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After Near Fatal Accident, Mormon Missionary is Back in Tahiti — Still Smiling and Serving

Faith, Courage and Forgiveness Blesses Many Lives

20 year old Mormon missionary, Morgan Taylor, was hit by a car last December in Tahiti. She suffered traumatic brain injuries. After an induced coma, a series of surgeries and months of recovery she is back in Tahiti, serving the people she loves.

While Sister Morgan Taylor, a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was riding her bicycle home from a Latter-day Saint chapel just prior to Christmas 2013, the rear view mirror of an approaching car struck her missionary companion, knocking her down. As Morgan turned her head to see what happened, the car struck her full force throwing her into the air.

As a crowd of onlookers gathered around, an off-duty firefighter, trained in advanced first aid, stopped his car to see if he could be of assistance.

“I don’t believe in coincidences,” Sister Taylor said recently. “If he hadn’t been there at that place and that exact moment and happen to have all his emergency equipment with him, I probably wouldn’t be alive today.”

Sister Taylor learned that, “This man doesn’t have a religion, but amazingly when he saw me he started praying. He asked God to bless me so I could live. And then he asked God to bless him so he could help me live.” 

She said, “He thought about my family and thought about what he would do if I was his daughter, and he started doing CPR.”

Sister Taylor was rushed by ambulance to hospital where doctors and nurses began the work of traumatic emergency treatment.

Not expected to survive the accident, doctors advised Benjamin Sinjoux — who at that time was president of the Tahiti Papette Mission of the Church — that her parents be notified so they could fly to Tahiti as quickly as possible.

President Sinjoux’s wife, Tarita, said, “The missionaries are like our own children. When she was in hospital the doctors said to me, ‘We will do our best,’ and I said, ‘Yes I know that, but the Lord will bless her because she has great faith.’”

President Sinjoux added, “Sister Taylor was a great example of faith and determination and we knew, even with the situation she was in, that she was alive because of her faith and determination. She brings out that faith in other missionaries as well.” 

After Sister Taylor’s parents arrived in Tahiti they waited at her bedside for weeks. 

“My dad is a pharmacist, he works at a hospital," Sister Taylor says. "He took pictures of all the equipment they were using, all the medicines I was receiving. He said they did exactly what they should be doing. They were fantastic. My parents fell in love with the nurses. They are so thankful for all the care they were able to give me.”

News of the devastating accident spread quickly throughout Tahiti.  Pierre Bize, current president of the Tahiti Papeete Mission of the Church, said, “Members were very concerned because they love missionaries here. They’ve been here since 1844. They are considered very, very precious. To see one of them hurt really impacted the community—they felt responsible.”

“They unified to find the best possible outcome and so they prayed and they fasted,” he said. “I think it brought the community together to fast and pray for her. The community was very touched by her story.”

Sister Taylor explained, “When I was in the hospital in Tahiti every member of our Church was told about my accident. The members, they love missionaries, they understand how important it is to share the blessings we have.”

“In this Church we go without food for a period of time so we can receive more blessings, so we can receive the answers to our prayers,” said Sister Taylor.  “The Church members in Tahiti, and even some people who are not members of our Church, went without food and they prayed so I could get better…so I could stand up and walk again. And most importantly so I could come back here to Tahiti and be a missionary.”

The Taylor’s were anxious to get their daughter home to complete her recovery and have surgery on her broken pelvis. However, there was a problem. “I had brain surgery here (in Tahiti, so) I couldn’t go back to the United States. I couldn’t fly with my brain pressure so high.”

When the brain swelling decreased and she was well enough to travel, Sister Taylor returned home with her family. “I left the hospital in a wheel chair. My pelvis was broken,” she said. “I was 19 years old and I was going to have a new pelvis.”

After two weeks being home, Sister Taylor remembers, “I went into the doctor’s office and had more x-rays, then the doctor said, ‘Something strange has happened. Your pelvis is completely healed, you can walk right now.’”

“What a miracle that was,” she says. “I went in to schedule my pelvis reconstructive surgery and I left walking.” 

Prior to her doctor appointment in the US, Sister Taylor was told that after pelvis surgery, she would need extensive physical therapy to relearn how to walk and run.  “I’m a dancer,” she said, “and I would have had to relearn how to dance, but that didn’t happen. A week after I was told I could walk, I ran a mile. I’m still as flexible as I ever was. I still dance. I’m as good as new.”

Sister Taylor’s only desire was to complete her mission, serving the people she had grown to love. “I was given the option of serving stateside—staying in the United States and waiting until a blood clot in my jugular vein was gone,” she explained. “I thought about all the people I’d taught, all the members in the congregation that I loved, and I said, ‘I can’t go somewhere else, my home is in Tahiti. I have to come back to Tahiti. I love the people too much for that.’”

“If all the people in Tahiti were put in Boise, Idaho—two hours from my house—send me to Boise!” She said, “These people cannot be replaced. I love them. I will do anything for them.”

While waiting and recovering at home, she found an opportunity to do what she was called to do — serve and love people. 

“Back at home there was a family that moved from Haiti,” Sister Taylor says. “They had four little girls and they only spoke French. I was the only person who knew French. The school called and asked me to teach these little girls so they could understand.”

“If I hadn’t been hit by a car, I would not have been home. I would not have been there to help these four little girls and they would have been completely lost,” she said. “They would have gone to school and not understood anything.”

Eight months after the accident, when Sister Taylor returned to Tahiti, she was approached by a member of her church. He said he had someone he would like her to meet. “He introduced me to an older man,” she recalled. 

“He put his hand on my shoulder and he said, ‘Morgan.’ He knew my first name. He said one thing to me, ‘I’m the man who hit you. I am so sorry. Please forgive me.’ And he started crying.”

She continued: “I was looking forward to the day I could meet this man. I looked at him and I said, ‘I’ve never been mad at you…I forgive you, I forgive you.’ I gave him a hug and told him, ‘I love you.’”

“I don’t want this man—this grandpa—to feel like he almost killed a 19 year old girl for the rest of his life.” She said, “I want him to feel the peace that this gospel can bring him. I want him to be happy and let love heal.”

Sister Bize recalled, “She was able to see him in person, she really hugged him. You know, when you feel the physical act of forgiving it is good.”

“He thought the community would be against him but he felt so much love. This has helped him find closure for himself.”

President Bize said, “When we knew Sister Taylor was coming back, I felt we needed to give her a special assignment. I asked her if she was willing to do some firesides (devotional meetings) about her accident.”

“She gladly accepted to do that. The response has been extraordinary from people coming and wanting to hear her story.”

Sister Taylor feels that her accident opened the door for her “to help some more people.”

“Most importantly, it helped me. I am stronger now. I’m a better person now,” she says. “The blessings that have come from this are greater than anything that would have happened without this trial.”

Sister Kuhn, missionary companion to Sister Taylor, says, “I know that being put with Sister Taylor, God was thinking about me too, knowing she would help me. I have learned that through trials and through really hard things in life, we learn so much.” 

“She has helped me realize some things that I need to do too—to look at these bad experiences you have in life and use them to become better because that’s God’s plan. He loves every one of us.” 

Reflecting on her accident, Sister Taylor says, “If I had the opportunity to go back to December I wouldn’t change a thing about what happened to me. The blessings that have come from getting hit by a car are incredible. I was able to see…what happens when members of our church come together for one cause.”

Ever positive and always smiling, Sister Morgan Taylor sums up her experience: “If this experience can help just one person, I would do it again.”



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