ALLOUEZ — Seth Alfaro was found unconscious and not breathing. When he saw himself lying in a hospital bed, hooked up to machines, he knew he was in the presence of God.
Alfaro will be sharing his story of recovery and revelation at Lifest 2018 in Oshkosh on Saturday, July 14.
“I mean, it’s been the hardest year of my life no doubt,” he said, “but I hope that I was able to go through something like this so that other people don’t need to.”
On Feb. 13, 2017, Alfaro, now a 22-year-old hip-hop/ R&B artist and personal trainer, was scouting locations for a music video in Grand Rapids, Mich.
“As the sun was setting, me and a friend climbed on a roof to grab a glimpse of the sunset,” he said. “I made a jump from one landing down to another, about eight feet, when the roof just gave out underneath me on impact. I ended up falling through the building, falling two stories to concrete.”
He was resuscitated by paramedics and rushed to the hospital. Once there, he was put in a medically-induced coma and diagnosed with brain shearing — one of the worst brain injuries a person can have. His parents were informed by doctors that he could die from his injuries.
“They weren’t even sure if I’d ever wake up from the coma,” he said, “but something happened while I was in the coma.”
“I had different experiences with God and that’s part of what I’ll be talking about (at Lifest),” he said, “different things that God had revealed to me.”
Alfaro said he hopes that those who hear his message are able to take an honest look at how they are living their lives.
“When I was in my coma, I saw judgment,” he said. “I was in a line. It didn’t even make sense how long it was and there was a light at the very end and that’s where people were being judged.
“I was scared to death,” he said. “I felt like I didn’t deserve heaven.”
He saw all the times he could have chosen God, but did not.
“When we die, (God’s) not up there thinking about ‘Oh, should you go to heaven or hell?’ No. He already knows based on how you live your life,” he said. Alfaro explained that people know what these two lifestyles look like, so each person should evaluate their own.
While he was in the coma, doctors would pinch Alfaro or make verbal requests to look for signs of responsiveness. After finding none, they anticipated he would permanently remain in a state of vegetation and require lifelong care. Despite the doctors’ prognosis, his parents would sometimes see him respond to their requests. His father fought for him to be treated at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Center in Grand Rapids. Dr. Sam Ho, the chief of staff at Mary Free Bed, went out on a whim and accepted Alfaro as a patient.
“People were asking, ‘Why are you taking this kid?’” he said. “I was a hopeless case.”
Alfaro woke up two and a half weeks after the fall. Family members recount that as he awoke, he proclaimed that he lives only for God.
Alfaro was expected to spend at least 10 weeks at the rehabilitation center before going to assisted living for the rest of his life.
After four weeks, he was jogging in the hallways.
Alfaro attributes his quick recovery to God’s work, rather than his own.
“The therapist said they didn’t know how to plan for me because one day I wouldn’t be able to do something and the next, I’d be able to do it,” he said. “That’s just the power of God right there.”
Alfaro had to relearn basic actions, such as how to sit up, walk, talk, write and swallow.
When Alfaro was finally able to receive the Eucharist, a eucharistic minister was sent to his room. He and his mother were in the middle of a therapy session and he did not know he would be receiving. When his mother looked over at him, he was stricken with tears—filled with complete ecstasy and peace, he said.
“Right when I received the Eucharist, right when I put it in my mouth, I was instantly transported back with God,” he said. “I kid you not. It was just like what it was when I was in the coma.
“We have a miracle every Sunday, you know? We have a miracle every day,” he said. “So many people have rallied around the miracle that God worked through me through this accident, but we have these miracles every day and we take them for granted — all that God does for us.”
Alfaro felt the need to go and spread the good news to others after witnessing God’s constant work in his life and the life of others. He now speaks at different events and retreats. He said that at the end of the day, he will do whatever God asks of him and hopes all that he went through will help others.
“They can reassess how they’re living their life and understand, above everything else, that the relationship that you have with God is it’s just that. It’s a relationship, not a bunch of do’s and don’ts,” he said. “No, it’s a relationship between you and God.”
Alfaro is returning to music after taking a break. He is currently working on new songs and music videos, but every song he writes now has a message.
“A lot of people call my accident a tragedy, especially when I was going through it,” he said, “but it’s truly been a blessing.”
For more information about Lifest, visit lifest.com