Husband’s life-threatening injury leads Williamson to write book

Published 11:00 am Saturday, February 4, 2023

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Rachel Williamson never envisioned herself as a writer, but after her husband survived a life-threatening accident, she longs to give others hope through her first book.

In the book titled “Fear Gripped My Heart,” she puts words to sorrow and shares the raw emotion of their journey.

Heath Williamson, Rachel’s husband of 16 years, was one of the PowerSouth linemen injured during a high-voltage electrical accident in January 2021 in Coffee County. Heath was life-flighted to University Hospital in Mobile, where they spent a few days short of three months. Heath has had 22 surgeries since the day of the accident. Rachel kept a journal for the entirety of their hospital stay, and many of the journal entries are included in her book.

“After coming home from the hospital, I found myself in a very dark place emotionally and began sharing some of the struggles and the pain that remain long after leaving the hospital. At times, it felt as though our family was being pulled apart at the seams,” she said.

She explained that the primary reason for writing her first book was for her own personal healing.

“As the book neared completion, I hoped it might be a source of hope and encouragement to others who are going through difficult situations. Every struggle is different, but I am beginning to understand that many of the emotions experienced in the midst of trials are the same. I want people to see that there is hope even in the darkest of times if they will turn to the Lord during their grief and sorrow.”

Rachel added that the book is not about her family on a personal level but more so about the power of God.

“The deep scars on Heath’s right leg and on the bottoms of both feet, along with the loss of feeling and function in his right hand, should remind us of the miracle he is walking around. Each one of us should be reminded that God spared not only our families but also this community by saving the lives of the two PowerSouth linemen involved just over two years ago.”

The two-year anniversary of the accident was Saturday, Jan. 28. According to her, a lot has happened in the last two years.

“I have experienced more emotions in two years than I even knew I was capable of feeling. All in all, there is no explanation for why Heath survived apart from the Lord’s intervention. The amount of voltage he was exposed to should have killed him instantly,” Rachel said.

According to her, there was no way to know the full extent of her husband’s injuries if he did ultimately survive.

“I put a wall around my heart to lessen the severity of the pain. I removed myself from everything emotionally. It was not until I began writing the book I began to realize my daily, subconscious anticipation of Heath’s death, even after they were back home from the hospital,” she said.

The family recently visited the scene of the incident. Rachel described that trip as a way to celebrate the Lord’s mercy towards their family.

“Heath took us back to the place of the accident and told the kids the story again and how God intervened to save his life. He reminded them that we must always remind each other of God’s goodness lest we forget what He has done. I guess I feel like having the story written down will help us remember.”

“Fear Gripped My Heart” is available for purchase on Amazon and locally at the Bluebird Coffee Shop in downtown Andalusia.

“It has never been my desire to make money on the book, but I feel like it is a way for me to share what God has done for me,” Rachel said.

Heath and some of the couple’s children also wrote excerpts for the book.

“Closing my eyes in what I thought was certain death, and God choosing to spare my life has given me a better understanding of what the apostle Paul meant when he said, ‘for me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.’ Every day that we live here on this earth is an opportunity to worship and bring honor to the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,” Heath said.

Heath and Rachel Williamson live in the Straughn community and are the parents to six children: Maddie, 15; Allyx, 13; Maci, 12; Ollie, 9; Ridge, 6; and Jules, 3.