Accident motivates woman to reunite with family after years of distancing herself

Renee and her entire family taking family portraits
Renee and her entire family taking family portraits
Renee Martin
Renee Martin

By Whitney Grunder - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – Renee Martin was leaving a class reunion last April when she ran off the road, flipping her vehicle multiple times.

Emergency workers found her without a pulse.

Renee survived. She says the accident changed her life forever.

"I know God brought me back to life. I should have been dead," said Martin. "They put me on the stretcher. One of the EMS guys found a faint heartbeat."

She broke her back, 13 ribs, and suffered internal bleeding, and now faces life paralyzed from the chest down.

"The doctor says I'll never walk again but I know I will. God's a big God."

Since her accident, Renee's life has taken a 180 degree turn.

"I had been drinking and partying and doing the things a divorced woman would do and I'll never go back to that," she said.

Renee says she found forgiveness in God's grace and new time spent with family after years of distancing herself.

"I was just running. Not going to any family functions or Christmas or Thanksgivings and this is the first one I've had with them in a long time."

Saturday, her entire family visited for a family portrait.

Her daughter Brandy Oehler, doesn't remember the last time the family united.

"She may not have been here and this may never have happened. Had her accident not had happened, we wouldn't be here," said Oehler.

Making the first of many new memories together, relationships are being rebuilt as loved ones surround Renee with love and compassion.

"God is the one who gave her a second chance to live and now live for him and God has reunited the entire family back together," said Tyrena Harvey, Renee's sister.

Renee says there's a lot of lost time to make up for and she's not taking a moment for granted.

Renee hopes to be out of the nursing home within a month, focusing on recovery and family.

If you'd like to stand behind Renee and support her goal to one day walk again, you can contact her sister, Tyrena Harvey at 979-216-7468  or and order a "walk by faith" t-shirt.

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