Published On: Fri, Jan 27th, 2017

Miracle survivor Larry Desjarlais points to Gideon Bible in hospital room for journey to his ‘new life’

Larry Desjarlais was looking to end his life when he jumped from a moving vehicle nearly 3-1/2 years ago and now discusses his relationship to God and conversion in the hospital.

“This story has to be told,” said Desjarlais in the interview published by Minot Daily News, explaining that he thought death was the answer, but God had a different plan. “I want to make every person I meet better – or at least try,” he said.

It was Aug. 7, 2013 when the police was transferring him from Rugby to Bismarck. Drunk and depressed, Desjarlais was separated from his daughter and saw the highway.

“So when I found out that door opened – I couldn’t live without my baby – I went head first onto the highway,” he said. “They thought I would be a vegetable and a quadrupalegic the rest of my life. But that’s not so,” he said.

After a month on life support he awoke from his coma.


“He’s a total miracle from God,” said his aunt Bev Desjarlais, St. John, who was among family members who kept vigil at the hospital, expecting the worst. “No human being should have lived through what he went through.”

Between therapy sessions, Larry Desjarlais began reading the Gideon’s Bible in his hospital room.

“I was never closer with God than any time in my life,” he said.

Now Desjarlais ended his “streak” of homelessness and his battle with alcohol.


He spent two months in North Carolina at the invitation of his aunt there before returning to North Dakota, first to Minot and later to Bismarck. He struggled to escape his past, plagued by arrests and jail time.

“Something told me to go to the hospital. I was thinking about suicide again, but I promised God I can’t do that,” Desjarlais said.

He entered the behavioral health ward in Minot and received alcohol addiction treatment at North Central Human Services. He said he has been sober for three months.

“I have a different view on life,” he said.

Bev Desjarlais said it has been difficult to watch her nephew struggle with alcohol and bad choices so it is encouraging to find him on a better path.

“That’s the big thing – to stay sober,” she said.

Larry Desjarlais continues to deal with the aftermath of his physical injuries but is developing a relationship with his 3-year-old daughter and is optimistic about his future. His passion is his writing. He offers this sample of his verse:

“No matter what I am living,

This is what I’ve got.

Sun rises every day on all,

But don’t ever let the moon’s rising ever let you fall.

Nevertheless, I get back what I’m giving.

If it were anything less, this, my friend, wouldn’t be living.”


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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at theglobaldispatch@gmail ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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