Cole Burton, a 21-year-old Auburn University student has a lot to be thankful for these days.
Completing college, starting his military career, but most of all for a miraculous recovery from a traumatic brain injury which nearly claimed his life in 2018.
“They said he probably won’t make a meaningful recovery and will likely be a vegetable for the rest of his life,” Tina Burton, Cole’s mom told Fox News in an interview.
But God had far different plans.
On May 24, 2018, Geology major Cole and his lab partner, Nick Hood, were near the edge of an Alabama highway studying rocks for an assignment.
Without warning, an impaired driver’s truck suddenly careened out of control driving directly into Cole and Nick.
Both students had to be airlifted as their injuries were so catastrophic. Tragically, Nick passed away after the accident and Cole was left in a coma.
As the days slowly turned into weeks, Cole remained unresponsive.
His parents were presented with the choice of deciding whether to discontinue care for their son, effectively ending his life.
In addition to the traumatic brain injury, Cole’s body was severely damaged including broken bones and significant abdominal injuries.
The doctors offered very little in terms of a positive outcome for the family if they were to continue care. It was recommended that they remove support and allow their son to pass away.
But instead of removing care, the Burtons began to cleave to Ephesians 3:20: “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us” and pray for guidance from God.
They did not feel the decision of Cole’s future was theirs to make.
Instead they left it up to God: it was His decision whether Cole would live or not.
Cole eventually was transferred from the hospital in late June 2018 to a rehabilitation center specializing in traumatic brain injury which could provide the heavy therapies necessary for him to regain his skills and independence.
A highly specialized team of doctors and therapists including speech, physical, vocational, and respiratory provided continued care.
Very slowly, Cole began making small improvements. He miraculously regained consciousness, much to the surprise of his doctors.
But the dramatic injuries done by the vehicle hitting him took multiple steps to overcome. Skills once taken for granted had to be relearned one at a time just like they did when he was a child.
It was a very long, gradual process. Many days only included taking a single step or a few feet, but Cole learned that he needed to take things day by day.
Eventually those small steps led to yards and after time to miles. He worked from not being able to walk at all to using a walker, to walking on his own.
Nowadays, after months of struggle, he is even running again, including competing in multiple 5k races recently with plans for a 10k this year!
Today, Cole is almost a year from the tragedy and is enrolled in classes online as his physical therapies continue, with plans to return to Auburn in the fall to finish his senior year.
A member of the ROTC at Auburn, he plans to enter the Navy as a commissioned officer upon graduation.
Cole is on track for making a full recovery, despite all the odds being stacked against him. In a horrific accident which killed his friend, to his parents being urged to remove care and let him pass away, to now where Cole is almost 100% back to normal.
His recovery has been nothing short of miraculous, and even his doctors have credited God knowing that Cole’s current state could not be explained away by medicine or science.
It is truly a miracle, where God intervened to heal Cole.
It is amazing when God steps in to show that He is still the One in control, regardless of how much we like to think that science and medicine can have the explanation for everything.
It’s in moments like these that we are reminded who really does hold all of us in His hands.