July 25 is the day. It’s a day we celebrate. We don’t give gifts, we don’t talk about it all day, but it’s right there behind and between all the things of the day.
Wednesday, July 25 was the four year anniversary of Ben’s miraculous survival of sudden cardiac arrest.
Early on Wednesday I happened to be sitting on the front porch of our little cabin and I was thinking if there’s ever a day that re-roots me, encourages me, settles me, it’s July 25. I was feeling whiney, anxious over a hundred details, sorry for parts of me it seems will never change.
Walking through the memories of that day readjusts my thinking. I get away from me and back to God. Thanking people, forgiving people, repenting and loving people better becomes my one and only prayer.
I went back into the archives of my blog and dug out what I wrote in 2014, the day of and a few days after. I thought you might enjoy a trip from my mind’s eye through those hours and days. From where I sit now, what stands out to me is God’s faithfulness, the power of prayer, learning to believe and knowing what I believe.
I know you have your own heart stories of miracles that have shaped and reset you. I would dearly love to sit down and read all that reading this brings up in you…
July 25, 2014
Ben is in an all out fight for his life as I write this. I am sitting by his bedside and it is 4:15 am, July 26. I am
desperate for your prayers.
Less than 24 hours ago we were sitting at our house, waiting to go to a dental appointment. Everything was
fine. We had to leave at 9:00 to get to the appointment on time. He was sitting on the couch in the den; I was
finishing up something on my computer. I went to the chair beside the couch and sat down. I had this odd random
thought, ’why was he sitting here with the tv turned off?’ I grabbed the remote to turn it on and find something
interesting for 10 minutes before we had to leave.
I heard a very loud gurgling noise, almost like snoring, in fact for a split second I thought it was snoring. I
glanced at Ben, immediately realizing something awful was happening. He was gasping for breath, full sweat. I shook
him, tried to get his attention; his eyes were opened and unfocused. After one more failed attempt, I called 911.
This began the minutes of my hyper focus, full meltdown. While I was physically sobbing, I was also in full
control. My brain was on pointe. I can remember everything in vivid sequence, even if I cannot remember the
amount of time that passed. It was obvious to me that the Holy Spirit had me in His grip. I was talking to the 911
lady, talking to Ben, praying to God, running to the door to meet the ambulance. My one thought was to get in touch
with my neighbors, both County Commissioners, both trained as paramedics, both family friends.
I don’t know how much time passed then the medic arrived, followed by the ambulance, followed by Dale
Strong, our Commission Chairman. When he walked in the door, a sense of peace came over me.
Dale Strong saved Ben’s life. He asked me to step out of the room and I stood in my garden room praying
with my neighbor and listening to what was going on in my den. Ben was in acute cardiac arrest. I knew they were
working hard, I knew it was beyond serious, I knew I had to call my children.
I knew God had me. He felt close.
Whatever they were doing was working and Ben was stable enough to get to the hospital, breathing on his
own, heart pumping on its own.
The ER team, the heart team, our private room, friends showing up, prayers, doctors in and out, us in and out
of the ER room, our minister arriving, friends bringing food, lovely faces, hugs, calls, texts, the warmth of love was
surrounding us like a blanket of cotton.
Ben had a hypothermia treatment where they cooled his body in an ice bed to 91.4 or 33 degrees Celsius.
Now we are in the crucial 24 hours following. They will slowly warm him up, one half degree every hour.
Pray for his brain, his heart, his lungs.
I keep thinking of our Bishop, Thad Barnum. He anointed Ben on the day we joined Saint Andrews Anglican
Church. He prayed over him, calling Ben a mighty man of God, to be used mightily for God.
Pray that our mighty God gives my mighty Ben a long and mighty opportunity.
Four days later
It is Day 5 of this journey in this new land. The land of survival. The land of hospitals and hearts and lungs
It is 4:59 am and I am pretending to be asleep. My house is full with sleeping family and if I get up and start
stirring around they will be so mad with me. I need rest but 5 hours will have to suffice. The Suzanne-adrenalin-drip
My heart is so full. I am trying to close my eyes and pray, but I can hardly find the words. These last days are
becoming a blur, and all the shading of the blur is one continuous strand of prayer. Your prayers, hundreds of them –
no, thousands. You have stormed heaven’s throne room. And my pitiful prayers thrown out in moments of distress
and great need like a handful of seeds…
God has heard and answered! Oh, I could cry in sheer relief, exhaustion, love and gratitude.
We are still in the Cardiac Care Unit and we have no real answers yet, but what we have is Ben back. He’s
coming back to us, more every hour. Our friend and his doctor, Carl Gessler, gives us a new analogy every day to see
us through the day. Carl’s words are how I have charted the days.
our family all together for Ben's 65th birthday in June
just a week ago with the grands at Camp Zannie*Beene