Clark Rone: Living Life as a Paraplegic

Clark Rone At Uncle's Funeral

Mother's Christian Teaching Kicks In

Clark knew he was in trouble and thought he was going to die. Everyone else who found him thought he would die, too. Clark knew God. His mother had taught him the Word since he was born prematurely five weeks early. God had healed him from a tumor under his arm when he was five years old. Clark knew he did not deserve help from God because he had not lived the right kind of life. But he also knew that God is merciful. It is a wonderful thing to know what to do when no one on earth can help you. Clark cried out, "Jesus, thou Son of David, Have mercy on me!" While his lifeblood was pouring out on the ground, Clark Rone was making his peace with God. The paramedics thought he was delusional from the blood loss because by the time they arrived he was speaking in a heavenly language that did not stop and they could not figure out what language he was talking.

The Attack

Clark Rone was a fun loving guy in 1993. He had a wife, children and although there were some problems, life was good. He was six foot four inches in his bare feet and a big guy. Very few people wanted to mess with him in the clubs where he hung out. Saturday night he spent the evening in a club in South West Houston. When the club closed down he walked through the dark taking a short cut to the apartments nearby where he was staying while he worked the turnkey service. He was met by a local gang who were initiating one of their members a fifteen year old illegal immigrant from El Salvadore. Clark was not afraid. He thought he could take them all. Unfortunately the fifteen year old had a nine millimeter which he emptied into Clark Rone's body. He tried to shoot Clark in the head but Clark threw up his forearm which was broken by the force of the bullet. The teen then emptied the gun into Clark's belly. There may have been another gun because Clark did not fall down until the sixth bullet hit him. His body was riddled with holes and the blood leaked from his body like a sieve.

Years later when Clark was doing prison ministry a young man walked up to him and said, "You don't know who I am, do you?" Clark looked at him and said, "Yes, I do and I forgive you."

Prayer First

Clark Rone came from a family who knows how to pray. Through the next three months it was touch and go for his life. His fever spiked at 105 degrees F and would not come down. The family prayed and watched his fever fall immediately making it possible for him to have life saving surgery. His intestines were resectioned in fifteen places and part of his colon removed. Clark would live his life in a wheelchair with a colostomy.

The Hospital

He was rushed to Ben Taub trauma center and into surgery on the fourth floor of the hospital. The family was not notified. Clark was alone all night in the hands of God and the surgeon. Clark's brother came looking for him around 9:00 A.M. the next morning and was met by a guy who lived in the apartments with the words, "Clark is not here. They killed him last night." The family began calling hospitals and found him at Ben Taub. During the night he had received fifty-four units of blood. The surgeons did not expect him to survive. The Catholic priest assigned to the unit heard the story and told the family that Clark's survival was a real miracle!

Clark Rone

Clark, Laura, and Ryan Rone before the accident in 1993
Clark, Laura, and Ryan Rone before the accident in 1993
Clark and older son Layne after the accident during the late 1990's
Clark and older son Layne after the accident during the late 1990's
Clark Rone riding a camel in Kenya with his wheelchair on benches in the background.
Clark Rone riding a camel in Kenya with his wheelchair on benches in the background.
Clark Rone riding a camel in Kenya
Clark Rone riding a camel in Kenya
Clark Rone and nephew Jacob about 2000
Clark Rone and nephew Jacob about 2000
Clark, Laura, and Ryan Rone at Ryan's high school graduation
Clark, Laura, and Ryan Rone at Ryan's high school graduation
Signing to play basketball in Oklahoma
Signing to play basketball in Oklahoma
On the basketball court
On the basketball court
Clark and Laura today.
Clark and Laura today.

Life After The Accident

Learning to live with his disability was a hard process. He had to take pain medicine even though he could feel nothing from mid chest down. He found he had leg spasms that caused his legs to jump continuously as a side effect from his spinal cord injury. He had to learn to live with a colostomy, dress himself, and completely learn to live again. The first year was the worst.

His wife came from Georgia to be with him and stood staunchly by him in spite of very trying circumstances. They are still living happily together after twenty years and seventeen years in a wheelchair.

