Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Parsley a Living Miracle for Many

The following article appeared on the front page of the Daily Record, a publication out of Little Rock, AR. It's hard to believe its been a year and a half since the accident.  This article sheds some additional light on the details of Elizabeth's accident and future plans for her in her career.  It most importantly acknowledges the GRACE of God that was extended to her during this time. Please take a minute to read.

Here is the link to the online article: http://www.dailyrecord.us/Story.aspx?id=4866&date=5%2f14%2f2012

Front Page - Monday, May 14, 2012

Parsley a living miracle for many

Elizabeth Parsley and two of her best friends came to Little Rock on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010, to babysit a nephew of one of the friends as his parents attended Arkansas’ football game that evening at War Memorial Stadium. The Razorbacks took care of business against Louisiana-Monroe in a 31-7 victory. The kid’s parents returned and the girls headed back to their Conway homes. All seemed pretty normal right up until normal took a very long leave of absence.

At about 1 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2010, the driver of an SUV lost control of the vehicle near the Mayflower exit on Interstate 40 about eight miles from Conway. The vehicle exited the road and flipped an estimated four or five times.

That stretch of I-40 is often useless for cell phone users. However, traveling about two vehicles behind the accident was a registered nurse, who immediately pulled over to help. Even more amazing, about two vehicles in front was a Conway EMS vehicle and the driver just happened to see the accident take place in his rearview mirror.

One of Parsley’s friends was thrown completely out of the SUV. The two friends would be treated and released at Conway Regional Medical Center.

Parsley had been wearing her seatbelt, but there was a malfunction of some kind as she was found, unconscious, hanging halfway out of the vehicle, with the seat belt holding her half-hazardly.

Within minutes, paramedics were able to apply oxygen to Parsley. A Med-Evac helicopter was called to transport her to Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock. It was a short flight, but Parsley was not expected to make it. In fact, a chaplain was called to be waiting at the hospital, expecting to have to inform family members of a death.

A mother of one of the others involved in the accident called Elizabeth’s mother, Michelle, shortly after the accident. Michelle and her husband, Bill, part of Team Parsley with Re/Max of Conway, which includes Elizabeth and Jan Barrow, headed to the Conway hospital, not knowing the whereabouts or condition of their daughter.

“The mom was crying and just told me that it was really bad,” Michelle recalled. “Elizabeth wasn’t there when we got there, so we were told to go to Little Rock, but we didn’t know where. On the way we came across the wreck but I wouldn’t look.”

The Parsleys arrived at Baptist Health. Confusion reigned as another female accident victim had also been brought in. That girl had died. The minister quickly met with the Parsleys.

Doctors explained that Elizabeth had suffered heavy trauma.

Barrow said that doctors explained that Elizabeth had what was akin to Shaken Baby Syndrome during the flipping of the vehicle. She also suffered a large gash on the back of her head, believed to have been caused by a microwave oven that one of the girls had in the back of the SUV. That gash required 18 stitches.

“They told us to expect permanent brain damage,” Michelle said. “At one point they told us it didn’t look good and I remember falling on the floor.”

Hundreds of friends – Family Life Bible Church members, other Realtors and people that Team Parsley had sold houses to – gathered at Baptist Health. Michelle had been a Realtor in Faulkner County for 24 years, but she was originally from Oklahoma and her husband was from Texas. “We don’t have other family in Conway,” Michelle said.

Across the country, Elizabeth’s longtime boyfriend, Jacob Wood, had arrived on Saturday night following a 19-hour drive to a hunting trip in Wyoming. The very next morning he was successful in killing a mule deer with his bow. He was approaching camp when a man came running across the grounds yelling Jacob’s name.

“He said I had a phone call,” Jacob said. “The problem was that at that location they had some type of satellite phone that only worked about every 18 minutes. I drove down the mountain and got in touch with Michelle. She said they didn’t think (Elizabeth) was going to make it.”

A friend found a flight to Little Rock out of Billings, Mont. As soon as they crossed into Montana, a state trooper pulled over Jacob’s friend and issued a ticket.

“We explained that I had to catch this flight, but he was taking forever,” Jacob said.
Jacob still had blood on his arms from the mule deer, and coupled with the fact he was wearing camouflage caused some strange looks at the airport. A lady at the front desk told him he had to at least wash up before getting on the plane.

Jacob had seen accident victims often during his work at UAMS. He wasn’t prepared to see Elizabeth in her condition when he finally arrived.

“I was speechless,” he said. “It was hard to fathom that it was Elizabeth laying there and not some other patient.”

Elizabeth was put into a self-induced coma, but when doctors tried to bring her out of it, it initially failed. She turned 24 during her 11-day coma.

