CENTERVILLE -- When Dustin and Ashley Dickamore look around at their problems, all they seem to see are opportunities.
That's the insight they say they've gained from injuries Dustin sustained in an accident Sept. 20 at Bear Lake,when a recreational vehicle he was in rolled on the pavement.
The accident, which included the vehicle's roll bar hitting Dustin on the nose and across the eyes, brought doctors to predict that he would never see anything again. The impact also crushed nearly every bone in Dustin's face.
"It's been wonderful," said Ashley when asked about the last two months as Dustin has regained partial sight in his left eye. "We are so blessed. There have been so many miracles. ... His right eye is in shape to see. The optic nerve is together. We know somehow some way, it's going to come back."
"You can choose to mourn the things you don't have or choose to celebrate the things you do have," Dustin said. "We really do have much."
The 28-year-old Centerville couple said they knew they would have problems in this life and that those problems would stretch them to grow.
They just didn't expect so many struggles to come all at once.
"Always be grateful for what you have, because you never know when you are going to lose it," Dustin said through clenched teeth.
His jaw is wired shut.
"Never take things for granted, but never give up hope, because miracles are possible," he said.
Shortly after the accident, Dustin said, he realized God was trying to teach him about faith, hope, patience and charity.
"In the beginning, it was about faith and hope," he said. "Now, it's a lot of patience. In the end, we'll be able to be charitable to people who don't know these things."
The couple says that once Dustin has finished healing, they'll take their story on the road to anyone who will listen.
Dustin has had several reconstructive surgeries since he was injured, including rebuilding his nose using bone from his skull. He has other surgeries in his future.
But he said he knows everything will be OK with the knowledge that he'll be able to watch his children grow up, although he's not sure exactly how clearly those images will be. The couple's children are Cole, who is 2, and Haley, who is 7 months.
Dustin said the initial total darkness and fear of not being able to see his children and his wife again is what caused him to scream out in agony moments after he was injured.
Ashley said Dustin was more upset about what he would miss than any pain he would suffer.
And a scan of Dustin's head -- once he reached the hospital on that fateful night -- revealed a blow to the pupil in his eye, which normally indicates brain damage and severed the optic nerve, which doctors said could not heal.
But Ashley said the optic nerves did begin to heal and doctors were surprised later to not find any brain damage -- almost miraculously -- after Dustin received priesthood blessings.
"The blessings were saying that he would be healed, even when the doctors weren't saying he would," Ashley said. "The doctors can do amazing things, but God can do more."
Ashley said she never believed her husband would be blind the rest of his life, even when expert doctors told her that was the case.
She didn't believe them because Dustin had been promised through the patriarchal blessing he received as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that he would be able to be healed.
"I told him, 'I know it's really scary, but I know you will see again. Just think about the promises you've been given,'" Ashley said.
In addition to the damage to the optic nerve, Ashley said, the shape of his eyes themselves were concerning to doctors.
At one point, doctors were thinking about putting a band on one eye to hold its proper shape, but then they noticed it had reshaped itself on its own.
But there are plenty of challenges ahead. Dustin will have his tracheotomy tube removed Wednesday.
In a 17-hour surgery to rebuild his face, doctors weren't able to do all that they wanted, so Dustin has at least one major reconstruction on his face ahead of him.
One unknown challenge is how much all of this rehabilitation will cost.
And that's an especially big challenge, given that Dustin now is unable to work.
A general contractor with Green Construction, Dustin said his employers are holding his job for when he comes back, but he doesn't know when that will be.
And Ashley, who was a full-time homemaker before all of this happened, now is Dustin's full-time nurse.
That's why Dustin's friends have rallied around him to try to help him with expenses.
The friends, who in their advertisement say that through their faith, the Dickamore family has touched more lives than they will ever know, are holding a ham shoot from 8:30 a.m. to dark Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Bountiful Lions Shooting Range.
The range may be accessed from 13th East and 4th North in Bountiful.
Tickets for the event, which will include a silent auction, bingo and drawings for prizes, may be purchased at the event or in advance from Colonial Building Supply, 530 N. 400 West, in Centerville, or Jed's Treads, 235 N. Main St. in Layton.
Contact reporter JaNae Francis at 801-625-4228 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @jfrancis.