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Testimony Tim D’Hooge


It happened nine year ago, 6 November 2010 exactly. I was ready to go to school by bicycle as usual. I would meet my friend on the way and we would continue together. At that moment the telephone rang: my friend suggested to take the bus because it was raining. From that moment I was in a hurry. I put quickly a sandwich in my mouth, put my schoolbag on my back and left my house while eating. The bus stop was not that far. It was on the other side of the ‘Brugse vaart’, a road with four lanes close to my house. I had bad luck: the traffic lights changed to red. I saw the bus coming and I did not want to miss it. Before I realized what I was doing, I ran on the road waving to get the attention of the bus driver. I do not remember what happened next. A girl who saw everything told me afterwards that I was knocked of my feet by a car in the middle of the road. I was immediately in a deep coma. I had a double fracture of the leg and a severe brain trauma. One of the arteries in my leg was ripped open. I was lying there more dead than alive.

I was sixteen years old when it happened. It was not going well at school. You do not want to know the things I did. Together with some others I set banks and curtains on fire and once I locked up a teacher. We sometimes made a fire on the playground to create bursts of flames with deodorant cans.

In fact, I was very rebellious. The problem was not with my parents. On the contrary, they were devoted Christians. Of course they took my brothers and me to church. During a children’s camp of the Flemish Pentecostal youth movement I deliberately decided to become a Christian.

When I was a teenager I had quite some contact with the boy next door. He loved hardcore and metal. We listened for hours to this music. Gradually I fell under the spell of a heavy spirit and gothic-like metal. In fact, it became my idol and I felt how my trust in God was disappearing. I lived two lives. I was a holy person in the eyes of my parents and on Sundays in church. But when my parents and the church were not around I was a totally different Tim. I sometimes prayed, but I did not want to listen to God because I knew He would point out the things I was doing wrong. I was disappointed in God, because once I asked Him in an impulse to help me breaking with the bad music, but I did not succeed (now I know the reason, I tried it on my own and that did not work). To be honest, I knew that I was wrong.

A second reason for crossing the road so suddenly was that I had already been two times late at school. A third time too late would result in a punishment. I was afraid that it would reveal my double life.

The ambulance took me to the hospital, where they started immediately to operate on me. A pin was put in my leg and on two spots in my head holes were cut to let water and blood flow away. They decided to put me in an artificial coma. My parents were informed by the police. My mother was the first to visit me. The said here bluntly that she had to prepare for the worst because I would not survive. The whole church was informed and people started to pray. The pastor and the youth pastor sent an email to their entire address book with the request to pray for me. A lot of people knew about this life-threating situation. Even in the US I was prayed for. Replies came in and showed that different people without knowing it from each other had the impression that God would perform a miracle.

My pastor, Paul Van Kesteren, passed the passage Psalm 91:14-16 where the Lord says ‘I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honour him… Look it up on an occasion. My parents spoke these words over every time they visited me. They did that for weeks. My parents were very encouraged by the many reactions. It strengthened their faith that God would pull me though. It give peace amidst adversity. My parents made sure there was Christian Music playing in my room instead of MTV (the channel that the nurses always put on).

Three days after my operation I was in a crisis. I continued to lose a lot of blood and I had high fever. The reason was untraceable. First they thought it was a kidney problem, because they were not functioning well. In the end they discovered that the artery in my leg that was ripped open was the problem. The medical staff discussed an amputation of the leg but luckily that did not went through. 

Meanwhile, people continued to pray. Of course I heard all this later. I have been in a deep coma for five weeks. The high fever remained due to an infection in my brain and they applied artificial respiration to me. At a certain moment my condition stabilised and I was in a sub-comatose state. In this state you lay down staring, but you cannot do anything else. You are fed and you wear diapers. One time when my parents and brothers were visiting me once again, my father started to make fun with a wheelchair that stood in my room. At a certain moment I started laughing. On that moment I woke up from the coma. I got gradually better. I was like a hothouse plant and I had the typical characteristics of such a person: hollow, pale en due to a bruised brain stem I was spiritually absent. The photos of that time are not to be seen. Doctors said that I would spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair. But my parents kept on holding fast to God’s promises.

Despite a long waiting list I got a room in the rehabilitation department of the university hospital. This was a huge miracle my parents had prayed for. In that department the long rehabilitation process started. I had to relearn everything. One day I saw a familiar face on the department. It was Désiré Naesens, a journalist of the Flemish public television station. He wanted to make a documentary on road victims.  They considered my an excellent example to warn young people in the style of ‘this an example of how you can end when you have a reckless attitude in traffic.’ But thank God for His miracle and for the good outcome.

It has been a whole process, but I am still alive and there is even more, I am completely well. The pin is still in my leg, but on 5 October 2009 I ran the half marathon of Brussels. My spiritual situation is also well. My life could have been in a complete different situation because of the bruised brain stem. God did answer prayers and I am alive and kicking. I got my degree in religious science at the University of Leuven and I am a teacher in Protestants-Evangelical catechism for two years in two secondary schools and one primary school.

I realised already during the rehabilitation process that God had given me a second chance. I discussed this with my father and in May 2011 I was baptized.

This is why I wrote down my testimony: so that everyone would know that God is the God of miracles. He healed me and He wants to heal you as well. Maybe you are living a double life just like me in the past. I experienced that this brings you into trouble. Surrender completely to God. You will never regret your choice.


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