At any moment in a person’s life tragedy can come. It is not something we can plan for, it just happens. It may be an automobile accident, ATV accident, serious bicycle accident, motorcycle accident etc. It just happens when it is least expected.
For me it was a normal day at work at AT&T in February 2007. I was on my last job and I had just climbed down from a telephone pole and suddenly felt very ill. I called my wife and asked her to turn back the bed because I was very sick and was on my way home. I had been fighting a cough for two weeks prior. Upon arrival I was vomiting and my temperature soared. I began hallucinating and talking to Jesus out loud and it scared my wife. She called our pastor and he and our youth pastor came right over. They called a EMS guy that goes to our church and Willie recommended that we call 911. At the hospital it was determined to be the flu and I was sent home.
The rest of the week I stayed in bed, still very sick. On Friday my wife returned to work as a 911 dispatcher and asked my buddy, Stan, to come and sit with me. At 7:15 am Friday morning I was getting to the point it was very hard for me to take a breath. My buddy called my wife and 911 was called again.
By 10:00 am I was diagnosed with pneumonia, put in a medically induced coma, and intubated. I was admitted to CCU at the hospital. Within hours the doctor told my wife to call in family as my condition was very critical. The prayer chains went out across the country. I had people praying for me all over. Every day was different. I would have good numbers and the next day I would be worse. The family gathered in the waiting room and lived out of hotel rooms. I had developed pneumococcal pneumonia in both lungs. After 13 days in a coma I began having multi system organ failure in my kidneys and my lungs. The doctor had sat down with the family and my pastor earlier that evening and explained I had a 5% chance of making it through the night. He advised them final goodbyes were in order. It was a very sad meeting. Very little hope from the doctor. My wife had a entry in her diary that night, “ I now realize I am losing you and I am losing hope.”
Prayer chains were at full throttle! Our Life Group came to the hospital. Our elders came and anointed me with oil and prayed over me as God word tells us to do in James 5:14,15 “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.” Our church family surrounded us with love and prayer. We were being held up by the very strong arms of God through them. My wife had a strong sense of peace she could not explain except to say, “God is in control.”
The next morning my wife was woke up by me pulling out my vent and talking. God had heard and answered those prayers. I asked how long I was out and she said, “13 days!“ I was unable to walk or write but through physical therapy I learned how again. My kidneys were not functioning yet but I had so much faith in God I kept telling the Dialysis Center that God will heal them. He did after two months of dialysis, as my kidneys recovered and I was told I no longer needed dialysis. I walked out of the Rehabilitation Center on Wednesday and my first day back in church was Easter Sunday 2007. God is a big God. We serve a big God. God is still the one we all turn to for healing. God still heals to this day.
Our family is so thankful to everyone who prayed. We are so thankful to God for His answer to those prayers. My walk with God has been so much stronger as a result of that experience in my life. God watched over me then and He still does today. His mercy is my strength. The measuring stick of my faith grows daily and my thankfulness to God is incredible. His love and mercy has no limits.
If you ever find yourself in a sudden, life changing situation, it is my advice to you that you turn to God first and begin a prayer chain of prayer warriors for your situation. God is in control. It may seem to you that things appear on the outside to be hopeless, BUT GOD has no limits to what He can do. Always tell people you meet in life who are hurting and feel helpless that God is in control. I am very thankful for that.