Kansas man suddenly loses wife while recovering from church van crash

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SPRING HILL, Kan. (KAKE) -

Months after a Kansas man nearly died in a crash, he and his family are facing another tragedy. 

Tim Abbot was injured when a church van crashed in Bolivar, Missouri, in August. Then, just days after Christmas, the Spring Hill man's wife died suddenly, WDAF reports. 

Abbott said that God's plan doesn't always make sense at first.

"I don't remember us flipping around," he said. "I don't remember the rolls. I don't remember the crash. I don't have any memory of that."

Abbott accompanied a group of teens on a float trip from Faith Chapel Assembly of God in Overland Park on August 10. The Missouri Highway Patrol said the van was southbound on Highway 13 about five miles north of Bolivar when it blew a tire, overturned and hit a tree.

The patrol said three of the 13 people injured in the crash died:  14-year-old Hannah Foy, of Louisburg, 16-year-old David Martin, of Olathe, and 17-year-old Samara Bayse, of Stilwell.

Three others, including Abbott, were seriously injured, and seven others were hurt. Abbott had multiple injuries including a broken neck and a traumatic brain injury. 

As Tim recovered, Rachel, his wife of 12 years, took care of him along with their children.

On December 30, Rachel started experiencing what they thought was sinus pain similar to what she'd experienced in 2016, But in a matter of hours, she went into paralysis and died. 

"Why her and not me?" Abbott told the Kansas City Fox station. "I had an accident just five months ago. Why couldn't you spare the teens and take me instead?"

Doctors think she may have suffered a brain aneurysm.

"Maybe that's why God spared me," Abbott said. "He didn't want to have two kids without their parents." 

Rachel was an organ and tissue donor, and she was able to help six people after her death -- including through the gift of her heart.

Abbott still can't work or drive, and he doesn't know when doctors will clear him for either. He's going through intense physical therapy and is taking care of their three children with the help of family and friends.

If you would like to help the Abbott family, you can donate through an online fundraiser or find other options here.

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