CHILD’S NEAR FATAL ACCIDENT LEADS
TO LIFETIME MINISTRY OF SONG
July 10, 1946 was one of the most exciting days in this little boy’s life. The twelve-year-old was going to his first CALGARY Stampede. The tension rose as he neared the gate and heard the sounds of country music. He was so overwhelmed by the dazzling display he started to run ahead of his group. His older brother Paul chuckled remembering the thrill of his first time. Little did either of them know there was a drunk behind the wheel of a stock truck swerving out of control directly into the little boy’s path. Paul looked on in horror as his brother was knocked to the ground and crushed by the dual-wheeled truck. Onlookers frantically ran to the boy’s side. But one glance at his crushed pelvis and abdominal injuries made most of them shake their heads. How could he survive being run over by a two-ton truck that left his pelvis broken, his rectum ripped open and drained almost every ounce of blood from his small body? The boy lost six pints of blood, a situation from which most adults would never recover. Yet, despite his grave injuries this young fellow never lost consciousness. He never lost his voice. He never lost his faith. As he lay lifeless in a pool of blood he called out. "Oh Lord, don’t let me die. If you spare my life and let me live, I’ll sing for you the rest of life."
No one doubted the boy’s intentions or faith. He committed his devotion to Christ as Savior long ago when he first started singing at four years of age. In fact, his mother always said, "You’re like my sewing machine, a Singer." But the medical establishment did not share his belief in miracles. After he was rushed to the Calgary General Hospital and his parents were contacted at their farm – located at Carstairs, Alberta – Dr. Townsend presented the grim prognosis. The bone specialist pulled his mother and father aside to tell them their little boy would probably not live to see another day. If the parents would authorize a colostomy the young lad might have a 50-50 chance of survival, but would never lead a normal life. The boy had the surgery and woke up in the morning flat on his back with his parents at his side. A combination of the intense pain emanating from his back and side and the sight of his father weeping reinforced the seriousness of his condition. Still, he clung to his faith and to the promise he had made to God. His mother offered her support by holding vigil at the hospital every day for the next six months.
Throughout his recovery the 12–year-old faced two conflicting opinions about his future. The doctors, who were amazed that he’d lived through the surgery, predicted he would never be able to live a normal life because he would always require artificial means to rid his body of waste. But, Rev. Frank Kosick of a downtown Calgary Church sided with the faith of the boy and his parents. Every day for three weeks the pastor came to his bedside to pray for God’s healing grace. Every day the young boy, racked with pain and unable to move, reinforced his promise to sing gospel for the rest of his life in exchange for his life. It was a powerful plea that soon spread to the community. Soon people from all over Alberta were praying for his recovery. Six months later the patient left the hospital on crutches and six weeks later, the boy the doctors claimed would never walk unassisted abandoned his crutches.
Still, the 13-year-old’s colostomy did not provide him with the freedom to run and play ball with the other kids. There were always problems, always accidents with the colostomy. The boy’s sympathetic father took him in for a check up in the hopes the doctor could offer him life without the colostomy. Surgery, said the doctor, was almost certain to fail at providing the boy with any form of self control. All the way back to the farm the boy thought about how his faith in God had proved the doctors prognosis wrong once before. With his promise to sing in place, he was certain God would see him through this final journey to full health. After talking with his parents, they agreed to let him undergo a sixth surgical procedure aimed at eliminating the colostomy. When he awoke and found out he was still wearing a colostomy his faith did not waver. Within a year of the reconstructive surgery he convinced his parents that his tired little body would work on its own if they would allow him to put away the colostomy. As a result, within two years of the terrible accident that most thought would claim his life or leave him crippled, the boy was not only walking on his own two feet, but was free of the colostomy!
By the time he became 18, the young man was more convinced than ever of the power of prayer. His body was healed. It was time to get on with living the normal life the doctors claimed he would never have and spreading the good word. He knew he couldn’t remain on his parent’s farm. The doctor had told him the work of pitching straw, hauling hay and milking cows was more than his body could handle. To this day to believe his move to Calgary led him to more of God’s blessings. One Sunday in 1954 at a church service in downtown Calgary he saw his future bride. "There she was," he says, "playing violin and singing in a trio." When they met after the service she invited him to sing with her in the garden of a Scottish nursing home. "We sang together on the day we met," he remembers. Now fulfilling his promise became a family affair. The couple put out their gospel album entitled Some Day in 1964 and have been singing together for almost 50 years. When their three girls – Connie, Bonnie and Dolores – come along they were added to the group and put out their first album in 1978. "We sang in more nursing and seniors homes than any family I know", he says.
In 1954 when the money ran out for attendance at Calgary’s Berean Bible College this same young man took a sales job at a shoe store that led to a career in life insurance. A customer was so impressed with his sales acumen he invited him to join his firm. The young man went on to work for Empire Life for 40 years. In that time he not only carried on with a normal career, but distinguished himself by winning the National Quality Award for 32 consecutive years and achieving lifetime membership at the Million Dollars Round Table. He continued to fulfill his promise by using his business travel to sing whenever and wherever he could.
As you may have guessed that boy who was left for dead by a hit and run driver back in 1946 is the man called Fred Fleck who you see before you today. The broken child has grown into a whole man with a life blessed with good health, a loving family, modest business success and now grandchildren. But by far the part of his life of which he is most proud is the fulfillment of his promise to the Lord. Before and after his retirement he has been presented with many opportunities to sing the Lord’s praises and share his story. He has sung for the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, the Korean President and Israeli Army General next to the Sea of Galilee and at a Blue Jay pre-season game in Florida. In fact, Fred travels extensively in Canada and the United States fulfilling up to 100 requests a year, including stints as a singing Santa Claus. The proceeds of his concerts are used to buy Bibles for shipment to the former Soviet Union.
"Every day I thank my Lord and Savior for sparing my life and for the gift of song", says Fred. "He gave me this verse from Romans 8:38 and 39 many years ago that I have been singing for 40 years."
FOR I AM PERSUADED
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor principalities, nor angels, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor heights, nor depths, nor any other creatures shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus my Lord and that is the Christian’s hope.
If you would like more information about Fred Fleck’s story or music or would like to request an appearance call toll free 1-800-547-2881 or write to the address below:
Fred & Muriel Fleck
339 Rocky Ridge Dr. NW
Calgary, Alberta Canada
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