God was good to Clark. His family is still together. His children are grown now but his life is full. Clark did not retire to bed to stare at the walls for the rest of his life. He coached his son at little league. He travels alone and has to be reminded that he is disabled. His truck was equipped with a hoist so that he could get his wheel chair in and out of the back without help. His home has wide doors so that it is wheel chair accessible.


When Clark began to fully recover he became involved in missions and made several missionary trips to Kenya, The Philippines, and Guam. He did several crusades in Mexico and every where he went he told his story to anyone who would listen. His mission trips include:

  • Mexico
  • Kenya
  • Japan
  • The Philippines
  • Guam

Clark Did Not Give In to Depression

From the first Clark refused to give in to depression. He was in rehab for three months after he was released from the hospital. His recovery took six months. The psychiatrists assigned to him kept waiting for him to bottom out but Clark did not bottom out. Clark's therapist was an atheist who could not understand what was going on with him. He is a strong believer in God and God kept his spirits up. Clark knew that God had been merciful and he did not forget it for one moment.

Clark in Mindanao, The Philippines.
Clark in Mindanao, The Philippines.
Clark Rone in General Mac Arthur's suite in Manilla
Clark Rone in General Mac Arthur's suite in Manilla
Clark in Mexico on missions crusade with group
Clark in Mexico on missions crusade with group
Clark and Boudreaux
Clark and Boudreaux
Clark and Boudreaux...his baby!
Clark and Boudreaux...his baby!
Clark and his mother
Clark and his mother
Clark's wife, Laura, son Ryan, and his mother Mrs. Rone
Clark's wife, Laura, son Ryan, and his mother Mrs. Rone
Clark Rone was pulled from this truck by a passing firefighter who saved his life in 2010
Clark Rone was pulled from this truck by a passing firefighter who saved his life in 2010 | Source

Cheating Death

Clark Rone has cheated death many times in his life. It is truly shocking how many times death came calling and God delivered Clark. There is clearly a purpose for Clark Rone's life that has yet to appear.

  • Born three months premature, he weighed less than five pounds at birth and remained in the hospital for three weeks
  • When he was two years old a tumor the size of a tennis ball appeared under his arm. God healed him and the tumor vanished
  • When he was about eighteen years old he was in a serious motorcycle accident. No helmet. The bike slid for more than a block. Clark and his friend both walked away without a scratch.
  • In his twenties Clark was working with chemicals and suffered a serious chemical burn to his lungs. He recovered fully with no damage to his lungs
  • In 1993 Clark was shot in a gang initiation that left him paralyzed
  • In 2010 Clark was traveling alone back from San Antonio, Texas. His truck caught on fire and Clark had difficulty getting his wheel chair out. A fireman was passing and rescued him from the inferno. The truck was totally burned out.

Clark Rone's Thoughts About Life as a Paraplegic

Clark Rone believes that living life as a paraplegic is difficult but does not have to imprison one in their home. He has proved that life can be full and joyful. It is all about choices. Clark has a good attitude and is ready and willing to help others every time he can. He does not know he is handicapped and tried to do things most would believe impossible. I admire his courage and strength because his life is not easy. It takes him an hour or more to get dressed by himself every day, but he does it without help. He is an example of strength, endurance, and overcoming difficulties. I am proud of him. He is my brother.

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Comments 49 comments

Smireles profile image

Smireles 3 years ago from Texas Author

Well, Skye, you can see that I have been out of the loop for a while. Found your comment. Thank you so very much and Blessings.

skye2day profile image

skye2day 3 years ago from Rocky Mountains

Dear precious sister. What a story. I have tears. God is so amazing. Clark had work to do for the Lord. Well done good and faithful servant. Praise God for a man of great courage and faith in the creator and Savior. What a testimony of whose we are. Glory to Almighty God, Amen.

Thank you for sharing this moving journey about your dear warrior brother and wife. She too is precious. They have fought the good fight. God Bless them and you as well. You really are a Blessed writer. Keep em coming girl.

