GCU visit has special meaning for rehabbing student
Story by Karen Fernau
Photos by Slaven Gujic
GCU News Bureau
Win by perseverance.
That’s what Kent DelHousaye encouraged his audience to do, and that’s what the 18-year-old Californian has done.
She has spent the last 10 months learning to walk, talk, dress and feed herself, everyday skills she lost after being hit by a drunk driver.
“I got chills listening to the message of winning by fighting,” she said.
“There were times I wanted to give up, not learn to walk, not get better enough to attend GCU, but kept going. I told God that I did not give up on Him so not to give up on me.”
Her parents, Eric and Shineen Williams, didn’t give up, either, during the two weeks their daughter was in a coma, even though they worried that she might never fully recover.
“We had the tough conversation that we would accept whatever as long as she came out of the coma alive,” said Eric, who works in the aerospace industry.
On Monday, all three marked Micah’s remarkable recovery as honored guests at their first Chapel.
Micah stood at Chapel and graciously accepted thundering applause after being introduced by Dr. Tim Griffin, GCU’s pastor and dean of students.
And she accepted the hugs of Victoria Banks, Micah’s California-based GCU admissions counselor, who helped orchestrate the family’s visit.
“I’ve finally met the girl I’ve been championing all these months. I’ve talked and prayed with her and her family since the accident. They are long lost family,” Banks said.
Banks already is planning a return visit to GCU Arena with the Williams family – for Micah’s graduation.
“No way would I miss it,” she said.
For Shineen, who was driving and suffered broken ribs, a hip and a foot in the June crash near their home in Lancaster, Calif., the trip to GCU and Chapel was healing.
“I can now let myself be excited for Micah. Everyone here has been so friendly that when the times comes, I know she will do well at GCU,” said Shineen, who works for California’s Child Protective Services.
The right time most likely will be spring 2018.
Micah, who after this semester will have completed 24 online credits, is expected to complete rehabilitation late this year.
“We want her to be completely recovered before moving on campus. There’s a little work left to do,” Shineen said.
After Chapel, Micah and her family toured campus, picturing a recovered Micah walking the wide campus breezeways between classes.
Micah first visited campus as a high school senior in 2015.
“I don’t remember the details of campus, but I remember it being as friendly as it is now,” said Micah, a kinesiology major with plans of being a physical therapist.
Eric also was impressed by the open, friendly campus atmosphere.
“I now understand why Micah decided to come here, why this was the right college for her,” he said.
When Micah finally arrives on campus, she expects to study hard, make friends and, yes, attend Chapel.
“The Arena was empty when I visited in high school,” she said. “It feels so much better filled with people.”
Contact Karen Fernau at (602) 639-8344 or firstname.lastname@example.org.