BESSEMER CITY, N.C. — Witnesses said 71-year-old minister Bobby Ray had no pulse after being hit by a car in Bessemer City.
Despite that, his family told Channel 9′s Ken Lemon that Ray survived and notes found in his office after the crash give them hope he will fully recover.
Ray was waiting to give his grandson a ride home from karate practice on Feb. 25 when a car hit him as he crossed the street, literally knocking him out of his shoes.
“I’ve never seen nothing like that before,” witness and karate instructor Jeffrey Cavender said. “I saw him take his last breath.”
Cavender rushed outside and saw Ray laying on the car that hit him. He said there was no pulse from the minister who spent 40 years of his life preaching to whoever would listen. Cavender said he rubbed the heart that stopped beating and talked to him.
“You are going to be OK, just hang in there,” he told Channel 9. “And I saw him take that last breath knowing that he wasn’t going to be OK.”
Medics and firefighters performed CPR and eventually regained a pulse. Ray’s son said doctors told the family that the man, commonly known as Pastor Bobby, probably wouldn’t make it.
“They kept on checking and checking and checking, and better and better reports,” Ray’s son, Richard Miller, said.
Ray had heart surgery previously but had no major heart issues that night. A couple of days later, he showed no indications of being paralyzed.
The family is grateful for the first responders and the man who was there when things seemed hopeless.
“There is no way to thank him,” Miller said.
Cavender, who thought he saw his friend die, is still floored.
“That he is going to make it just gives me cold chills,” he said.
Ray’s family expects him to be off a ventilator soon and preaching again.
“Miracles still happen,” Miller said.
They also said notes found in his office after the crash give them even more hope he will be OK. His family told Channel 9 that Ray holds what he calls healing services at Assembly of Faith once a month.
After the crash, his family went into his office and found notes the pastor took before his last service. The notes list body parts paired with bible verses that people suffering can use to pray for healing. The body parts listed are all areas where he was injured.
“You can’t deny what you see with your eyes,” Ray’s son-in-law James Midgett said.
Ray’s granddaughter, Tiffany Petty, visited him on Easter Sunday.
“He moved his eyes a little bit and then he squeezed my hand,” she said.
She told Channel 9 he also began squeezing people’s hands on command.
“We are seeing something we were told could not happen,” she said.
Doctors first thought Ray could become quadriplegic, but he now has feelings in his hands and feet.
“Everyday we see something small. Something new,” Midgett said.
The family said they are hoping against odds for a full recovery.
No charges have been filed in the case yet. Witnesses said the driver was grieving over what happened.
Ray’s son said his father would be the first person to embrace the driver, but the family wants to see a speed bump and better lighting installed where the crash happened.