Lori

Real Life God Stories - Chapter 10

"YOU MAY NOT HAVE LIVED THROUGH THE END OF THE YEAR"

Iím 24 and those are the words I heard from the Doctor after I had open heart surgery.  In May of 2006 while living in Arkansas, I went to the doctor for a sinus infection.  The doctor began to check everything that doctors normally check and while checking my heart she asked me, ďHas anyone ever told you that you have a heart murmur?Ē  The doctor sent me over to the hospital to get an Echocardiogram.  This is a test that basically takes an ultrasound of your heart. A few weeks later the doctor called me back to the office and she was very concerned with what she had seen from the results of the test.  Amazingly, until this point I was very calm because God was giving me such a peace that I could do nothing but trust.  When I went to see the cardiologist he examined me and he told me that he thought I had Rheumatic fever as a child and most likely it had been undiagnosed or misdiagnosed as strep throat.  Having had rheumatic fever and it not being treated properly as a result I had two valves in my heart that were severely damaged.  The cardiologist began to conduct tests and after I had all the tests done , they confirmed I had rheumatic fever and had valve damage.  The cardiologist did not know then to make the call for me to have surgery.  He recommended I go up to Indiana where my parents still lived to see a surgeon. My dad is part of a  non-profit organization that serves Mexico by way of medicine called Medi-Mex.  Dad serves on the board and the president of this organization was discussing a particular doctor during one of their meetings and wanted to help him and his family build churches in southern India.  This doctor turned out to be a valvular heart surgeon so my dad began to tell them about my situation.  The president of Medi-Mex spoke to this doctor about me and scheduled an appointment to see him.  I have been told that this doctor is the best in the area. 

It was amazing to see God put everything into place the way He wanted it!!  The moment my family and I met this doctor, we felt such a peace about him and I knew that everything was going to be OK.  This surgeon wanted to conduct further testing.  I went into the hospital and they did an Angiogram and a test called a TEE, which is where they put a scope down your throat to look at the heart. As I sat in the hospital bed recovering from the two tests, the surgeon walked in and began to explain that one of my valves was getting hard and calcified and the other was getting too thin and flimsy which was causing the blood to regurgitate back and forth within my heart.  The Doctor told me that I did need surgery and he wanted it to be soon.  He also told me that whatever day we wanted to do the surgery, he would accommodate my family and I and fit us into his schedule.  We decided that the sooner I had the surgery the less we would have to worry about it. On September 19, 2006, I was admitted into the hospital and had the surgery.  My surgery lasted seven and a half hours and it was a stressful seven and a half hours for my family and friends.  I am still amazed at the peace God gave me before I went into the operating room.  My family came in to see me before the surgery and they were crying, but I just looked at them and just knew that I would see them soon.  I put my life in Godís hands and let him do what he wanted for me!  The hardest part of this for me was after the surgery because I was in a tremendous amount of pain.  I wanted to give up but I couldnít.  I had to let my body heal, and I had to trust God to heal it. 

Amazingly after two weeks, I was feeling so much better.  I didnít have to rely on my family to do everything for me.  I was able to do things on my own. After two weeks, I started my rehab and went  through the process of getting my strength back.  I started a part time job nine weeks after surgery and recovered very quickly.  On New Years Eve of 2006, I sat in church and remembered what they said to me about not living to the end of the year and was overwhelmed with emotion that I was still alive by the grace and mercy of God.  I was on the road to recovery and an amazing life.  God has a plan for my life and that is why I lived to tell this story, and I canít wait to see what that is.  I had to make a lot of changes in my life, I now have two metal valves and have to be on blood thinner the rest of my life, but there is not a day that goes by that I donítí thank God for saving my Life!