MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Families often turn to their faith during tough times, so when a local family found itself facing a family tragedy they not only leaned on their faith but the many people who surrounded them.
Whether hanging out in the kitchen or simply enjoying a cup of coffee the Deal family loves spending time together, especially when they think about what they almost lost.
Their son, Jason, was seriously injured in an all-terrain-vehicle accident about three years ago, "broke his neck," father Allen Deal says, "now he's paralyzed from the neck down...it was a tough time for us all."
Jason spent months in the hospital. His family was told he would always need a respirator, but the Deal's leaned on their faith, church family and friends and after being released from the hospital his father says Jason began to make progress.
Eventually, he was back working for his dad as a designer in his cabinet business.
"It was kind of an awakening experience," Jason says, "that you are not in control...and I was always one to be, or thought, I was in control."
Their strength caught the attention of a family friend who nominated the Deal's as one of this year's Family Guidance Center of Alabama's "Families of the Year" honorees.
Mom Lorrie says, "We can all enjoy the good times. It's the hard times, the life circumstances, the accidents, the tragedies is when you all find what you're made of. And you realize through our faith in God that we can survive, any family can survive"
And survive the Deal family has. They converted a room in their home to accommodate Jason and his younger sister Lacey.
She's away at college right now, but has become 'a big sister' helping her brother around the house.
And there is another important person in Jason's life, Blake, his girlfriend of two years. "His strong Christian faith I like," she says of her boyfriend, "he's a Godly man. We can talk about our relationship with Christ pretty openly and that's important to me."