To God Be the Glory!
On Feb. 21, 2012, at the age of 56, I had a heart attack. I have no memory of it. I have taken time to ask and listen to the stories others have told me, in order to put together an accurate testimony.
It is very evident that God was in control of this entire event. Let me start by explaining that I live in a small rural town. There is no EMS service here. In an emergency, we have to call 911 and they notify the next town. That EMS service sometimes takes 30 min. or more to arrive. Lets begin there.
My boyfriend , and I normally have supper together and then watch tv, at 8:00 pm he goes home. This particular evening, he tells me that I asked him to stay a little longer. He agreed and we watched tv for a few more min. ( had he not stayed, I would have been found the next day, dead) Then it happened. He watched me as I turned blue and was nonresponsive. He called 911, and followed the instructions he was given. Remember the EMS? Well it just so happens that they were uptown at a meeting. Yes, uptown, in MY town. They took just a few min. to respond. (God is soo good! he took care of every detail) My boyfriend was in shock and was determined that he was going to drive his car to be with me. The EMS people took his keys and left them at the police station, saying he was in shock and not fit to drive. He was very upset, but did as he was told. He spent the night making calls to family and friends, my work etc. I was lifeflighted to Parkview Heart institute, where they worked on me. I was in a coma for two days.
While I was in a coma, I remember (the only thing I remember) was hearing scripture verses now and then. That was my boyfriend, when he was at home he was praying that God would hear and let me hear, and he would repeat certain scriptures over and over. He also did this in the hospital while I was in a coma. I also remember that I woke up, and there was a black darkness. All I could see was blackness, and it was as though God woke me and was beckoning me somehow, to come with him or to him. I got up and left my body, as I did this, I was wondering, “how long God?” It was as though I was in the midst of a conversation with God and I all of a sudden I was aware of it in my mind….hard to explain this….
I had but a second, of wondering (how long, God?), and then the answer came. I stepped from the darkness, into the light. I was in a place I had never been. I remember seeing the landscape and looking down at the dirt. It was sandy, dry and very fine, powdery, dusty. A light tan color. I scuffed it with my foot and watched the dust billow in the breeze. I heard two women, at first they sounded like the were arguing. Then I realized they were just upset, and loudly complaining to each other. Then I saw HIM. It was Jesus! He walked closer and closer then they saw Him.. the one woman began to say, “Why have you been so long? Where have you been? You said you would come, but now its too late!!”. Jesus looked at her lovingly and shook his head and said “oh Mary, Mary!” She then said, “You have waited too long. He is dead. It has been 3 days and now he stinks! It’s too late!” Then Jesus said, “Lazarus come forth!” And Lazarus appeared at the opening of the tomb. The women were amazed and people came running from all around to see.
Jesus answered my question and even one I have had for years about this particular story. Why did he wait so long? Because Jesus was here to bring Glory to God. Had he come and healed Lazarus when he was sick, since they were all close friends, it could have been said, it was a fraud. There was no healing! Lazarus faked it! So Jesus waited until there was no doubt. THEN HE CAME AND GAVE HIM LIFE! GLORY TO GOD!
This is what he was doing with me. I was in a coma. I had no idea what was going on. But Jesus told me he was in control and was bringing me back, WHEN IT WOULD GLORIFY THE FATHER! I understood and had a feeling of pure peace. I knew I would wait, and willingly, no matter how long it took. It didn’t matter.
Another thing about that place with Jesus. There was no fear. Only peace. It is very hard to describe. It is the most memorable thing about that entire event. I was not in my earthly body. I could tell when I was back in it because fear is so much a part of us that we don’t even know its there. This world teaches us through fear. For instance, as a baby we learn not to touch a hot stove, if we touch it again, we will get burned. WE call it common sense but in reality it is fear. Our learning is fear based. Anxiety, depression, anger, hostility, even shyness are all fear based reactions.
I HAVE BEEN WHERE THERE IS NO FEAR. I am not saying that I was in heaven. But I will say that if all that heaven has to offer is that there is no fear, I am good with that for eternity. It is that much better than anything this world has to offer!
I have been told that the doctors told my family that there was no hope. I was dead and not coming back. Even if I did come out of the coma, I would have severe brain damage and would need extensive rehabilitation. I would not recognize my family and would not be able to walk or talk and would have to learn all over again the most basic things. The doctors explained I had been 10 min without any brain activity. I was dead. They told my family to begin the funeral arrangements. The news was given to friends and family. However, my boyfriend and my mom refused to give up. They decided that they would believe God and not the doctors. My boyfriend asked my mom if she was willing to stand on the word of God with him, and she agreed. Prayers were being prayed for me all over the world.
My daughter has told me that when there was no brain activity, and the doctors had given up, my youngest son (who had been praying) came to the doorway of my room and spoke and the machine showed drastic movement and began to indicate activity. She tried it herself, whispered in my ear and my monitor showed something….. the nuerologist said it was just normal electrical activity, I was dead and it was common. My family said no it wasn’t.
