If I Lived

You may have read this statement before:

“After my accident, January 1, 1991, I developed pneumonia and the doctor put me on a ventilator. He told Earl if I lived, I would be brain damaged, ventilator dependent and bedridden for life, and he was too young to be stuck with an invalid wife. Then, the doctor offered to let me die—comfortably.”
Earl remembered his wedding vows and had me transferred to Shepherd Spinal Center for rehabilitation.
Hospitalized with pneumonia eighteen years later, I lay in bed for thirteen days. Earl had me discharged. At home, he kept me to my normal daily routine.  I saw my doctor two weeks later and he said, “Do you know we couldn’t see your diaphragm on your x-ray when we sent you home? Today’s x-ray shows your lungs are clear. What did you do?”
Four years after that, I had three non-susceptible to known antibiotics bacteria in my pressure wound. I never heard a diagnoses but my infectious disease doctor wouldn’t deny it was osteomyelitis. I had a PICC line then a Groshong and Earl did three rounds of multiple hard-hitting IV antibiotics at home over three months.
I came to my senses in ICU before we finished the antibiotics. Admitted for “Changed Mental Status,” I was malnourished. [I don’t eat much.] The eighth day, Earl requested a feeding tube. It was placed in surgery. Then he asked my doctors to discharge me. A few hours later, I was home.
Four months passed and I was recovering well and doing active exercises to increase my strength. Suddenly I was back in the hospital with sepsis. Day five started well with full intention of going home. One doctor wrote the order early that morning. 

At eleven-thirty, an aide started my bed bath. When she rolled me to my left, my sinuses drained and mucus blocked my airway. I panicked. Earl put me on my back and my airway cleared. I continued to gasp for air. He put me on oxygen at 2L/minute (O2) then set up my BiPAP and switched me over.

My O2 saturation was critically low and I heard someone say, “Raise it to six”. A while later I became aware of a large number of people in my room. I told Earl, “Need. Quiet. I can. Relax. Breathe.” He told them and most left. I rested and felt better. 

When my admitting doctor came in a short time later, we told him what happened and that we still wanted to go home. He wrote the order and we arrived home at seven p.m. [Earl told me later that the group of people in my room was the “Rapid Response Team” waiting for me to code.]

Earl’s response in each situation was foolishness in the eyes of many. I heard the questions addressed to him. “When are you leaving (her)?” “She IS a ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ isn’t she?” “Don’t you want to make her a ‘DNR’?”  “Sign this. It is an agreement that you won’t abandon your wife while she’s here.” “What do you think your wife wants?”
My paralysis is hard work for Earl and me. In the beginning, I thought it would be easier for everyone if I died. I succumbed to depression – I asked God to take me home.
With Earl’s insistence, I began ordering my medicine, calling my doctors and scheduling appointments. He encouraged me to write devotions for church newsletters, teach adult Sunday school classes and lead Bible studies.
Earl and I are running the race set before us and fixing our eyes on Jesus. (Hebrews 12:1-2). We pray people will know we belong to Jesus by our words and our actions.
I share my testimony and tell what God has done for me everywhere I go. Earl’s sermons are always Holy Spirit powered. He wanders through Wednesday night meals talking to everyone there. He takes every opportunity to be with the children and youth.
We know Satan has our names on his short-list. We bind and cast him and his demons out as we pray out loud. [Satan cannot read your mind.] We praise God and remind Satan we belong to Jesus and he has no power over us.
The Apostle Paul said, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Romans 5:15 NIV).

 In Christ,
If this story touched your heart, would you please share it your friends?


  1. Praise the LORD, Earl did what God wanted him to.

  2. Yes, quietspirit. I am blessed to have a godly husband.
    In Christ,

  3. What an amazing story!! Thanks for the reminder to pray out loud. Thanks also for Romans 5:15. I need to be reminded that suffering serves a good purpose! You must be full of perseverance, character; and hope!! Keep letting God use your words!!

  4. Thank you, stifffneck.

Leave a Reply to Berta Dickerson Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: