Thank God I’m alive!!!!!! Seriously-Thank You God!
God granted me serenity, peace, and hope in my darkest hour. Not only did God give me a second life to live through the surgical talent he gave to Dr. Britton, but he sent me into that procedure wrapped tightly in his love and protection.
To this day, 3 years later, I still get goosebumps and my heart swells with shear JOY when I re-LIVE that gift of peace and calm.
Let me share with you the 5 days of grace I experienced when I should have died…
95% of aneurysm patients die within 24 hours without surgical intervention… I walked, ran, and danced around for 5-yes-5 days ripping and tearing my aorta, coronary artery, internal carotid artery and subclavian arteries!!!
Yes I should be dead. But the Dear Lord had a different plan for his Joy.
The surgical team was in awe not only because I was alive long enough to reach the hospital with the severity of my condition but also because I was so at peace with my situation. I was told I had a less than 10% chance of surviving the complete resection of my thoracic aorta, replacing it and 3 of the major vessels coming off it with a special plastic (Dacron), rebuilding my coronary artery and replacing my aortic valve with a metal heart valve.
It is common for a patient to experience severe anxiety, disbelief and even anger when given this kind of news- their own mortality staring them in the face.
Honestly, I did spend a few minutes in the disbelief arena simply because I did not feel bad. Certainly not bad enough to die!
But here is where the real gift I received that night happened.
I felt peace. I was in the most zen, if you will, place I have ever been in my life. It is procedure to sedate patients in my condition prior to placing them on the helicopter to fly to the surgical hospital. I declined the sedation. The Doctor asked me “why”? “If I only have an hour left to live in this body, I would like to spend that time thanking God for my life and making sure we are “right” with each other”, I said.
As I contemplated my own mortality, I realized that regardless of the outcome of my surgery, I would still be very blessed.
1. I die and am blessed to enter heaven and see my Lord and reunite with Zu (the most amazing Canine that ever lived) and my Dad! Also I don’t have to do all that dirty laundry that is piled up in my big closet.
2. I live!! And feel God’s love and grace in a more profound way for the rest of my life.
I was filled with such peace and tranquility. I was also very curious as to how they planned to attempt to fix me. The surgical team found me to be quite odd.
I found comfort in the cross necklace my surgeon wore that night. A man of God was performing my surgery. I was in good hands.
I was told that almost 2 hours into surgery I was pronounced inoperable. My mother shared with me that Dr. Britton called on a “higher power” and went back to work on me, trying a different approach. It worked!!
I spent only 4 days in the hospital after my surgery. To say my survival and recovery was anything shy of a miracle is an understatement.
My near death experience is truly the best thing that has ever happened to me. I am more fulfilled, joyful, grateful and whole than ever before.
And every time I hear the very loud beat of my metal heart valve I am reminded of the grace I was bestowed and power of the hand of God on my heart.