‘Dead’ Man Found Alive – An Update on Daniel Huf

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By now, everyone has probably heard about Daniel Huf- the man who was declared ‘dead’ but was later found to be alive. The story has spread like wildfire all across the world thanks to the shock value of the headline.

A gorgeous photo of Daniel courtesy of the Huf family

The media interest in the story in Australia has been pretty intense, mostly due to the politics involved in the situation. The CEO of Ambulance Victoria claims the two paramedics were at fault as they did not follow “strict criteria” in determining whether the patient was still alive. The way the situation was handled from a PR perspective has understandably upset many paramedics out there who feel that they’re not being heard or supported by their own management. There is a lot of heated debate on the Internet about what should have or shouldn’t have gone on that day and whether the media and public has been presented with all the right facts concerning paramedic procedures and education to make an informed judgment.

In the midst of the media blitz, I feel that the greater story is being left behind. I had the privilege of meeting the Huf family in person, and they are such warm, loving, positive people. Reading the story in the media, you might feel horrified for them and think “oh no what a terrible thing to happen”. But in reality, they don’t want anyone to feel that this has been a terrible tragedy because it’s not one. A tragedy has not occurred, a MIRACLE has. This is the story of a man who shouldn’t have been here, but by the grace of God, he was saved.

Despite the information that they have been given, the family in no way blame the two paramedics. In fact, it’s quite the opposite: they are extremely grateful. With all the finger pointing going on, everyone seems to have forgotten one thing: these two paramedics SAVED Daniel’s life. They came back to the scene and they worked tirelessly on him all the way to the hospital. Had they not done their job, Daniel might not be alive today. These guys go out and save people day in and day out. And now, they are being crucified because they possibly made one mistake.

I say ‘possibly’ because none of us know what really happened out there on the field that day. We can speculate, but we don’t know. The family is not ruling out the possibility that Daniel indeed died and was later resurrected. Whether or not the paramedics made the right decisions in hindsight, they did it to the best of their abilities in that moment. They didn’t go out and intentionally defy orders or purposely make a mistake. They were not out to kill anyone. They went out there to save a person. Once these guys realized there was a definite glimmer of life, they worked valiantly to keep him going. If I was in trouble, I know I’d be glad to see these guys.

Even if the paramedics did make a mistake, who are we to judge? We are all human and even when we do our best, we sometimes commit errors. Healthcare workers aren’t supernatural beings. The human body can be a strange and mysterious thing. And of course, we serve a God of the miraculous. In health, things are hardly ever black and white. Try as we might to create a standard template, there really isn’t one for every case. The rest of us are only so lucky that our jobs don’t involve life and death.

If Daniel’s family isn’t blaming anyone, we certainly don’t have the right to. All we can do is move on and figure out how we can learn from this incident. We’ll probably never know what exactly went down that early morning, but what we do know is that Daniel is alive today thanks to the grace of God and the skill of all the healthcare workers involved. He has been recovering in leaps and bounds and was moved out the ICU to the wards after my visit.

There’s still a long way to go but his progress so far has been nothing short of a miracle. When I visited and was introduced to him, he actually fluttered his fingers at me in a wave. I’m no healthcare professional but I found his responsiveness to people and the fact that he can move his fingers individually pretty remarkable. He seems to recognize his family and friends and tries to shake or nod his head in response to questions. He is even able to bounce a ball off the walls (his parents now try to keep it away from him). Underneath the tubes and lines, there is great hope for an intact mind. It was very heartwarming seeing the interaction between him and his parents. The love between them is obvious and his parents never waivered in sounding upbeat when talking to him- it was inspiring. It made me feel that if they can be so positive in such a hard situation, I have no right to feel discouraged about all the little things happening in my life.

You can truly see the hand of God moving in their family. Instead of mourning, they have chosen to dance. They have chosen to make light come out of what could’ve been a very dark place. Instead of being just another story in the papers filled with sadness and anger, they want to send out a message of grace and hope.

This event has brought so many people together and strengthened everyone’s faith. Even people who have been drifting away from God have been spurred to turn back after seeing the miracle that is taking place. I, for one, have been incredibly blessed by the privilege of meeting Daniel and his parents and seeing their faith in action. It’s truly encouraged me to surrender to God and live the life that he has planned for me. God bless their family for going through this so that so many of us could be touched and inspired.

It’s very obvious that there’s a greater plan involved in all this. But you know what? It’s always a conscious decision to be a part of greatness. God has great plans for each and every one of us but some of us are too afraid to step into it. In the Huf family’s case, they could’ve easily chosen to get upset and be caught up in the what ifs and why mes like most of us would’ve probably done. They could’ve chosen to vent to the media or take the matter to the courts and none of us would have blamed them. However, instead they chose to surrender to God and put their full trust in Him. They chose to respond to everything with understanding, gratitude, and love. Because of that, they released the greatness which God had planned for them. They took the opportunity to show the world that God is well and truly alive and working miracles. They chose to turn a bleak situation around and make it a blessing.

At the end of the day, we cannot change the past but we can choose to create a better future. We should be thinking that this is a great case to learn from as there was a positive outcome. Instead of being critical, we should be trying to figure out how we can better support our paramedics to ensure that a true tragedy doesn’t happen in the future. If anyone out there knows how the general public can help, I’d appreciate hearing about it.

Should the two paramedics ever get the chance to read this, I urge them to accept the invitation of the family to visit. I understand that it is probably too confronting at the moment. However, be assured that the family feels nothing but love and appreciation. They truly believe that God has used you both to help them and to be a part of a greater plan. I think it will encourage you just to be in their presence and it will release you to keep doing great work in the future. I can only imagine the trauma you have gone through and I think it would be such a pity if we lost two “special people” (as Daniel’s mother called paramedics when talking to me) from the field due to this case where you actually did good for someone.

And to everyone else, lets take it as a lesson to not be quick to judge and to choose to see the best in every person and every situation we come across. Allow your faith to rise to another level as a result of this event and praise God through every circumstance. Even in the darkest valleys, God is still there. You might not feel Him all the time, but His word says He will never leave us or forsake us. Lift up a shout of praise and something will start to shift in the atmosphere. No matter what we’re going through, we have the opportunity to turn it around and make it shine. We have the choice to speak life into a situation that seems hopeless. It might not be the way you imagined, but take a step of faith and realize that it might turn out to be even greater than anything you could have ever have imagined.

Daniel is showing a lot of promise but nothing can be accomplished without prayer so let us not be complacent. Keep praying with the family for a full recovery and thank God in advance for the miracles that are about to happen. Glory be to He who holds Daniel and us all in His arms.