Prayer List

 

Let us pray to the Lord.

As Orthodox Christians, we are called to pray for one another. This page is our "Prayer List." Please keep the people listed on this page in your prayers. If you would like to be added to the prayer list or would like to add someone, please e-mail the name(s) so that they may be included. Please be sure to send notification as to when to remove name(s) from the prayer list; otherwise the request will be removed after 3 months. Thank you.
 
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Please pray for our brother in Christ, Fr. Manuel Burdusi, husband of Presv. Molly (Malama Angeliki) Burdusi. By the Grace of God Father survived a horrific accident on November 14, 2023. Please pray for a full recovery and prayers of thanksgiving for his survival. Please ask your husbands to include their names in their liturgical and personal prayers. Please see below for an accounting of the accident, written by Fr. Manuel.
 
Nothing Short of Miracles
By Fr. Manuel J. Burdusi
 
Let me preface by saying that I am grateful to be alive. It has taken me three weeks to be able to sit down and write about the most horrific night of my entire life of 61 years. It was the evening of November 14th and I was returning home from a late night meeting at church.  During the meeting a young man called my cell and wanted to talk and for me to pray for him. I told him I was finishing up the meeting and that I can call him while I’m driving home from church. It was about 10 p.m. I secured the church building and got into my car.  I called the young man and we spoke for about 15 minutes and I wanted to conclude with a prayer. I was tired from the day and just didn’t have it in me to pray extemporaneously from the top of my head, so I told him I will get my prayer book from the back seat to read him prayers. Fr. Evagoras Constantinidis of blessed memory has a beautiful prayer book for priests with a selection of many different prayers not found in other books. I tried to get the book reaching back with my hand but it was out of my reach. So I told the young man I will pull over to the shoulder to get the book and pray for him. 
 
I got out of the car and went to the back door to open it and get the prayer book. As I was opening the door, the car starts to pull away and I panicked and began to hurry along the car to jump into the driver’s seat and put the brake on. I didn’t want my car to have another accident, because I have had 4 in the last 6 years. As I was trying to get into the front seat of the car, I tripped and fell face down onto the ground. The car continued to move and ran over my right leg and stopped right on the back of my knee. The weight of the car was unbelievably heavy and I could not get out from under the weight of the car. The tire had pinned me down as I struggled to try and move but I couldn’t. I began to yell for help for someone to stop and help me or call 911. It was very dark on that part of 295 north between Lanham and Laurel. Not only was it dark, but I was dressed in all black and pinned under the car, so many cars passed by but I guess they did not see me laying on the ground, so they didn’t stop. I was yelling with all my strength for help but I guess no one could hear me.  It was chilly and people did not have their windows open and if the radio was on, they could not hear my cries for help. Time was crucial and of the essence, because the weight of the car was pressing on my leg and my leg became  numb. I felt so alone and abandoned as no one would stop to help. My hazard lights were not on and no one could see I was in distress.
In addition my arms were outstretched and were in the highway, not in the breakdown shoulder lane. Time was going slower and slower as the seconds felt like minutes and the minutes felt like hours. The pain began to be so excruciating and unbearable. With tears I prayed to my Lord for help, to send someone, a good Samaritan to help me. 
 
Finally someone pulled over but they were overcome with fear and horror and did not get out of their car but they did call 911. The paramedic informed me a week after the accident that from the time of the call to 911 until the time the fire department was able to hydraulically lift the car off of me, it was a total of 25 minutes. It seemed longer because I could not sense how much time went by before the person stopped. During the time I was alone under the car I asked the Lord to help me and to send angels to protect me from the other cars speeding by so they don’t hit me and kill me. (Miracle #1) As time went on my entire right leg was numb and I could not feel my toes, but I still could feel the weight of the car on me. Most of the injuries that I sustained were from me trying to break away from being under the tire. Again I panicked thinking that I was going to have to have my leg amputated if help did not come soon. I asked God to send angels to hold the car up just a little, enough so that the car would not crush me or do more damage to my legs than what already happened. (Miracle #2) That part of 295 is patrolled by the National Park Police of Washington D.C. and a police officer finally arrived to inform me that the ambulance and fire truck were on their way.  Even though the police officer could not do anything for me, just his presence was a comfort and I knew from that point on, I wasn’t alone and that help was soon to arrive. 
As I reflect back on that night, help was always there and I was never alone. Even though I may have felt alone, the reality of things was different. I wasn’t alone for the Lord was with me and also St. Nicholas the protector of travelers and St. Theodore, from where I had just left 15 minutes ago.  Once the paramedic was by my side I became calm and I was grateful to be alive. The fire department had to hydraulically lift my SUV off of my leg to free me and place me on the stretcher. I was told that anyone that is run over by a car is immediately taken to Maryland Shock Trauma. Over my 35 years of ministry, I have been to Shock Trauma many times to minister to parishioners who were suffering there, but this was the first time I went as a victim of a horrible incident. The 30 minute drive to the hospital only took 15 minutes as the ambulance hurried its way up 295 and into the best facility Maryland has to offer. And they surely know what they are doing there. A team of 15 people awaited me to tend to my sustained injuries. I am grateful to the many talented people of shock trauma and their dedication to their professions. X-rays from head to toe were taken, a doppler study on my leg’s vascular system of veins and arteries. Miraculously everything was coming back fine. They were baffled as the paramedic gave them the scenario of the accident, critical but thank God, not life threatening. Not a bone in my body was broken and full circulation and feeling returned to my right leg while I was in the ambulance. (Miracle # 3)  I have always admired and have high respect for both firemen, paramedics and trauma doctors and nurses, but I am indebted to the men and women who came to my rescue and saved me.
 
I spent two days in Shock Trauma and it is nothing short of a fourth miracle that I walked out of there; not in a wheelchair or a body bag, but on my two feet. Since that night it has been a rough road. My recovery has been slow, complicated, and painful. My knee and entire leg swelled up days after the accident.  I’m in a knee brace and have been in a lot of pain. I was told to tolerate the pain as best as I can and to take ibuprofen or Tylenol. My entire leg became bruised, black and blue from my hip to my ankle. I’ve seen an orthopedic specialist for torn cartilage in my knee. I was trying my hardest to get out from under the car and I sustained those injuries trying to do that. I will be starting physical therapy to strengthen my knee and down the road I may need surgery to help with the pain. They did find significant arthritis in my knee and I may need a replacement a couple of years down the road. I’ve also seen a podiatrist for the large wound on my heel. Apparently when they dragged me out from under my car, my heel was exposed and it has a large contusion and gash in it. It is healing very slowly. As long as I don’t develop an infection or have any problems with the bone of heel, I should be without any lasting repercussions.
 
So I’ve learned a couple new things now later in life. I am never exiting a car on a highway or anywhere from the time I leave the church til the time I get into my driveway at home.  I’ve also become more sensitive to the needs of those who are on the shoulders or breakdown lanes of our roads. I will help if I can, but without putting my life in any danger. Rushing and carelessness are the main causes of accidents. It doesn’t pay to rush, because when you rush, your chances of forgetting what to do increase. And the last thing is that everything can be accomplished in proper due time. May the patron saint of travelers, whose memory we will commemorate on Dec 5 and 6, St. Nicholas protect you and keep you shielded from any harm or danger. The saints are present with us and the angels ready to assist when we call on them. Maybe not in a miraculous apparent way, but a subtle gentle way, they are there for us. Have a good and blessed December everyone!

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