In April of 2001, I visited my doctor about shortness of breath and was diagnosed
with Phenomena. After several months and 3 different doctors my condition did
not improve, in fact my condition became very serious.
By June, I was so sick that I could not sleep. It became even harder to breath and
my skin was turning grey. My wife, Tami, took me to a Clinic and waited for a
doctor to see me. Once the doctor came, he asked what was wrong and I told him
that I was being treated for Phenomena. He examined me and said “Your symptoms
look like Phenomena, but I believe you have a more serious problem here.” He
was not sure at that point whether it was a blood clot in the lungs or if it was
my heart but he seemed to feel it was more to do with my heart than anything
else. He had Tami me rush me over to a nearby hospital and straight to the
emergency room. Fortunately for me this doctor was the head of ER and happened
to be covering someone else’s shift at that time at the clinic.
Once admitted and examined, they took some X-rays which showed that my heart was
twice the normal size of what my heart should be. Several doctors were assigned
to me, a cardiologist and an internal medicine doctor because of my symptoms.
After a battery of test the cardiologist came in to break the news that I had
congestive heart failure. He explained that congestive heart failure (CHF) can
be caused by a virus and can cause a heart to deteriorate over time. In my case
it was very aggressive and by the time my problem was discovered my heart was
A normal heart has an efficiency of 55% to 65% and 35 centimeters (cm) in size.
My heart was at 14% and measured at 74 cm. My doctor explained that my only
option was a heart transplant. You can imagine how devastating that would be to
someone that had no history of heart problems. My wife and I asked if this
could be treated with medicine. He said, “You need to understand, we cannot
reverse your condition. In fact your heart is what we would term a “throw
away” heart; it cannot be fixed; only replaced. It will only get worse!”
In situations such as this you search for answers knowing there are none and
then turn to God. That is what we did.
Psalms 4:1. Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness; Thou hast set me
at large when I was in distress: Have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.
In order to be qualified for a heart transplant we had to go to the University Of
Alabama (UAB). We were scheduled to meet with a team of doctors at the cardio
center in early August. I had been released from the hospital and was at home
regaining some strength as best I could just waiting. We knew that God was in
control and trusted in Him that everything would be OK.
One month from the date that I went into the hospital and was diagnosed with CHF I
suffered a stroke and a heart attack simultaneously. I was in a coma for
several days and not aware of what happened. Apparently because of the
efficiency of my heart, I developed a blood clot in my heart and it traveled
through my brain, causing the stroke and heart attack. My efficiency at that
time went under 5%, which is not good. At 5% your heart is incapable of pumping
The doctors told Tami that she needed to call the family because at fewer than 5%
there was no hope for me to survive. I should add at this time we had a lot of
prayers being lifted up to the One who saves. Tami had come into ICU to check
on me and 2 nurses came in and told her that my only option for survival was to
get me to UAB as quickly as possible. Tami had to contact the doctors and
request my transfer to UAB. The doctors agreed to the transfer but said it
would take some time. A hospital worker who coordinates these transfers said
that it would be impossible to get a flight and a room at UAB right away and
there was also the issues moving me in my condition.
But we know that God deals with the impossible. I should not forget to add that the
two nurses who spoke to Tami, their names were Tina and Terry, which happens to
be Tami’s two sisters’ names. God is in this! After speaking with the
coordinator, Tami was heading out the door to call our sons to let them know
what was happening. She did not even get out the door when the coordinator came
after her to tell her that not only was a room waiting for me, but that the jet
was on its way to pick me up to take me to UAB as quickly as possible. The
coordinator told Tami that I must have angels holding me up, and Tami assured
her we did. Within 45 minutes, the jet was there and I was being loaded in for
the flight to UAB.
Several days later I awoke and discovered I was in Alabama and was quite
disoriented due to the stroke. I was told by my doctors at UAB what had
happened and how fortunate I was and I agreed. The problem then was the
stroke. The doctors would need time to see how well I would recover from the
affects of the stroke before they could consider me now for a transplant. It
would take 3 months of healing before they could finalize the evaluation on me
which is a hospital procedure for transplants. The good news was I was released
in 10 days with an efficiency of 10% which meant I was able to move around and
We visited UAB every week for my check ups and waited to be added to the transplant
list. When they were satisfied, not to mention surprised, with my healing from
the stroke, I was finally qualified for a transplant in September and added to
the list. Then the medical insurance company cancelled our policy. Sometimes
you ask God, ”What are you thinking?” This now put me as inactive on the
National heart transplant list. To answer that question, God knows what is best
even if we do not understand. He knows the bigger picture.
Hebrews 2:4. God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various
miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?
In November of that year, we met a precious couple at the church we were
attending. They noticed my health and inquired. As I explained to them my
story, they asked if they could pray for me. Tami and I agreed gladly. We left
the church feeling like something had just taken place. I could feel a change
in my health. Then the following April, during an Easter Service, the Deacons
and the Pastor anointed me with oil, laid hands on me and prayed for healing.
Mark 6:13. …, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.
Mark 16:18. “…, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick,
and they will recover.”
James 5:14, 15.
“Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray
over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord and the prayer offered
in faith will make the sick person well;…”
I continued to get better and better! Much better in fact!
In May we were able to get new insurance from another company yet we were still
dealing with the company that cancelled my insurance. With new insurance we
could get some test for my heart to see how my heart was doing. Remember, less
than a year ago I was basically dead and my doctors said there was no reversal
of the condition; it would only get worse; and I would die without the
transplant. I was excited to get the test done because as I indicated I was
feeling much better. In May I went through with the test and went back to
Florida to wait on the results.
A few weeks passed and we were finally able to schedule an appointment with my
doctor (the one that diagnosed me with congestive heart failure). I walked
into the doctor’s office and she said, “You are a walking miracle!“, I
have your test results. Your efficiency is at 55% and your heart has shrunk to
a normal size and you no longer have congestive heart failure, you are healed.”
The doctors in Florida and in Alabama all agreed that this was a God thing, a
true miracle! When you pray to God for a miracle and He answers, we seem
surprised. He is God and He deals with supernatural all the time.
They took me off the National Transplant list in January of 2003!
On the issue of the cancelled insurance, Praising God for that too! If it had not
been cancelled, I would have had a transplant that was not necessary.
James 1:4. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and
complete, lacking nothing.
I am totally healed thanks to God, I can do anything physically I want to. Run,
climb, swim, ride a bike, anything.
Also, you know, God has a sense a humor. Remember in the Bible when Jesus
raised Lazarus from the dead, well, the name of my Florida cardiologist was Dr.
I praise God for what he did for me and my family.
What happened truly is a miracle and I give all the glory to God!