Barrow had worked around Michelle Parsley since 1993 and knew the family as well as anyone.

“We try not to question the Lord, but we do,” Barrow said. “You say, here is Elizabeth, she’s a good girl, she attends church, she loves her mom and dad, she’s a good moral person and she’s a good Christian girl. Why does stuff like this happen to her? But then we started reading the blogs.”

And oh those blogs. A sorority sister of Elizabeth’s from the University of Central Arkansas (Elizabeth graduated from there in 2009), Heather Fite, began a daily blog – prayingforliz.blogspot.com – that kept everyone updated on Elizabeth’s condition.

The blog grew like no one could have imagined, reaching people in other continents. One temple in Europe advised that it had observed a moment of silence for Elizabeth.
Elizabeth eventually came out of the coma, but she had some memory loss and multiple physical problems. She would spend five weeks in rehab, seven weeks in all at Baptist Health.

Rachel Temple, Elizabeth’s older sister, and Wood, stayed with her every day. Temple quit her job to be with her sister. Wood slept in a chair most nights, one he called “most uncomfortable.” When she was moved to another room, there was an adjoining room with a couch, but that, he said, was like sleeping on two-by-fours, so he made a bed, of sorts, on the floor.

During her recovery, Michelle said her daughter would say some very off-the-wall things. She was shown flash cards. When she was shown a picture of Martin Luther King and asked who it was, Elizabeth answered, “I have a dream,” When she was asked who the president was, she named the president of her sorority at UCA.

Elizabeth was sent home on Halloween Day, 2010, in a black cat costume that nurses at Baptist got her.

Recovery was slow. Michelle said that initially her daughter slept most of the time. Elizabeth was in a wheelchair for several weeks. She didn’t want to see people. Her short-term memory loss caused a lack of confidence.

Slowly, but surely, she began to improve. By January 2011, Elizabeth began returning to the office with her mother, even if just for an hour a day or two a week. She’s now back full-time.

Elizabeth doesn’t remember anything from about two months prior to the accident and only remembers her last couple of days at Baptist Health. She did, however, remember her beloved dog, Bella Grace, which she got during her senior year of high school.

“Apparently, I bought a couch for my house earlier that day (of the accident),” Elizabeth laughed, who added that she couldn’t name her low point because she simply couldn’t remember.

“A couple of days before I left it was like everything started clicking,” she said. “I’m still friends with the people who were my therapists in the hospital. We still keep in touch. My sister, physical therapist and occupational therapist from the hospital, we get together about once every two months and catch up. I didn’t think about not being able to make it. I didn’t think there was any choice.”

Team Parsley closed $21.5 million in sales in 2010, thanks in large to Barrow, the team’s officer manager/broker, who held things together. “I would have closed the business had it not been for (Barrow),” Michelle Parsley said.

Bill Parsley added, “Daddies cry too. I will never, ever let a day go by without thanking the Lord for my family and what He has blessed me with.”

“We’re not lucky, we’re blessed,” added Michelle. “She’s blessed.”

Fite’s blog reached people that sent in stories from all over, something Barrow said made everyone realize why God had chosen Elizabeth for the ordeal.

“We saw where people said, 'You know, I see this miracle and it’s made me have a closer relationship with the Lord,’” Barrow said. “The witness that she was then and that she was during the accident and that she has been since then, I think it’s just answered our questions. She’s had such an impact on so many people.

“Even Michelle will tell you that if one person got saved because of this accident it was worth it. And that’s hard for a mom to say. To know that somebody’s soul didn’t go to Hell and was saved for eternity, it was worth it.”

Elizabeth’s favorite Bible verse became Second Timothy 1:7: For God has not given us the Spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. That scripture was put on T-shirts and armbands that were worn in her honor by a large group during the 5k run at the Little Rock Marathon. The shirts also read, “Running for Liz, Praying for Liz.”

“My faith was strong, now it’s just extra strong,” Elizabeth said. “It really just amazes me with all of the support. I’m just completely floored. I don’t know how to take it all in because it’s just incredible.”

The anniversary of the accident was a difficult time in September, but even that was followed with good news as Rachel informed her little sister that she would be having a baby. Mason Temple was born on April 22, 2012. “God is incredible,” Elizabeth said.

Michelle’s plan for her marketing major daughter is to take over Team Parsley at some point.

“I love the business side of things,” Elizabeth said. “I took a leap of faith with this job, and it’s been great.”

Michelle called her youngest daughter her miracle. Barrow, fighting back tears, agreed.
“Now, if we can just keep her from burning popcorn in the microwave,” Barrow said.