Recently my sister was almost beat to death and survived. Truly a miracle. (help me to forgive hub)

Anyway God is a good God. One day no more pain no more tears. Jesus come quickly.

One of the survivors in Boston Marathon shooting is now a paraplegic. I heard on K-Love radio station today. Maybe she will meet up with your brother. God knows. She has great courage. Bless you precious sister. Love you In Christ. Skye

Smireles profile image

Smireles 5 years ago from Texas Author

Ryan, thank you for reading and commenting. Clark is an example to all of us. Blessings.

Ryan Holley 5 years ago

I have known Clark now for a couple of years and have never asked why he was in a wheel chair I never even see him as the guy in the wheel chair... Now that I have read this story it makes me respect him so much more than I already did... Thank you for sharing this story and thank God for hearing Clark's prayers in his time of need... This story just made me re - evaluate a few things in my life and I think it has also brought me closer to God... Thank you again...

bayoulady profile image

bayoulady 6 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

Great biography, great pictures, and another chance to give God the glory.

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

Inspiring! Thank you Ma'am!

Smireles profile image

Smireles 6 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you.

K J Page profile image

K J Page 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest

What a story!!!!!!!!!!!

What strength!!

What courage!!!!!!

Your brother is A One!!!

Smireles profile image

Smireles 6 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you, AEvans Clark received 54 units the first night and a total of 110 units during his hospital stay! It is a miracle he lived! It was God.

AEvans profile image

AEvans 6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

A life turned upside-down in a split second but he was also blessed and a blessing , honestly it is only God who saved him. With as many pints of blood that he received the odds of survival is very slim. He is an inspiration to those who have to endure the same pain. Thank you for writing such an inspirational story.:)

Smireles profile image

Smireles 6 years ago from Texas Author

Hi Aussieteacher,

I really didn't say that well. A turnkey service is a company who gets apartments ready to rent. He and another brother were in business together and I am not sure whether they were building the apartments or doing the final completion. Turnkey" is a term that could refer to either the final cleanup or the business. They have done both so I do not know which one they were doing at the time. I am not explaining it well because I do not know that much about it. Hope this helps. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Aussieteacher profile image

Aussieteacher 6 years ago from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

You've written some wonderfully moving words and a great tribute. It is great to read how he has tried to overcome the many challenges in his life. Congratulions on such a good hub. (ps. can you explain this for me? he worked the turnkey service.)

Smireles profile image

Smireles 6 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks for reading and taking time to comment. I think most of us complain far too much (including myself). I can honestly say I have never one time heard Clark make one complaint about his situation. That in itself is a miracle!

Ann Nonymous profile image

Ann Nonymous 6 years ago from Virginia

What an amazing yet sad story and testimony, Smireles. thanks so much for sharing with us and for helping us understand. Makes me realize how much i take for granted, and how much I complain! WOnderful story!

Smireles profile image

Smireles 6 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you, Sally's Trove for reading and finding joy in Clark's life. I hope Clark's life will give hope to someone who is suffering.

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

Sandra, what an outstanding and beautifully written tribute to your brother. Anyone who reads your words must find strength no matter what their personal trials may be. Many thanks to you and Clark and your family for showing us that whatever trouble life hands us, it can be lived with, and joyously, and with lessons of hope for those who doubt that a good life can flourish amidst hardship.

Smireles profile image

Smireles 6 years ago from Texas Author

Joshua, It has been seventeen years and I still get tears in my eyes when I think about that statement! Those words are intense and expressive! They are also very effective when talking to God! Blessings!

Joshua Kell profile image

Joshua Kell 6 years ago from Arizona

What a tragic, but encouraging story. Makes me feel bad for the times when I have felt sorry for myself because I hurt my back. I even had a tear or two squeeze their way out of my soul, at the point in your story, when he said, "Jesus thou Son of David, have mercy on me." God is merciful. Thanks. . .

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Smireles, What a touching hub. Never underestimate the power of prayer. God Bless.

Smireles profile image

Smireles 6 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks for coming again. Blessings!

jj200 profile image

jj200 6 years ago from My Bedroom

Back again, I just read the comments. I love how you described your family as "...dreamers who have a very practical side that views the world as it is and not as we would like it to be..." My thoughts exactly.