Once the doctors admitted defeat, God moved.
The 3rd day was a friday. As they took me off life support, God moved…I began to come out of the coma. At first everyone was in shock. Especially the Doctors. The nuerologist met with my family and told them I would definitely have extensive brain damage and have to be in a nursing home to rehabilitate, most likely I would not recover. I probably would not know any of them and would have to learn to walk and talk etc all over again….. The more I recovered, the more everyone could see, that I had NO brain damage. The doctors told my family that I was a miracle, and that they had nothing to do with what was happening! Each day, the nurses came in and asked me questions and I answered them. They would look at me in amazement. They would ask me to do things, like touch my nose with my forefinger, or touch my fingers to my thumb, etc. again the look of amazement when I did these things with no problems. I was eating and drinking, and even walking after a few days. One day they had me using a walker and the very next day I was using a cane. Again, looks of amazement from the staff. As I got better and stronger, my family was told a nursing home was not necessary. Each time they said I would not be able to do something or would have to learn it again, God moved and proved them wrong.
Since there had been extensive and very serious damage to my heart, I was placed on the heart transplant list to wait for a new heart. God had other plans. I think I was on that list for around 3 days or so? As I got stronger, it was apparent I no longer qualified for nor did I need, a transplant. I was removed from the list.
Tests have been done, to determine why I had the heart attack, and the only thing they could find was my heart was enlarged. My cholesterol was “excellent” (their words) I had no clogged arteries or blockages, and no high blood pressure. No reason for the heart attack.
In about a week, I was at home, and my boyfriend was taking care of me,in my own home! as I got stronger and stronger. by the way, this entire event, took about 13 days. from the time I had the heart attack on feb 21st to the day I went home on march 5. (feb was a leap year in 2012)
In May I had a routine test that measures the actual pumping strength of the heart. The “ejection fraction” is what they called it. The heart pumps AT BEST a 60% ejection fraction. My heart was pumping at less than 10% when I left the hospital. This is due to the severe damage from the heart attack. My doctor told me they were expecting me to test at 10-15% with the meds they have me on and the defibrilator/pacemaker that they put in me. They were hoping that I may even reach a little higher than that, maybe even 20%. You see, a heart muscle that is damaged from a heart attack cannot heal. It is damaged permanently. But with the right medication it may be able to work a LITTLE better, they said. I knew that I had been REMOVED from the heart transplant list so……………lol
They did the test 3 times. It averaged 43%!! I was not only better than they had hoped but had my heart actually healed?
My doctors have not really had much direct contact with me. In the hospital they would come to see me and stand in amazed awe when they saw my progress. When I would ask if I would be allowed to do something this was how they would respond. “Have you tried to do it? (what ever it was I was asking) and I would say yes, and they would say, “then I guess you can!” They have never restricted me from trying anything. They have said that I will know if I can’t do something and then I just shouldn’t do it.
When I asked if I could return to work, my Doctor’s face actually glowed and he smiled and said “YES!!!” Before I ever got the entire question out of my mouth! We talked about it and he said I could go back when I felt I was ready. In about two weeks, I decided to try to go back July 9th of this year. (2012). My work allowed me to come back part time for two weeks and then back to full time. I have been back to work for a little over a month now. I am doing great and feeling fine! God is good. When I went back to work I found out that someone had printed off a copy of my testimony that I had posted on facebook. People that I never would have thought would even read it, were very touched by it. I have been asked by a friend to speak at a womens retreat this saturday. I gave my number to a friend whose pastor read my testimony and is planning on asking me to speak at their church soon. I am not worthy of this honor. But I know that God has a plan and it is to Glorify Him and bring his people closer to HIM. So I want to be like Mary, mother of Jesus. Not my will by His will be done. Do with me what you will, Father. Just let me be closer to you.
I have many dear friends who are faithful believers in Christ. If it had not been for one of them, my own daughter would not have been able to be with me since she lived so very far away and had no transportation when this happened. I am deeply grateful to him for all he has unselfishly done. I remember this man unselfishly driving 2 or more hours one way to pick my daughter up and take her back home, Not once but several times. He has been a faithful family friend that I am truly grateful for. He also prayed for me and with my mom during all of this. Truly a man of God. Thank you Alan.
And many others who unselfishly prayed and visited. Literally, so many I cannot name them all.
I am updating this, it has now been 1 year and 5 months since the heart attaack. I have had my regular check up and my ejection fraction is now at 50% and my heart medication has been cut in half. So am I still healing and getting stronger? You be the judge. I am doing more now, that last year. I am back at work and doing great. By the way, did I mention I work in corrections? At a local jail? yeah, God isn’t done with me yet, lots of work to do there….. HIS WORK.
God is faithful and merciful. I have no memory of the heart attack or even the first week of my stay in the hospital! I am told I talked to people but I don’t remember. I have only hope for the future and joy that I have been given another chance. But most of all, that God used me, to bring him Glory! I am not worthy,or deserving of this honor, but then, its not about me is it?