Team Parsley Real Estate
Jan Barrow, Bill Parsley, Michelle Parsley, & Elizabeth Parsley
Elizabeth is an aunt! Her sister and best friend, Rachel had a baby boy in April. Mason William is the new love of Aunt Elizabeth's life!

The other love of her life- Jacob. He's been there the whole time and E says she more in love with him now than ever.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

T-shirt request and an announcement!

We still have some shirts available from the Little Rock 5K. If you ordered a shirt... pretty please get in contact with us so that we can get you your shirt!  Anyone else that wants one we have a few extras for sale.
email: prayersforliz@live.com
We have shirts for:
Alicia H, Allison R, Amanda T, Rachel L, Kristine S, Tara D, Jana P, Bree S, Alex H, Britany L, Kat H, Jennifer C, Sara M, Emily B, Katie E, Robin W, Wendy L.  Justin L

We also have 1 xs and 1 small youth size to whomever wants them! 

It has been my honor to write this blog on behalf of Elizabeth and her family.   At this time, I am REJOICING in the miracle that is Elizabeth. I am pleased to tell you that Elizabeth will be taking over this blog! 

I want to thank each of you for reading this blog over the last 6 months. I can't believe anyone would want to read what I write... but in case you do, you can follow my personal blog HERE.

My faith has been tested these last months and I know that the Parsley family has likely experienced one of the most trying times of their lives. It is easy to ask why... and we all have. The author of "Crazy Love" by Frances Chan sums it up best:
"Not being able to fully understand God is frustrating, but it is ridiculous for us to think we have the right to limit God to something we are capable of comprehending.  What a stunted, insignificant God that would be! If my mind is the size of a soda can and God is the size of the oceans, it would be stupid for me to say He is only the small amount of water I can scoop up in my little can.  God is so much bigger, so far beyond our time- encased, air/food/sleep- dependent lives."

I believe that we were put on this earth to glorify God. I also believe that it is God's intention to have a personal relationship with each of us.  As the Easter season is upon us, I pray each person that reads this blog knows and understands that the God of the Universe loved us SO much that He sent His one and only Son to earth to die on the cross. Because we are sinners, someone had to pay for our sin and Jesus Christ was and is the ONLY one that could take our place since He lived a perfect, SINLESS life. He was tortured and killed... BUT... he ROSE AGAIN 3 days later!

When we accept the free, yet costly gift that Jesus gives us- we commit to dying to our own ways of this world and living for Him for the rest of our days.

Should Elizabeth have lost her life in the car accident 6 months ago, she would be in Heaven with Jesus because she has chosen to follow Christ. I pray that if you have not made this same commitment that you would do so.  It is the most important decision you will ever make.  If you have any questions or concerns, please email me at heather.richardson@live.com

 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life."
John 3:16

And now... I give you Ms. Elizabeth Parsley

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Little Rock 5K

Saturday, March 5 was a glorious day! Sure, it may have been a bit cold and rainy- but nothing could stop us from celebrating 6 months of recovery for our friend Elizabeth! About 50 people came to show their support either by running by Liz's side or cheering her on at the finish line.
 Part of our group during the first mile.
 Our fan club at mile 1. The group grew to almost 30 cheerleaders by the time the race was over!
 There she is in all her beauty! Sorry for the blurriness... she was running so fast !
 Best friends.

 Liz being silly. (sorry the video is sideways!)
 Sisters with their daddy.

 @ Mile One!
 Happy girl.

 Our whole group after Liz completed the race! Thank you to all of you that joined us!
 Afterwards we had brunch at Ihop. Liz and Jacob
 More friends...
 And more friends!
I will leave you with this picture of Elizabeth crossing the finish line. Words cannot describe what it was like to see her not just walk... but RUN across the finish line! God is SO good. We are giving Him glory for her life. Elizabeth... we are so very, very proud of you!

Romans 5:3-4:
"More than that, we REJOICE in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces HOPE."

This was the verse that Elizabeth wanted printed on our shirts we had made for the 5K. She has several favorite verses... but this is her new life verse. She and her family have suffered, but are now able to crawl out of the valley they have been in with endurance, character and most of all hope. They will tell you that it is because they have had the true HOPE OF JESUS since the beginning.

Many of you that have followed this blog may be going through a time of suffering and Elizabeth and her family will tell you that without Jesus, there is no hope. Put your faith and trust in Him today.

