Today's Featured Biography
It’s just a cold. That’s what I kept thinking. That’s what I kept telling myself. One day I would feel fine, the next, not so well. You’ve been there, the aches, the sweats, the over-all miserable feeling, and the never-ending cough. I was sure in a few days I would be fine. Just as I thought it was gone, it would come back. In February, two months later, breathing trouble and consistent coughing took me to the emergency room. The doctor said it was pneumonia. I did not want to be admitted in the hospital, as I had no health insurance, so I was given a prescription and sent home. This was the first of many doctor visits and many different prescriptions, all treating the pneumonia, but all with no results.
I had a really bad week, just before Easter. I was staying with a family from church, as I could not care for myself. The new antibiotics and steroids must have worked, as I was back home and went to work on Good Friday with no signs of an illness. I felt great!
On Monday morning, the wheezing began again. I couldn’t understand it, I felt great all weekend. I still felt fine, just wheezing. That night, I woke up around 2 am, lungs feeling full of fluid, but it didn’t keep me awake long. The next morning, I got up and left for work as usual. I was preparing for the evening Youth service, when I began coughing again. I soon realized that I was coughing up blood. The pulmonologist could not get me in until the following day, so I decided to go back to the emergency room. Once again, I had pneumonia. The doctor told me that I had torn a blood vessel coughing so much and that was why I was bleeding. Although I was unaware of it, a radiology report clearly stated that I had an enlarged heart and congestive heart failure! The doctor ignored this and again, sent me home with more medication, and told me to rest.
The following day changed my life forever. As Youth Pastor, I was preparing to take some of our Youth to the Florida State Teen Talent in Tampa. The Lord spoke to me in the doorway, and clearly said, “What if the Doctor is wrong?” I guess you could say I was arguing a little with God, and the phone rang. One of the church members had been praying and felt very strongly that I should not go on this trip. Funny, I wouldn’t listen to God alone; he had to have someone else tell me as well.
I decided not to go to Tampa and to keep the appointment with the pulmonologist. What he told me stopped me in my tracks. With one look at the X-rays and the original radiology reports, he determined that my problem was not in my lungs, but with my heart. I was instructed to go directly to the hospital. As I walked to my car, I felt as if my lifelong dreams and goals were over. I felt as if my life had become a “movie of the week”. My emotions were wild. I didn’t know how to feel, yet felt everything. I left the parking lot with no sense of direction, but I made it to the hospital and began the first of thirteen days there. Immediately upon admittance, I was in CCU. The second blow came from the Cardiologist. He said it was Congestive Heart Failure, Dilated Cardiomyopathy, Myocarditis (a viral infection that attacks the lining of the heart and is untreatable), and that my heart was only working at 9 percent of its full capacity. He told me that I was now on the list for a heart transplant. If that wasn’t enough, the third blow came when he told me that I would not survive this--short of a miracle. He understood that I was a pastor, and said that if I ever needed a prayer answered, this was the time. Before I could even absorb everything the Cardiologist told me, the Pulmonologist brought in blow number four. He said I had multiple Pulmonary Emboli, or blood clots, in my lungs. It only takes one to kill you, and there were more developing. After all of the doctors and all of the tests, I was given 48 hours to live. My family and church friends were contacted and put on notice to pray.
Through all of this, not really knowing what was going on, I never lost faith in the fact that God could heal me. While in CCU, I received a phone call from a friend, and while talking with him, I realized that he was telling me goodbye. As I hung up, I began to weep and pray, and I said, “God, why is this happening? I know that you can heal me, why don’t you heal me now?” He answered me with this. “Because it is a process and this miracle has to be documented.” From that moment on, I never again questioned what God was doing. At that time, various friends from across the United States were starting to call and tell me that during their prayer time, God had revealed that this was “not unto death”. At that point, I began to pray, “Lord, you have given my friends a word for me, but I need a direct word from you”. He then directed me to Psalms 41:03: “The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.”
The doctors became amazed at the progress I had made. Several of them could not believe that with only 9% of my heart working, I could be as alert and mobile as I was. There were amazed at the recovery time and the miracles that were taking place before their eyes. Within 6 days of being diagnosed with a heart functioning at only 9%, it was now up to 15%. With no medical explanation, this left the doctors scratching their heads in disbelief. By Thursday, I was moved from CCU to PUC. While there, they performed two CAT scans. Normally, one would be enough, but they didn’t believe the results of the first one, so they did a second one; only to find the same results--no blood clots! The doctor said that it was impossible for blood clots to be gone in just 10 days! I rejoiced because the miracle had begun to take place. I received a renewed sense of God’s love, His grace, and His mercy. I felt like a brand new Christian, knowing that God had kept His word.
On April 27, 2004, I was discharged from the hospital. It had been thirteen days since I last walked anywhere, but I left that day, walking. I also left a hospital staff in awe. I don’t know how, I don’t know why, and I’m not sure that I’ll ever find out why God chose to bring me through the valley. All I know is, He did.
Today, nearly 6 months later, I am still serving my church as the Youth Pastor, I have just finished three full weeks of Youth Camp, and I am ready to face the challenges ahead of me. Because, by His stripes, I am healed!!
VIEW ALL BIOGRAPHIES