Smireles profile image

Smireles 6 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you, katiem2! I am inspired and blessed abundantly because in sharing my brother's story I have heard from others with similar experiences. One does not feel alone in the world although my heart goes out to everyone who has been disabled through whatever experience!I appreciate you for stopping by. Blessings!

katiem2 profile image

katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

What a lovely and inspiring tribute, My oldest brother lost his eyesight and became blind before his fourth child was born, a young man faced with the remainder of his life blind and he's been an inspiration to me and many, this story is both touching and inspiring. Thanks for sharing such a great account of Clark and his experience. Peace :)

Smireles profile image

Smireles 6 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you so much, Sheila B. I understand your feelings. I make it a practice to ignore most of the difficult movies that come on Lifetime or other such channels for the same reason. My brother has his problems but is is a great example of living life to the fullest in spite of great difficulties! Thanks for stopping by!

sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 6 years ago

I hesitated for a couple of days before reading this because, from the title, I thought it would be difficult to read. I expected it would be about the day-to-day trials such circumstances present. Instead, it was so wonderful to read about your brother and how he has made so much of his life and helped so many people. A wonderful story, a wonderful family.

Smireles profile image

Smireles 6 years ago from Texas Author

I know it sounds like a paradox to say that we are a family of dreamers who have a very practical side that views the world as it is and not as we would like it to be, but that is who we are. We do not waste time on the "what ifs". Thank you for your kind words. It is appreciated. Thanks so much.

Georzetta profile image

Georzetta 6 years ago from Pennsylvania

It has been my experience that the very best advocates for people with disabilities are people with disabilities who are living their life as if their disability is merely an aspect of who they are rather than the entire definition of their existence.

Your brother sounds as if he's managed this. It's no small feat. It's not just our own perceptions about who we are that must be dealt with but also everyone else's determination to stereotypes us.

Good for him and congratulations to your family. Disabilities never affect just one person. They are a family affair and for anyone with a disability to live successfully and happily, they must have family members and friends who are also strong and resilient. Bravo to you all.

Sissy Kincade 6 years ago

Sandra its been awhile since I have thought about the shooting. All I remember is mother falling to her knees in prayer when she was told. Thank you for writing Clarks story and reminding us that God is good and answers prayer.

Smireles profile image

Smireles 6 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you for your kind comments. You are right about blaming each other. Complete waste of time. But, you know the old saying "it takes two to tango". In other words both sides have to talk before Israel and Palestine make peace.

I read your quote on your blog:

'There is no value in letting your own life go because of an experience you have had. Be grateful what have you got and just get on with your life...with renewed passion. Every experience makes you more consious about getting out and doing what you enjoy doing.'

It made me think about my life. Thank you.

Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 6 years ago from Western Australia

Congratulation Smireles for making a hero, a true hero, not just another 'fashionable starlet from a magazine cover'. We live very individualistic life focusing more on oneself than each other, which brings lack of empathy and disingegement and easily slip to violence...thank you for bringing us back to right path...hopefully we learn.

Thank you also for answering my question on the hub about neverending conflict between Jews and Arabs. Maybe you are right, maybe I should voice my question differently, I have no intention to take side on this issue as I still think that the problem can not be solved if we just blame each other, neither side will move out so is it not better just stop blaming and start discussing and working on problem?

You are established author, maybe you should help me with some advice on my blogs/hub, if you have a time to spare: connetions

Smireles profile image

Smireles 6 years ago from Texas Author

Lisa HW, the three months I spent in the waiting room of Ben Taub Hospital opened my eyes to the senseless and violent attacks that happen every day. A man in the intensive care unit had been shot six times by someone he knew. A young man had walked outside his front door at midnight and was the victim of a drive by shooter. He was in the hospital two weeks and left in a wheel chair never to walk again. This was seventeen years ago. I can only imagine the level of violence today.

vox vocis profile image

vox vocis 6 years ago

It´s sad, what happened to Clark, but the life he is living after that tragical event is a joy and encouragement to all. A very touching hub!

