Bruce Van Natta was a self-employed diesel mechanic who loved his work. He was never concerned about the danger he risked working on huge engines weighing thousands of pounds. Then, on November 16, 2006, his life changed forever.
This is Bruce Van Natta’s story.
Bruce had a job to work on the engine of a huge PeterBilt logging truck. The driver of the truck had jacked up the front axle and had removed the passenger side wheel. Without giving it a second thought Bruce slipped feet first underneath the large bumper of the vehicle. Bruce’s chest was positioned just an inch or two below the axle. He asked the driver to look inside the truck to check the temperature of the engine. All of a sudden, the twenty-ton capacity jack that was holding up the truck gave way.
There were some 10,000 to 12,000 pounds of weight from the wheels and axle that fell on Bruce’s mid-section. It literally crushed him in half as blood splattered into his throat. Bruce realized there was no more than an inch from the bottom of the axle to the cement, and the thickest part of his body was no more than two inches thick. Vertebrae were broken by the crushing weight of the truck.
Though he experienced absolutely horrendous pain, he was able to pull himself a short distance so that his head was in front of the bumper. Bruce called out to God twice asking for His help.
Suddenly all pain left Bruce’s body. He became unconscious. His spirit left his body, and he was looking down at the scene of the accident from above.
At this point, Bruce saw two huge angels. Each was about eight feet tall, and they were surrounded in bright light. They never moved or said anything; they just angled their arms towards his body. Bruce felt no pain, just a wonderful peace.
Bruce realized he had to make a choice. He could just shut his eyes, die, and go to Heaven, or he could fight to live, fight as hard as he could. Bruce says, “The next thing I knew, my spirit went back down into my body just like a shot.”
Bruce was rushed to the hospital, where doctors did not expect him to live. His ribs were broken, his pancreas, spleen, and intestines crushed. Several major arteries were severed.
A medical study done at the University of Southern California in 2001 could not find anyone who had ever lived after having five major arteries severed. It was a miracle that Bruce had not bled to death. He believes that the angels miraculously held him together.
Bruce was in the hospital for over two months and had five major surgeries that resulted in the removal of almost seventy-five percent of his crushed small intestines. He dropped weight rapidly and was close to starvation. He could be fed only through intravenous tubes.
One day he had an unexpected visitor. The Lord had awakened a man from New York two days in a row with the urging to go to see Bruce in the hospital and pray for his healing. The man was someone Bruce had met one time on vacation. When he got to the hospital, he put his palm on Bruce’s forehead. Then the man prayed in the name of Jesus commanding Bruce’s intestines to be restored in length. Bruce says, “When he did, I felt like two hundred twenty volts come out of his palm into my forehead, right into my body. I could feel my intestines moving around and up and down.”
Nine months later, after additional surgeries and hospital stays, Bruce had gained weight and was eating by himself. Radiology tests verified that he now had almost nine feet of small intestine—double the amount that he had had after the first surgeries. Additionally, his intestines had double the absorption action of normal intestines.
The doctors were amazed and astounded over and over again that Bruce lived through this trauma. He should have died within eight to ten minutes after the accident. Bruce could have bled to death, but didn’t. His intestines grew back, and they were extended and better functioning than before. His pancreas and spleen were restored. Bruce strongly believes that God performed these miracles in his life.
Bruce wrote about his experience in a book called Saved By Angels to Share How God Talks to Everyday People, published by Destiny Image. He has a full-time ministry with a non-denominational, evangelistic organization called SweetBread Ministries.
He and his family travel together witnessing to gatherings of people about how God worked in his life to heal him and how others can also have a closer relationship with the Lord. Their testimony shows how God’s love and power meet each of us at our point of need. Read more at Bruce’s website: www.sweetbreadministries.com/.