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.
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."
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.
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!
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:
- The Philippines
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 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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