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Dairy industry rallies around injured couple

By Melissa Hart

The show was in full swing in Louisville, Ky. Cattle were in the ring, we were posting photos and placings and all seemed to be clicking along nicely when I received a text from an Ohio gal asking me what was wrong with a mutual friend. I responded that I had no idea and kept on working. A little later I had a few minutes and decided to ask someone who would definitely be in the know. And she was. A young couple in the dairy industry had been in a terrible accident. He was being taken to the local hospital and she was being life-flighted to a major hospital with extended injuries.

Within minutes seemingly everyone at the show knew what was going on and prayer ignited. Every few hours someone would ask if anyone had heard any updates. Texts, social media posts and word of mouth had spread the news far and wide and everyone who knew these two young people were praying for them.

A week later social media was lit up with fundraising efforts for the families by hometown friends and family. The young man, Matt Oechsle, had been released from the hospital, but his girlfriend, Kenzie Ray, was in critical condition with a grave prognosis. A Kenzie Strong Facebook page was started and updates were provided by the family as they watched for any sign of improvement from their girl. Just before Thanksgiving the family posted they would be bringing Kenzie home, not to recover but to spend her last days on earth in the comfort of her own home, surrounded by family. There was nothing left for the medical community to do for her. But prayer warriors knew with God anything is possible and they stormed the gates of heaven on behalf of young Kenzie.

Then as if on cue from a dramatic movie, Thanksgiving Day brought this Facebook post from the family:

“On Monday evening, within the hour of Kenzie returning home, we noticed an immediate change. She woke up and responded to us with a few, small words. It was a small response but very significant. She is still in serious condition, but we see fight in her we have not witnessed before. We believe God is working miracles with her. Our prayers are being heard. With the help of some very generous, trained volunteers, we were able to quickly transport her back to Lutheran Hospital where she is undergoing further tests and evaluation. Our small community, through the prayers, have lifted our girl up in ways we could have never imagined….”

On Dec. 2, Kenzie was taken to a world renown rehab facility in Chicago to begin the work of rehabilitation. The people prayed and God answered.

If this had been a Hallmark movie, you would have shaken your head and said, “Yep, I saw that comin’ a mile away.”  But this is real life and nothing short of a God-sized miracle from the throne of Heaven.

The dairy industry has rallied around these two young people with prayer and kindness and on Dec. 6, they sold six donated embryos for $12,500 at the Music City Celebration Sale for their benefit. The people who get up every morning to take care of a herd of cows 365 days a year and fight to stay on the farm are the same ones who will look past their own needs to serve the needs of others without blinking an eye.

It took the faith of a legion of prayer warriors to bring hope to a situation where love was extended. And now these three remain; faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.