The Saratoga Sun -

'Miracles still happen'


Erik Gantt

Becky Backen shares her miraculous journey in the new book "It's a God Thing, Volume 2: When Miracles Happen to Everyday People".

"With God it is all personal, He finds us where we live," said Saratoga resident Becky Backen.

Backen was hit by a train as a child. She not only lived to tell the tale, but has lived a wonderful life. Her story was recently published as a chapter in "It's a God Thing, Volume 2: When Miracles Happen to Everyday People."

Backen was in her father's semi-truck when they stalled on railroad tracks in Fresno, Calif. on June 7, 1973. She was one week shy of her 13th birthday. While stalled on the tracks, a train hit her side of the truck at approximately 60 miles per hour.

The medics found her face down in a ditch about 50 yards from the road, her injuries were extensive. She had several broken bones in her face, a detached right eye, broken ribs, a collapsed lung, broken thigh, a crushed ankle and had lost most of the muscle and shin bone on her lower right leg. On top of that, the doctors said her brain injuries would leave her in a permanent vegetative state, if she lived.

Backen said she told the story of being hit by a train and living with the aftermath many times over the years, but preparing the story for the book was the first time she had written it down.

Backen's heart stopped three times in the hospital, after the accident. While she was unconscious, Backen said she saw a glowing door. When she tried to open the door she was greeted by Joseph, who told her it was not her time to die. Joseph told her he would take her away when the pain got too bad, and he ended up visiting her three times.

Backen survived her injuries, but shows multiple scars from the accident, especially on her right leg.

Backen is now comfortable with her appearance, but there were times in the past when people made her feel bad about the way she looks. In one instance, when she was a teenager, Backen said she was wearing shorts at a grocery store when an old lady said "How dare you, how dare you make everybody look at that."

Backen has a sense of humor about her scars now. She has been known to tell people the massive scar on her right shin is from a shaving accident, and her dad used to tell people that he bit off her missing toe.

When asked what it feels like to be a published author, Backen said, "I'm just so tickled, I've been giggling,"

Backen said someone told her she should listen to K-LOVE radio, which she could only get streaming on the internet. When she visited the K-LOVE webpage, she saw an advertisement for people to submit stories of miracles that had happened to them.

Backen submitted a paragraph about her story late in 2013 and she was contacted by the publisher in January of 2014 asking for the full version of her story. After some editing and revisions Backen approved the draft of her story and it was published in the book.

When asked why she felt the urge to answer the call for stories from K-LOVE, Backen said "it's a good story about what I think God can do, miracles still happen ... and I said 'OK we'll talk about this one.'"

These days, Backen is very happy with her life. "I've got great kids, a great husband, life is good," she said.

Her broken pelvis left Backen with bone spurs that threatened to rupture her uterus if she became pregnant. On top of that, the doctors had told her the accident had made her sterile.

Despite the odds, Backen had her first daughter in 1989. When she went in for an ultrasound, fearing the worst, the bone spurs were gone. The doctors had no medical explanation for the disaapearence of the bone spurs. In 1991, Backen had a son and in 2003, another daughter.

Showing her sense of humor, Backen called the doctor when pregnant in 2002 because she was expecting symptoms of menopause, but felt something moving inside her. She told the doctor "you'd better check it out, it's either an octopus or a baby."

Backen has seen positive actions resulting from telling her story in the past. She rode in a bike-a-thon one time. After she completed the bike course, which was hard because of her leg injuries, an amputee in her neighborhood decided to start wearing his prosthetic leg. Soon after that, he started gardening again and began to live a more fulfilling life. He said that it was because he was inspired by her overcoming her injuries.

Faith and church are a still a regular part of Backen's life. She regularly attends Saratoga Alliance Church.

Backen has shared her story with her fellow church members, "Because to me it's miraculous, God touched me at least once and that's a miraculous thing."

Backen said she doesn't really give advice to people about how to deal with adversity but she does think, "I really believe that if you can stop looking at yourself all the time ... that helps. If you remove the focus from what you can't do and move the focus to what you still can do ... when we focus on our pain it just stays there. God finally let me move on."


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