When All Hope Was Gone.
My life of forty-five years was exceptionally busy. I had spent a better part of a year trying to land a teaching position since I had graduated from GVSU two years before. Jobs were very difficult to find in my area. I had to move again after only three months. My cozy apartment building had been sold and if I had been told it was for sale, I would not have moved in. Finances were a quite a challenge. I was scarcely making it from week to week. Two beautiful grandbabies were born eleven days apart. One was unexpectedly born with Down's syndrome. During the move I broke my foot, so living in a new two-story townhouse was somewhat of a struggle. As the days passed, I wasn't feeling well. I felt as though I was getting weaker and weaker. I came down with laryngitis one day, bronchitis the next, double pneumonia the next, and six days later I was given a 5% chance to live. My virus had gone into sepsis, a poisoning of the blood. I acquired toxic shock, which meant that all my organs had shut down, along with a heart attack, total life support and three weeks in a coma. Later, on Mother's day, I had a stroke and spent 43 days in the hospital. On April 24 my heart stopped, and I went to heaven. I found out later it was the same day my father had died three years earlier.
God gave me a message and sent me home. He said, "You must tell the people. You must tell the people to stop going for the diamond and settle for the brass. Families who go for the diamond are workaholics, parents don't know their children and children don't know their parents. Families are breaking apart everywhere. You MUST tell them to stop going for the diamond." I then came back into my body. Heaven was a beautiful place. It was white, bright, sparkling, warm, safe, and good--all the positive adjectives one can think of. The greatest part of all was that I felt pure, sinless, flawless…my slate was clean. My sins were completely forgiven.
After my visit to heaven I had a lot of spiritual warfare. One morning, at 3:00 a.m., I was too afraid to go to sleep. The spiritual warfare seemed to be continuous. I was so terrified I was afraid to close me eyes. I earnestly prayed for the Lord to send someone to pray with me. In a very short time, I saw a young man walk into my room. I wasn't sure if he was an angel or a real person. He asked me in a very kind voice, "How are you doing tonight?" I told him I was having a lot of spiritual warfare. He asked, "Can I pray with you?" I eagerly obliged and listened to a beautiful prayer. I felt the fear and tension leave my body starting at the top of my head and continuing to the bottom of my feet. I slept for four hours, which was the longest time I slept during my six-week stay at the hospital. The next morning as I was explaining to my friend what happened at 3:00 in the morning the same man walked into my room. I excitedly said to my friend, "Here comes my angel!" She replied, "He isn't an angel, he's your doctor!" I was pleasantly surprised that God had answered my prayer by sending someone to pray with me in addition to that, him being my doctor.
I have experienced many miracles during my healing. Since I was in a coma for 21 days, I was supposed to be in rehab for 21 weeks, but after a week of rehabilitation therapy they sent me home. Also, the doctors said that since I had kidney failure for so long I would either be on dialysis for the rest of my life or need a kidney transplant. My girlfriend, Bonnie, had already been checked to be a match for me. She was eager to give me one of her kidneys. My kidneys are now working well and there is no need for either one. Another miracle. My heart was also quite damaged, only working at 30% capacity, but before I left the hospital, it was working at 98%. I was given another blessing. My children were told I would be blind from the stroke. I had double vision for 3 months but now see better than I did before I was sick. Another miracle.
The night I was given a 3% chance to live, my friends and family were called in and the plans for my funeral were made. My girlfriend, Francine, wrote my eulogy. My friends, family, and pastor prayed over me. They were told all hope for me was gone. Even though the hope was gone, they still had not give up on me. They prayed over me through the night. In the morning I miraculously responded, to the amazement of the medical staff.
In January of this year, my sister, Brynn, called me from Florida. She told me she had a strong feeling something bad was going to happen. She thought our mom was going to become very ill. She bought a plane ticket for June 6th to come to Michigan. After I spent three weeks in a coma, I was then moved to general care. The following days my condition continued to improve dramatically. Two weeks after coming out of the coma, I spent a week in rehab and was then sent home to stay with my daughter. After a week, I was anxiously ready to go home after being away for six weeks. My first day home was June 6, the same day my sister arrived at the airport to come and help me for the next two weeks. I was strong enough to walk up to greet her at the airport. It was quite an emotional encounter. She was pleasantly surprised.
I have recovered 97%. I am getting singing andvoice therapy for the damage to my vocal cords due to being on the vent for three weeks. I also lost my hair four months after the incident, but it is growing back beautifully with many more curls than I have ever had before. I was blessed by obtaining a parapro position at the high school a mile from my home and love it. I am gaining more strength and endurance everyday. I now have a different outlook on life. In the past, I thrived on stress. I lived a life full of stress and often longed for more. Today, since I have been given a second chance on life and have been chosen by God to be His miracle, I am a different person. I enjoy sitting, talking, watching the beauty all around me. I have also taken up jogging 2 miles a day and love the energy it gives me. I have "de-stressed" my life in many ways. I now enjoy a life full of wonder, not of stress.
I am thankful for the experience of being so close to death. It has shown me the awesome power of prayer, and I was given the privilege to witness the answers to so many of them. It also showed me the multitude of friends and family that were able to stand in the gap to pray for me when I could not, and I believe it is because of them I am still on this earth. I have immense gratitude to all of them. I have also grown so much closer to my Lord. He is with me each minute of the day. Through Him, I experience life with such a grateful attitude, almost as though I am experiencing it for the first time.