Sunday, September 8, 2013

Elder Wiberg

Two weeks ago a tragedy hit our mission.  While traveling home on his bike after teaching a discussion to Kelvin and Karen, Elder Wiberg was hit broadside by a car driven by a 19 year old young man.  We received a call from his companion, Elder Herschi.  The accident just happened and they were waiting for the ambulance.

We rushed to the emergency room to meet them.  He was first taken to the nearest hospital ( which was a cancer and heart specialist hospital) to be stabilized and then later was taken to Kuching Specialist where there were specialist to help.  The emergency room was filled with Young Single Adults and members of Samarahan Branch where Elder Wiberg served.

Elder and Sister Moulder took the first shift after we determine that this was going to be a long ordeal.  At the first hospital the brain scan looked clear but the breaks in the bones were very serious.

When we awoke 5 hours later, Elder Wiberg was transferred to Kuching Specialist Hospital.  We relieved the Moulders.  Shortly after we took over another set of scans were done and we realized the seriousness of Elder Wiberg injuries.  Even though Elder Wiberg was wearing a helmet, he had significant brain injury.  Because of Elder Wiberg's age and his strong physical body, it was determine to go ahead and have surgery to relieve the pressure in the brain.  Elder Bertin, the church medical advisor for Southeast Asia in Hong Kong, was on the phone with the doctors constantly for the next 24 hours.  President and Sister Mains were booked on the next available fight into Kuching.

The surgery began about 8:30 the next morning, Saturday.  The orthepedic surgeon came out and gave us periodic reports about the progress of the surgery, he was going to do surgery on the bone breaks as soon as the nerosurgeon had completed his surgery.  They were doing the surgeries in order of seriosness.  The nerosurgeon came out and gave us a report and had a consultation with Elder Bertin.  Elder Wiberg had survived the first surgery.  

Elder Boyter first noticed and then I observed that during the first surgery the nurses came out of the operating room with tears in their eyes.  When the nerosurgeon first told us the seriousness of the injury, I starting praying for a miracle.  I prayed with all my heart.  Over time a very peaceful feeling came over me.  I knew the Lord's hand was in this from the beginning.  

In the waiting room there was another family waiting.  There was a woman my age, Kinvan (Kee-vaan) Her husband just had a heart attack and was not expected to live.  She sought me out.  I held her during the long night hours and prayed with her and for her.  She told me about how she and her husband were from the same tribe (Iban) but different villages.  Their parents arranged their marriage.  She was 16 years old when they got married.  They had six children and grew to be very much in love. Over the next few hours her children with grandchildren flew in from all over Malaysia.  When I returned from my next shift, she was gone.

Elder Wiberg had multiple bone breaks and fractures.  Dr.Lee, the orthepedic surgeon, explained that he would first start with the leg break.  It was the most serious.  Elder Wiberg survived that surgery and so the surgery on the breaks on the arms were next.  After the surgeries we then waited. Elder Wiberg was in surgery about 8 hours. 

President and Sister Mains arrived during the surgeries.  What strength they brought.  We admire them so much.  They relieved us and we went home to rest to prepare to come back for the night shift.

Brother Jeffrey stayed most of the time in the ICU waiting room with us.  Other YSAs took shifts, Brother Paul, Brother Kanzie, Brother Jesper.  Other members came and went offering support and food.  

After we relieved the Moulders, Saturday night, Elder Wiberg brain pressure started to rise.  The nerosurgeon came often giving us reports.  I really appreciate how the doctors cared so much and spent time with us explaining what was going on.  They were kind but candid. 

As I prayed during the night, there was such peace that came.  I stood by Elder Wiberg's bed and felt love.  Elder Wiberg was where he needed to be.  He was continuing his mission on the other side.  

President and Sister Mains were up most of the night in their hotel room visiting with Dr. Bertin and the family in Utah.  Early the next morning they were back at the hospital.  The family wanted to say good-bye to their son and brother.  President Mains held the phone up to Elder Wiberg's ear while each family member said good-bye.  Their parents are strong.  They talked to their son about his mission continuing on the other side of the veil to the Malaysian people.

The Wiberg family wanted his organs donated to help the people of Malaysia.  This had not been done in East Malaysia in 13 years so we started working through the process of red tape and getting the organ donor team from West Malaysia involved.  There were multiple tests that had to be performed. The passing of Elder Wiberg was not announced until the last test was completed.

President Mains sent us off to our branches to attend church.  We went to Elder Wiberg's branch where Elder Boyter gave a beautiful talk.  

Late Sunday night, the last test was completed and Elder Wiberg was pronounced dead.  Early Monday morning, President Mains sent out a broadcast email to missionaries and branch leadership of Elder Wibergs passing.


  1. Thank you for posting this on your blog. I am so grateful for all you and many others did for my little brother and I felt so much peace and joy reading the things you had to say. It means the world to my family to know there were always people with him when we were on the other side of the world. Thanks again,
    -Page Wiberg

  2. Dear Page,
    Your brother's influence will be felt in Kuching, Malaysia for a long time. The members know that he is teaching their family members on the other side of the veil. They talk of it often and family history work has increased.
    They read your family's letter in Sacrament Meeting last Sunday, it was translated in their native language. The tears of the Plan of Salvation was shed as well of love and respect for Elder Wiberg and your family.
    Love Elder and Sister Boyter