Also, please pray for Elizabeth's friends that she has met along this journey that are still in the midst of their battle with a Traumatic Brain Injury:
Mark Webb has been moved to Baylor Rehab Institute in Dallas. You can read about his progress here
Bethany Cox is recovering at Shepherd Center in Atlanta GA. You can read about her progress here

Thursday, February 24, 2011

9 Days until RACE DAY!

Hello bloggy friends! My appologies for the delay in shirt information... we had some issues with the shirts that should all be squared away. The shirts are going to be GREAT and designed by Elizabeth herself! They are slightly v-necked, steel blue in color, with white, dark blue and brown writing on the front and back. I appolgize that we still do not have a final price, but I will have that for you before race day! I am confident that they should not be more than $20 and hopefully less. At this time, those of you who ordered a shirt will PAY and PICK UP your shirt on Saturday, March 5th BEFORE the race! The race begins at 8 am so it is best to plan to be there by 7:30 to ensure you get your shirt to wear before the race starts. Anyone who ordered a shirt but will not be there race day, please make sure you email the account with your mailing information and we will mail you your shirt. We will reply to your message about where to send your check. We will have a few extra shirts available, but not many. If you did not pre-order one, then bring your cash as we may have extras. If you pre-ordered a shirt and do not want it, please let us know ASAP!

You can still sign up for the 5K. Please visit THIS LINK to register online. Please email us at prayersforliz@live.com and let us know you are coming!

The race will start and finish near the Little Rock Riverfront Ampitheatre (400 President Clinton Avenue, Little Rock). The Marathon has not yet posted a parking map for the race. I am going to try to park in the FREE parking lot under the I-30 overpass in downtown. HERE is a map of the 5K race. The lot I am talking about is in the center of the race course, so it is likely that it will not be open on race day. Again, we need to make sure we arrive in plenty of time to park and meet up together before the race starts at 8!  No matter where you park, we should all plan to meet at the Starting Line at 7:30. I will be holding a large bouquet of PINK balloons or will have a poster board that says TEAM ELIZABETH! Someone at the starting line will have your t-shirt and will take your t-shirt money. If you did not order a shirt, feel free to wear your gray "Praying for Elizabeth" shirt or anything blue or gray.

If you plan to cheer from the sidelines, feel free to bring signs etc! We are so appreciative of your support!

After the race, Elizabeth would like to invite anyone- whether they are particpating in the 5K race or not, to join her and her family and friends at Dizzy's Grill in downtown Little Rock (200 Commerce Street, Little Rock) for lunch after the race. They open at 11 am and I anticipate us being there at that time.

As always... if you have ANY questions... please email us at prayersforliz@live.com

Update on our girl (the REAL reason for this blog!).... Ms. Elizabeth Parsley

Elizabeth PASSED her driving test! 2 weeks ago she drove a real car... on a real interstate... for the FIRST time in 5 months. She did AWESOME and is now approved to drive in town. Since she is still experiencing some problems with vision (PRAYER REQUEST), she will retest in 1 month for approval to drive outside of town on the interstate. Join me in congratulating Elizabeth!

Elizabeth will be DONE with Physical and Occupational Therapy at the end of February (PRAISE!) She will continue speech therapy for a few more weeks since she has not been in it as long as the other 2. Elizabeth's speech is perfect, but she experiences many cognitive benefits from speech therapy so she will continue for a few more sessions.

Elizabeth has come a long, long, LONG way. Almost 6 months ago, she was in a wreck that almost claimed her life. The past 1/2 year has been filled with many life interruptions. Elizabeth and her family are most gracious to God for not only sparing her life, but taking them through this trial. They realize that there are others that have not been as fortunate as she. Not only is she alive, but she will soon be back  to life as "normal." Elizabeth asks that you pray for those like our friend Mark, that are still fighting for their life after a traumatic brain injury. She also asks that you continue to pray for her as therapy sessions come to a close and she is expected to "get back to life" after 6 months of rehab. Most importantly, she asks that you put your trust in the same Jesus that has carried her and her family through this trial. His love is never ending and His grace is sufficient.

Lastly, I leave you with this video that Mrs. Michelle, E's mom asked that I post. May their faith encourage you as it has me!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Race Day Shirts!

The 5K race is fast approaching! I am so excited about the wonderful turn out we are going to have! Many of you have signed up to walk with Elizabeth in the Little Rock Marathon's 5K race on Saturday, March 5th. You can still sign up HERE through 2/25 for $30. You can also sign up the Friday before the event at EXPO if the event is not sold out for $35. 

Remember if you do not want to walk, you can come and cheer along the sidelines for free! We will also be having a "post race party" for anyone who wants to attend around lunch time on Saturday, March 5th after the 5K.  (Details TBA!) Many of you have also chosen to participate in the relay, half marathon, or marathon on Sunday, March 6th in honor of Elizabeth. Elizabeth will not be participating in the races on the 6th, but she is so appreciative of your thought to honor her and will be there to cheer you on! We hope you marathon participants will join us on the 5th for lunch! Please let us know if you have signed up or plan to sign up for any of these races by emailing prayersforliz@live.com. Please forward us your receipt you receive from registering online, or simply send a message stating your name and which race you are participating in.

