In 2017, Chris and Emily Muckleroy needed a miracle. They knew that every moment mattered to Caroline’s survival. Unwilling to wait for an ambulance, Chris scooped up his 5-year-old daughter, ran to their car, and sped to the nearby fire station. The unimaginable was playing out in real life.
April 14 was a warm spring day. Chris was mowing while Caroline was riding her scooter. As she came down the driveway of their suburban home, she rolled into the street and was struck by a speeding car. The impact was so severe that she landed 25 feet away. As the car sped away, Chris found his daughter motionless and unresponsive.
The Muckleroys immediately called on their network of friends in their neighborhood, many of whom were from Cross City. Their son Cole and youngest daughter Olivia went to a friend’s house, and everyone began to pray as word of the incident traveled quickly through their connections. More friends met them at the hospital as the doctors started to assess her injuries. The trauma was undoubtedly substantial, but no one knew to what extent.
After initial testing, they discovered that her skull was fractured and that she had potentially sustained brain trauma. The family waited all night for test results. After nearly five hours, the doctors returned with news the Muckleroys wanted to hear—the fracture was not life-threatening, and she had the potential to make a full recovery.
“What could have happened didn’t.” Chris recalled the emotion of hearing great news from doctor after doctor. “[We] were in the room when the neurosurgeon said, ‘She is a miracle.’” Although she had multiple fractures and faced weeks of recovery, she was alive and would return to full health.
Local news covered the event, and much of the focus was on the mystery driver who struck her. Several of their neighbors volunteered to help search for the car by reviewing security camera footage and driving through the neighborhood looking for the vehicle. The efforts were unsuccessful, but Chris and Emily aren’t distracted by that. They have chosen instead to focus on God’s blessing. Emily said, “God protected us from the feeling of anger and fear.” In fact, they believe it brought them closer together.
“It was a tragedy,” Emily said thoughtfully, “I mean, we would never want it to happen again, but we would never want to take it back.” It was a moment that defined their family and deepened their roots with God and each other. “You realize what gifts your kids are. Making every moment count. Using every moment to turn them to Jesus.” Instead of focusing on the accident and living in fear, they focus on the miracle and live in confidence. “If He can handle this, He can handle anything.”
Today, the Muckleroys are living to make their moments count. The focus starts with their kids, Cole, Caroline, and Olivia. They want their children to see the importance of a relationship with God. Church has always been an essential component of both Chris’ and Emily’s lives. Now, they want the same for their children. “These kids are the future of our church,” Chris says. “Something’s going to grab their attention. I want it to be my church.”