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This sickness is not unto death

It is with a full heart that I am writing this letter of Thanksgiving. 2002 has not been a good year for us with our health.

On New Year's Eve of 2001 I was not feeling well but we continued to prepare to go to the Watchnight Service. There were bushfires all around but we appeared to be safe enough to go to the Service. Pastor Don Baker had phoned to see if we were safe and although the road we usually travel had been closed due to the bushfires we were still going to the Watchnight Service. At about 5pm the pain in my left kidney was rather severe. I knew what my trouble was because only 3 years earlier had been hospitalised for a kidney blockage. (That is another testimony to God's healing power. He healed me of cancer in the kidney then, but I will stick to what He has done for us in the year of 2002 for now). I asked Allan to pray for me because I had begun to be physically sick with the pain.

I then lay down to rest in the hope of feeling better by the time we needed to leave. By that time I knew I needed to go to the hospital. As most of you know doctors and nurses do not like you telling them what is wrong with you. They prefer to make the diagnosis and tell you what the problem is. As they admitted to me they were surprised that my diagnosis was so accurate. If you have suffered a kidney blockage once you KNOW when you have another. I was admitted to the hospital at about 10pm that night. I was lapsing in and out of consciousness from there on. I do remember being taken to the operating theatre but that is all I remember for 8 days.

I have been told that on the operating table I had a massive heart attack and both my kidneys had closed down. Allan and Lois were told not to expect me to recover. I thank God for a loyal praying family and friends. There was no way I could pray for myself. I was not conscious. It was the prayers of faith of those people that brought me through and why I am able to tell this story today.

Allan and Lois were told that IF I recovered my heart would be scarred and I would not be able to live as I used to. I have been tested since then and there is nothing wrong at all. I repeat: nothing wrong with my heart. Not even any scarring.

They were also told that IF I recovered I would be on Dialysis the rest of my life. My kidneys would never operate as they should again. My kidneys are normal and I do not have dialysis.

I had thrashed around in the coma and as a result had a blood blister on my right heel. They were told I would need a skin graft to remedy that. As a diabetic you have to take care of your feet. That blood blister just fell off and the skin underneath were perfect...

They were told that IF I did regain consciousness I would not know anyone. From the time I regained consciousness I knew everyone who came in.

I had been intubated and so they told me I would not be able to talk or swallow for a few days. I was able to do both immediately the tubes were removed and the nurses were afraid to give me even a drink of water for fear that I would choke. I so wanted a drink of water and they would only give me a sip to see if I could swallow it. I began asking for food and they told me I would not be able to chew and swallow it either. I was so happy when they even gave me a small yoghurt and they were amazed that I could swallow it without any problems.

Whilst I was still in the Intensive Care Unit Gerald James came to visit me and to anoint me with oil with Andrew Wallace. I was not able to talk to them at the time of their visit because I was still intubated. They were leaving when Gerald doubled back and took my hand and told me that my sickness was not unto death. I believed him because God had brought me back virtually from the dead and I knew He would be able to complete the work He had begun.

Within 2 days of regaining consciousness I was taken out of Intensive Care Unit and placed in a general ward. Pastor Don Baker came to visit me. He was told I was not there and got a shock because he thought I had gone to be with the Lord. When he found me in the general ward he could not believe the change in me so quickly.

I will always be so thankful to all who prayed. God always answers our prayers. I have many Christian friends on the Internet and one night after Lois and Allan had been told to expect the worse again they went home feeling very down. Lois went to the computer and sent a message to all my friends asking them to pray. I had over 700 emails to answer when I finally got home. She and Allan knew I had some very close and wonderful friends in that little box but did not realise just how many. Each one of you and them are special.

One of my friends told me she had got mad at God one day when they were given NO hope again. She told God that I had not seen my daughter married and I had not had any grandchildren. She told Him I was needed to do all these things and it was not my time. She then went on to tell God she needed me too and that He had to heal me. God has given me all those things since she prayed that prayer. Our daughter was married in June of that year and I am now the very proud grandmother of a darling little boy born on May 17th this year.

After I had been taken to the ward one of my doctors came to see me with a couple of his colleagues. As he walked in he said, "This is our miracle lady." We went to thank him for what he had done. With this he interrupted and said he had done nothing and pointed to the ceiling and said, "There is only One who makes miracles."

I had to return to the hospital to have the stents removed from the tubes in my kidneys. As you can imagine we were worried and nervous of this procedure. Once Again God brought me through and I have the proof of God's healing power in my life.

That was on February 13, 2002. On the next day we were quietly thanking the Lord for bringing us through the battle. Allan was cutting the lawn in front of the house. I had been trying to make an impression on all the emails I still needed to answer. I thought Allan was taking a long time and would see what was keeping him when he walked in the door. He was clutching his chest and a very grey colour. You did not need to be a medico to know he was having a heart attack. I phoned triple "0" and the Paramedics came very quickly. That was the beginning of 5 weeks in hospital for him and I still had not fully regained my strength but the Lord sustained me throughout. The nurses could not believe I was so fit after what I had gone through.

Allan had a quadruple bypass operation as a result of the heart attack. When he came home though he did not seem to be regaining his strength. He kept losing weight and at a rapid rate. He lost 18kg in 6 weeks. I was getting concerned and Lois brought her wedding date forward because she was afraid she would not be able to have both her parents at her wedding in June. Allan continued to lose weight till our endocrinologist managed to get him out of the surgery and asked me what I thought of him. I said that I was rather concerned because he did not want to eat and was losing so much weight. The endocrinologist said to me that nobody loses that much weight with a heart attack and bypass operation. He ran tests and found that he had a problem with his thyroid. They tried very large doses of cortisone all to no avail. Whilst the cortisone stopped him from losing weight it still did nothing to bring the thyroid under control. He had a complete thyroidectomy on September 16.

Once again God has been with us and we are grateful for the prayers that were said for us. We were told that after this operation you could lose your voice completely and sometimes for a period of months. Allan was able to speak as soon as the operation was over. We saw the vocal chord specialist a couple of weeks later and he told Allan there is no reason why he would not get all his voice back. His voice has not returned. Allan always loved to sing the praises of the Lord and was rather down hearted when he could not sing. Even that has now returned and when he was having his shower the other day some friends called and when I opened the door they said they could hear Allan singing when they got out of their car. He now sings as he always did. Another miracle to praise the Lord for.

As a family we thank the Lord for ALL He has done for us and for how He has brought us through this very trying year of 2002.

We have a BIG and ever faithful God who honours His Word in every way.

Once again I want to say thank you to all that have prayed for us.

Ruth and Allan J.