Katie Lentz, 19, was involved in a serious car accident that led to a search for a man known only as the "angel priest." Now the accident survivor is speaking out about her faith and the healing she is going through.
"I had no idea what state my body was in at that time, and they all knew," Lentz told ABC about her rescuers. "I haven't come to the full realization that I had a near-death experience. It hasn't hit me yet."
Lentz was driving on a highway when a drunk driver slammed into her car head-on; she was trapped behind the steering wheel of her convertible and rescuers were frantic with worry as they tried to free her. Their equipment was failing against the old metal of the car, and Lentz's condition was deteriorating quickly. That's when she asked them to stop working and pray.
Reverend Patrick Dowling appeared at the scene of the crash and led the responders in prayer and blessed Lentz.
"I absolved and anointed Katie, and, at her request, prayed that her leg would not hurt," Dowling explained. "Then I stepped aside to where some rescue personnel and the pilot were waiting and prayed the rosary silently."
Dowling left the scene just as the helicopter was preparing to lift off, and no one was able to locate him. He posted about the event on a website, but it took several days for people to realize the connection; once they did, Dowling was able to visit Lentz and check on her progress. The teen had no idea that her story would be heard across the nation.
"I love hearing that support, because it's what drives me to push myself harder everyday with therapy," Lentz said. "It is hard sometimes, but I realize that so many people have been touched by this, so I have to keep focused on the good and not bad, because it'll just bring me down, and I definitely don't want that."
"I have no doubt the Most High answered their prayers," Dowling said of the rescuers. "I was part of his answer, but only part."
Lentz is now able to walk 150 feet, which is not a small accomplishment given that she had more than 12 broken bones in her legs and ribs.