Not even a two-week coma could end her GCU dream
By Karen Fernau
GCU News Bureau
Freshman Micah Williams will attend her first Chapel at Grand Canyon University on Monday — eight months late.
She’d planned to attend Chapel in August but was derailed by a drunk driver, two weeks in a coma and months of rehabilitation.
On June 9, Williams and her mother were hit head-on near their home in Lancaster, Calif., by a woman police said was impaired by alcohol and drugs.
Instead of living on campus, Williams is spending her freshman year learning to walk, talk, eat and dress herself.
“I hit my head in the accident, and, when I came out of my coma, I had to learn to do everything again,” she said. “The trip will help remind me of how far I’ve come and of what I saw in GCU the first time I visited.”
Inspired by her gritty determination, GCU invited Williams and her family to Chapel, scheduled for 11:15 a.m. Monday at GCU Arena. Pastor Kent DelHousaye of Bethany Bible Church in Phoenix will be the guest speaker.
“Her spirit has been so strong that we are bringing her to campus as a way to honor her and inspire others,” said Victoria Banks, a California-based GCU admissions counselor who walked Williams through the application process.
For Williams, GCU is more than just her college of choice. It’s the carrot she has kept dangling in front of her to help power her through rehabilitation.
“When I came out of the coma, I knew I wanted to get better so I could go GCU,” she said. “I kept working toward that goal.”
All it took was a field trip as a Quartz Hill High School student to GCU for Williams to choose the private Christian university in Phoenix.
Williams was so confident that GCU and “its Christian, friendly, homey feeling” was the right choice that she never bothered applying elsewhere.
“She knew that GCU was where she was supposed to be,” Banks said. “She didn’t need a trip or to fill out any other applications. GCU was her only choice.”
Williams was trapped in a coma when Banks learned about the accident from the 18-year-old’s mother, Shineen Hudson Williams, who also was injured in the crash.
“I prayed with her mother,” she said. “Our whole team began praying for Micah and her family.”
The day Williams came out of a coma, her mother called Banks.
“Erica told me that one of the first things Micah asked about was going to GCU,” Banks said.
Banks has no doubt that Williams, a kinesiology major who is taking online classes at GCU while recovering, will move into campus housing in August to begin classes.
“She’ll pick up where she left off. She’s a very determined young woman,” Banks said.
On Monday, she hopes to join Williams, her parents and sister at Chapel and meet the family for the first time.
“We have all talked so much on the phone that I feel I know them well,” she said. “I’d love to watch Micah receive the praise she deserves.”
Williams considers Monday’s Chapel more benchmark than honor: “Going to Chapel means I am getting closer to being the GCU student I want to be.”
Contact Karen Fernau at (602) 639-8344 or firstname.lastname@example.org.