Raleigh, N.C. — When Adam Root smiles, his wife sees a flash of the man she married four years ago. The husband who never hesitated to express his love, even minutes before the couple's relationship was changed forever.
On the way to a motorcross track in Sanford on May 10, 2010, the two shared a heartfelt conversation.
"He just spent 30-40 minutes on the drive out there telling me how much he just respected, appreciated and honored me as a wife. That was the last conversation we had for nearly 10 months," Amy Root said Friday.
Adam Root was making a jump on the track, a track he had ridden before, but missed and was thrown over his handlebars. He landed on his head at 55 mph.
"He had all his protective gear on," his wife recalled.
Doctors told Amy Root that her husband had a 10 percent chance of survival. He spent 10 months in a coma, underwent 13 surgeries and stayed at six different hospitals along the East Coast.
Doctors said Adam Root would likely be in a vegetative state for the rest of his life, but his wife said her faith told her to resist that prognosis.
"They said he would never speak again. That he would never understand language. But praise the Lord," Amy Root said looking at her husband Friday afternoon.
"I just knew God was bigger than Adam's brain injury," she said.
Since the injury, Adam Root, 29, has made amazing strides. He can say a few words and seems to understand much of what is said to him. Amy Root said sometimes her husband's memory gets jumbled, and he can't remember her name. At times he doesn't even remember she is his wife, so he calls her "his little lady" instead.
"There are moments when it's hard," she said. "Still in the midst of sorrow there is so much joy.
"I experience joy every day of this journey, even with sorrow," she said.
When the two pray, Adam Root's speech becomes clearer, his wife said.
Amy Root, 31, spends her days taking care of her husband. She helps him with everyday tasks and even holds him up when his balance fails him.
Despite Adam Root's challenges, Amy Root has no doubt her husband will fully recover.
"I just continue to hope and pray and believe in God's promise," she said.
Amy Root said she doesn't refer to her husband's injury as an accident. She believes this was God's plan. As she sees her husband make progress and never give up, said she is seeing God's grace.
"He's still my man. Still my husband and God knew from the moment he brought us together as husband and wife that this was going to happen, so I just know he's equipped all of us for this journey," she said.
And when Amy Root looks at her husband, she doesn't just see the man she married four years ago. She said she sees her best friend and "mighty warrior."
"By the way he looks at me every day, he loves me so much, and he tells me," she said.
Completing their family, Amy Root has an 11-year-old daughter from a previous relationship who lives with them.
The Roots had a scare on Thursday afternoon when Adam Root wandered away from the Raleigh center where he receives treatment. He was found several hours later not far from the center.
When Amy Root asked her husband why he walked away, he told her he was looking for her.
On Friday, the couple went shopping for a GPS watch, so if Adam Root wanders away again they can track him through a website. Amy Root is also working on getting a medical ID bracelet for him so that people know his condition and how to contact his family.