Christmas Miracles: Paralyzing injury devastates family in more than one way

This year is not anything close to the way Stephen Pehl and his wife Erin planned on spending this Christmas season, constantly working on physical therapy to make it possible for Stephen to keep moving.

HOUSTON – Each year, the Spencer Solves It Team at KPRC 2 brings Christmas joy to families who are in need around the Houston area. After a detailed search this year, we’ve found five families deserving of a little help this year for Christmas Miracles Week.

This year is not anything close to the way Stephen Pehl and his wife Erin planned on spending this Christmas season, constantly working on physical therapy to make it possible for Stephen to keep moving.

Six months ago, Stephen was nearly crushed to death on the job. He was helping to move a manufactured home that slipped off its support rods, crushing him underneath. Stephen broke his back in several places.

“The prognosis is we should prepare for him never to walk again, that there is a 0.2% chance he will ever regain some sort of feeling,” his wife said.

To make matters worse, at the time of the accident Stephen had no health insurance. He also hasn’t been able to work since the accident. Now, the family can’t get ahead of crushing mounting medical bills.

“The medical bills are over $375,000.00,” Erin said. “Things are literally paycheck to paycheck and I get disconnect notices every week. It’s just by the grace of God that they haven’t taken the car or turned out the lights.”

With less than two days before Christmas, The Pehl’s are agonizing over not being able to have a Christmas celebration for their two little girls who are eight-year-old Autumn and 10-year-old Lilly.

“I was the provider,” Stephen tells us. “So, with Erin having to do all that, it’s just really hard for me.”

Santa heard a little wish that the family needed help this Christmas. So, Bill and the Spencer Solves It team, with the help of Innovative Lasers of Houston owner Laura Alexis and Academy Sports + Outdoors, answered his call.

Alexis tells the family, “On behalf of myself and Innovative Lasers of Houston, please accept this check for $1,500 so you can buy a Christmas tree, ornaments and presents.

Erin replied, “Yes, absolutely! Thank you so much, you don’t know what this means.”

With the help of Academy Sports + Outdoors, each of the girls will get new bikes to ride, and a $1,000 gift card.

“Just thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” said Stephen.

Erin adds, “You have all come together to ensure the girls have a great Christmas, so thank you, really!”

Unfortunately, for our “Christmas Miracles” series, the Spencer Solves It team has chosen the families from the hundreds of emails. We look forward to continuing the series in 2023.


About the Author:

Emmy-winning investigative reporter, insanely competitive tennis player, skier, weightlifter, crazy rock & roll drummer (John Bonham is my hero). Husband to Veronica and loving cat father to Bella and Meemo.