Archive for January 7th, 2009


Xmas Miracle

It was 4 pm on Monday December 29th, in Indian Wells, California (just outside of Palm Springs), when what seemed an ordinary day, turned into a near tragedy for my sister-in-law Lucy and brother Bob. Bob works in real estate and was just rushing out the door for a meeting he was late for. Hand on the door knob, he and his business partner Marv were just walking out when they heard glass crashing to the ground.

In a split-second decision whether to keep moving to make the meeting or stop and see what happened, my brother made the right decision. He walked back to the kitchen and there found Lucy, collapsed on the floor and holding on to their dog. Disoriented, eyes rolling and droopy facial expression…Lucy exhibited a clear sign of a stroke. Quick action by Bob and partner Marv got the EMT’s to the home within minutes. And lucky for Bob, Marv had experience dealing with stroke patients and was considerable help in making Lucy comfortable until medical help arrived.

Bob called me from the hospital with the not so good news “Lucy’s in trouble…and I don’t think she’ll make it,” he told me. Wow, the news hit me like a ton of bricks as I’m sure you can imagine. He went on to tell me she suffered both a stroke and brain aneurysm…she’s headed in for emergency surgery, and the good news is that she has the hospital’s top surgeons in attendance.

When I got to the hospital the next morning, Lucy was sitting up in bed, still not able to speak more than 3 word sentences’ and her memory was not functioning; her face still showed signs of a stroke along with some paralysis of her extremities. By the afternoon, she was speaking in full sentences’, memory was improving and she regained use of her arms, hands and legs.

Bob and I were outside of the ICU thanking God for helping out, when the neurosurgeon that performed the operation approached us. He told us that it was an extremely serious operation and that Lucy literally had less than a 10% chance of surviving it. He also told us that it was the first time he had performed this type of procedure to remove the aneurysm which was located in the center of her brain. We were both stunned as he shared this information. Looking at Bob’s facial expression, I think if he had known the Doctor had never performed that type of surgery before, he might not have said yes to it.

Let me leave you with a few things to think about and why I truly believe this was a miracle. First, of course was the decision for Bob to keep moving to his appointment or stop and look to see what happened; next, having Marv there to help as he was well versed with helping with stroke patients; the fact that the EMT’s were available within minutes of the 911 call; having the lead surgeons available all at the same time and during a holiday; and finally, Bob making a decision to operate based solely on trust and instinct.

UPDATE: Lucy is home recovering nicely. Her miracle was the talk of the hospital and amazingly, she was released only 4 days after this major surgery. What a wonderful way to start the New Year!

January 2009
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