabilized and into the car. He made a neck brace out of a towel and a hair clip and made sure to check all my vitals. It was about an hour drive from there to Montego Bay. They were kind of in the hatchback of the car and holding me as I was laying down while we went downhill. When we got to the hospital, they were trying to pull me out of the car. Dr. Hall and Jason got me onto a backboard and got my neck secured. If it hadn’t been for them, I’d probably be paralyzed.’Dwayne fractured his C-7 vertebrae and lost feeling on his left side. He spent a total of two days in the Jamaican hospital and realized his new mission would be to help others in the hospital. ’When I got back to go into what’s called the ward, where everyone waits to see their doctor or surgeon, I was in there with around 100 guys. It was about the size of a cafeteria and people were laying close enough to each other to reach over and grab their neighbor. There was no air conditioning in that part of the building and no screens on the windows, just shutters that let up and down. Bugs and flies were in there and it was just hot. My wife said flies were crawling on people’s wounds. Dr. Hall said the hospital gave me what was equivalent to Advil two times a day. They didn’t even have water, my wife had to buy it from a vending machine.’The man next to him, whose name was Randall, had been awaiting surgery for five weeks in the ward. Family members were only allowed in the ward for two hours a day and brought medications, supplies and food. Randall had lost both of his feet in an auto accident and his sister came in to bring him things and cook him soup. ’He was the one taking care of me. His sister came in and got him washed up, cooked him soup and took care of him. It broke our hearts to see the conditions,’ said Dwayne. ‘I had to stay a second night there because my flight was grounded. That last night I decided I was going to try to leave the hospital with a broken neck. I talked with Randall about his faith and how long he’d been there. I think God put us there to meet those people. We were there about 35 hours total. As soon as I got into the medical plane, I had morphine, medications, AC, a bed that elevates and I had surgery within two days. It’s very different here. Everyone has been asking me what they can do to help and I tell them I’m blessed beyond belief. We don’t need anything, we just want to send back some medical supplies.’The Singleton’s mission to help those in the Jamaican hospital started with a YouTube video of Dwayne telling what happened. It has already resulted in a room full of supplies being taken back to those in the ward. A group from Christ Chapel in Zebulon took the first load of supplies to the hospital over the weekend and delivered a special basket to Randall along with basic medical supplies for anyone who needs them.’They need wet wipes, Tylenol, Prilosec for acid reflux, medications for bed sores, fly paper and so many things,’ said Dwayne. ‘Randall had a little fan his family had propped over his bed and that just makes all the difference. Somebody saw the video from Christ Chapel and they’re taking our first batch of stuff. The guys who were taking care of me will get baskets from the U.S.’Any additional supplies can be dropped off at Singleton and Singleton Law Firm across from Rose’s in Griffin. Financial contributions can be left there as well and checks can be made out to Journey Church. ’God’s hand was just on us from the very beginning,’ said Dwayne. ‘I told Leah if God has to break my neck to get my attention, that’s fine. At least I’m not in the belly of a whale. I can feel the prayers. Everything has just gone perfect. I walked a lap around the hallway this morning [Friday].’ Dwayne was able to go home from the hospital over the weekend.
Broken neck changes mission
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