T-SHIRTS! We will be having a t-shirt made specifically for the Little Rock 5K/marathon that Elizabeth is designing herself! If you are participating in the race in Elizabeth's honor you are by no means required to purchase one and likewise, even if you are not participating you may still order one.  These shirts will be v-neck in a bright color- likely turquoise.  We will post the official design soon, but need a general idea of who wants one before we can know the official design and price. These shirts will not be sold as a fundraiser, but instead will be sold at cost so I don't anticipate them being more than $20 a piece and hopefully less!

**If  you would like a race day shirt, please email us at prayersforliz@live.com by Wednesday, February 9th with
  • name
  • number of shirts and sizes
  • put "race day shirt" in the subject line
I will have a picture of the shirt and final price by the following Monday.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

He is Good.

"And we know...
that in all things...

God works for the good of those who love Him...

Who have been called according to His purpose."

Romans 8:28

This past weekend E and her friends spent a whole weekend together in Fayetteville. This is the first time E has been out of town overnight without her family since the accident. We celebrated God's goodness and blessings together. Elizabeth is SO good. I can't even describe to you the person she is today. She is perfect. God has blessed her with health and heart that is so full of love and life.

Elizabeth's family is mourning the loss of a close family member from this past weekend. Please remember her aunt and family as they buried their youngest son this past Friday. He was 19.

Elizabeth takes a driving exam on Thursday at 10 am. She is a little nervous since she hasn't driven a car since the accident more than 4 months ago! We are so happy that she is nearing the end of her therapy. The doctor thought that 6 more weeks would be sufficient!

Please keep a friend of Elizabeth's in your prayers. We mentioned Mark several weeks ago who suffered a brain injury not long after Elizabeth did. Mark has not been as fortunate to recover as Elizabeth and remains in critical condition in Little Rock. He has not woken up since his accident before the holidays. Pray for Mark and his family. Pray that they would have peace and comfort and that God would send a miracle to heal Mark. I will have a link to his caring bridge site soon.

PRAISE. "Praise be to God who has heard our prayers and healed our sweet Elizabeth. Thank you God for sparing her life and restoring her mind and body!"

PRAY. "Lord we ask that you be with Elizabeth as she gets back to life. Walk with her daily and give her the strength that she needs to do rehab. Be with her as she tests her driving on Thursday. Help her to know that you are with her always."

PRAY. "We pray for the Parsley family. We pray that each trial that you take them through brings them closer to you. We pray for Elizabeth's aunt and family who buried a child this week. May they been comforted in a way that only you can provide."

PRAY. "We pray for Mark. We pray that your will be done in Mark's life. We pray that glory would be yours. Lord we pray a miracle would be in store for Mark. We pray that just like in Elizabeth's case, his body would be healed and that it would only be explainable as an act of Yours."


Friday, January 14, 2011

Run With Lizzie... Really You Should!

Several weeks ago I posted about the Little Rock Marathon and our idea to have people to sign up for the 5K to run/walk with Elizabeth. I am so excited that many of you have signed up and that we can look forward to this day of celebration! This is also a goal that Elizabeth has for herself to get ready physically for the race and something she is looking forward to doing with so many people that have prayed/are praying for her.

So... here are the details again.

Date:       Saturday, March 5, 2011
Time:       8 am
Location:  President Clinton & Commerce Streets

To register, please go to http://www.littlerockmarathon.com/EventsRaceInfo/5K.cfm
The fee right now is $30. All of this goes to the Little Rock Marathon. This is not a fund raiser for Elizabeth, this is an event to show our support as she attacks this goal she has set for herself to complete a 5K.

If you do not wish to run/walk alongside her, you can still come and cheer along the side lines or participate in the "post race party" we plan to host.  You will not need to register and pay for the 5K unless you plan to participate in the actual race.

We do ask that if you plan to be a part of this day at all that you email and let us know at prayersforliz@live.com  If you register for the race, you will receive an email and you can forward that to us so we know you have signed up. If you plan to come to show your support from the sidelines, please know that in an email. If you can help with a "post race party" by providing tailgate tents, drinks, food, etc please let us know in an email.

Any other questions regarding LR Martathon 5K with Elizabeth, email prayersforliz@live.com
Elizabeth (right) and her best friend, and sister, Rachel participating in the Little Rock Marathon in 2008.

Hebrews 12:1-3
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.