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 6 years ago from Massachusetts

Needless to say, this story about your brother will help show others with similar injuries that a person can have a life in spite of it.

Still, it's disturbing to think anyone is living with such a disability because of this kind of senseless and violent attack.

SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

Thank you for the inspiring story!

Smireles profile image

Smireles 6 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you nasus loops for reading and commenting. I understand the difficulty you have believing in God, but for me and our family it is not a belief or concept that gets us through. For us God is a real part of our lives. We do not imagine that God heals us. We have real healings that are documented by the medical community. I promise you that anyone who is willing to take the leap of faith that is necessary for belief in God, it will be worth it. He is real...oh, so real!

Christi Jo, I am glad you read Uncle Clark's story. It is good to stop and take a look back occasionally.

nasus loops profile image

nasus loops 6 years ago from Fenland

Thank you for sharing this story with us Smireles. I myself find it hard to believe it God, but understand that for others it helps them find their strength to fight diseases and disabilities as Clark did. It is a shame that so many people in his shoes give up on a life that is not lost. I hope he and his family have many more years of happiness to come.

Christi 6 years ago

Aunt Sandra I have not thought about all of this in years! I still can't think about it or read your wonderful writing without crying. God is amazing!!

Smireles profile image

Smireles 6 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you, Cari Jean. It was a horrible shock at first but his family treats him like any person without a disability and that has saved him. We sometimes forget about his disability when talking to him.

Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND

Very inspiring. It's amazing what God can do, isn't it? My daughter has cerebral palsy but we sort of knew she may have complications from her premature birth. I cannot imagine have a completely healthy child and then something happening that would cause her to be in a wheelchair - I think that would be so much harder. Very impressive how Clark and his whole family handleled his situation. Thanks for sharing!

Smireles profile image

Smireles 6 years ago from Texas Author

Elayne001, sa`ge, and seamist, thank you all for your kind words and taking time to read Clark's story. He is strong and blessed. It is good to have a brother interested in giving back.

Rhonda, It is nice to meet you. Laura is a wonderful person and has been a blessing to our family. I admire her very much. Sandra

seamist profile image

seamist 6 years ago from Northern Minnesota

Hi Smireless

Thank you for sharing your brother's story. I can't imagine going through all of that without slipping into a deep depression; it must have been because God was with him. Considering his ministry now, it just goes to show people that even when you are disabled, God can still have plans for you.

Sa`ge profile image

Sa`ge 6 years ago from Barefoot Island

thanks for sharing, great strength and fortitude comes from difficult times, your brother is a very strong person. :)

Rhonda Towe 6 years ago

Thanks for sharing this story. It is amazing to see what God has done in Clarks' life. What that young man in the gang meant for evil, God has turned into good. His wittness is a very powerful one! I am proud to have him as part of our famiy. Thanks for sharing this with us all.

Rhonda Towe (wife of Don, Laura's sister)

elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

Your brother is such a good example to all of us. He put his trust in God and is blessing others throughout the world. Thank you so much for sharing. My own brother is a doctor and also helps others every day. We are very lucky to have great brothers.

Sandyspider profile image

Sandyspider 6 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

Very inspiring story of your brother. Thank you for sharing this.

Smireles profile image

Smireles 6 years ago from Texas Author

jj200, thank you for reading. Life has a way of bringing down the best of us. It is in these bottom out moments that we find our strength and learn exactly what we we have inside.

Tom, God is our refuge and ever present help in time of trouble. These are words that our family accept at face value. They are true.

Glenda, it is good to be reminded and look back at our landmarks from time to time!

Thank you all for reading and taking the time to comment.

Glenda 6 years ago

Wow! Its been awhile since I thought about Clark's story. Thanks for reminding me about the sustaining power of God.

Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 6 years ago from Moundsville, WV


This is both a tribute to the perseverance of your brother but also a great testimony to God's healing power in all our lives. Thank you for sharing your testimony.

jj200 profile image

jj200 6 years ago from My Bedroom

What a sad, yet inspiring story. Thank you for sharing and for spreading hope.

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