Angela was a third-year nursing student. She was beautiful, athletic, and smart. She was on a presidential scholarship at the university. In September, Angela began to have discomfort in her abdomen, down low in her pelvis. She went to the student clinic for an exam.
"Tell us about your sex life," they asked.
"I don't have any. I'm a virgin."
"No, really, you can tell us. This looks like Pelvic Inflammatory Disease."
Angela protested. She couldn't have a sexually transmitted disease because she was a Christian and practiced chastity. Not believing her, the clinic called in a student counselor from the teaching hospital to persuade her to tell them the truth.
"You can tell us about your sexual activity. We won't tell your parents."
She was too pretty, too popular, too full of life to be a virgin - especially for a coed in a nursing school at a university known across the nation for its wild parties.
"We think you have a diseased ovary," they said. "We'll discuss surgery if it doesn't get better in a few days. By the way, don't tell anyone you have a fever," they joked. "Someone might think you have a ruptured appendix!"
Angela's discomfort grew worse. Ashen and almost too weak to walk, she was taken by a friend to a Christian physician in town, a gynecologist. Taking one look at Angela, he suspected toxic shock. He called an ambulance and had her rushed into surgery at the university hospital. They discovered a ruptured appendix with severe toxemia. Angela had been carrying an awful abdominal infection for many days.
After surgery, she remained in critical care as a patient in ICU. Her parents drove in. Friends began to gather. The days ran into weeks. They couldn't get the infection in her abdomen cleared up. They kept her sedated, dependent on a respirator.
Her family stayed at the hospital day and night. Churches rallied prayers on Angela's behalf. The long watch began--days and nights in the waiting room, family and friends, worried but hoping, praying, waiting. The news was never good. One doctor, a critical care specialist, told me her chances of recovery were one in three.
They installed a tracheotomy. Then, one lung collapsed. Her oxygen level deteriorated. The slide downhill seemed unstoppable. Nurses began hand-bagging her, forcing air into her lungs. They called larger hospitals in neighboring states to please take her. They declined, citing statistics of one chance in a hundred. Finally, one major medical center agreed but only if their air ambulance crew thought she would survive the flight. The helicopter arrived as a dense fog closed in. They quickly examined Angela and with a roar, whisked her away through the night.
The new hospital took her because they thought she was a pediatric case. They stabilized her in ICU. Then pneumonia set in. Thirteen weeks and a million dollars later, the doctors gave Angela no hope.
I had been meeting with Angela's parents all this time. They were Roman Catholic and like me, believed in prayer. Angela's Christian friends had prayed constantly. Everything that could be done was done. But her body was exhausted. Neither medical care nor our prayers were working. She was dying. What more could we do?
I decided to try something. I recorded a cassette tape with healing verses from the Bible. I read passages aloud with worship music in the background. The next day her dad and I drove to the hospital. We inserted the tape into Angela's player and put her headset on. We asked the nurse to keep it playing.
The first Scripture on the tape was from Jesus, "The words I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life." I didn't know what would happen, but I knew God could do anything. I believed that Angela's spirit could hear God's word even if her mind was sedated. By faith, we added the spoken word of God to her course of medical treatment. As Psalms 107:20 says, "He sent his word and healed them..."
The next day, my daughter came back from visiting the hospital. She excitedly told me Angela had taken a turn for the better! Within three days, Angela's condition came down from the highest level of critical care to the lowest level. Soon she was sitting up beside her bed. When I walked in the next week, she looked up at me and said, "Do I know you?" My eyes flooded with tears.
Three weeks later she was released to go home. When she was strong enough, the university gave a reception in her honor. After rehab and recovery, she returned to school to finish her nursing degree on a full scholarship by the university.
--RON WOOD IS A WRITER AND MINISTER. CONTACT HIM AT WOOD.STONE.RON@GMAIL.COM OR VISIT WWW.TOUCHEDBYGRACE.ORG. THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHOR.Editorial on 02/12/2020
Print Headline: Angela's Ordeal From Near Death To Life