It was August, 1991 and I was attending the local county fair with my three daughters. The two oldest were competing in the local kid’s tractor pull. They had a bit of a knack for tractor pulls where they typically would place at the competitions.
As a mom, I am cheering them on. And, perhaps, maybe a little too much. During the midst of a “cheer them on,” I felt a stabbing pain in my head. On the right side of my head to be more specific. And it didn’t go away. It scared me because I didn’t know what was happening.
Shortly after the tractor pull was done, I left the fair with my daughters and went home. I still had the pain in my head. I said nothing, as I thought it would go away. Once home, I noticed some other weird things going on with my body. I would move my left arm and it wasn’t going in the direction that my head said it should go. I tried grasping a glass, and it dropped to the floor. I was also limping a bit. It was like I lost control.
Most people would have immediately gone to the hospital with these symptoms, but I did not. I didn’t share with my husband what was going on. Yes, I was scared, but thought it would go away. I went to bed thinking it will be better in the morning. Well, it was better, but the whole experience scared me. The next morning, I told my husband what happened, and I was going to the ER to get checked out. I was truly expecting a clean bill of health and would send my on my way.
Well, it didn’t turn out that way.
One of the first tests I did was a CT scan. It was through the scan they saw something. That something looked like an aneurysm. I was told I needed to go immediately to a higher level hospital and in this case, it was the Mayo Hospital in Rochester, MN. I was told a helicopter was on its way and that I should relax and not worry. Seriously?
I immediately called my husband to tell him what was going on. He arranged for the girls to go to his mothers. At the time, my youngest daughter was not a year old. My husband and his sister were on their way to Rochester.
Once I arrived at the hospital, they started giving me a multitude of tests. The plan was for me to go into surgery as soon as it was feasible. The next morning, the neurosurgeon came into my room to meet and talk with me. There was something special about him but didn’t realize how special he was until later. Little did I know, he was a world renowned neurosurgeon. I will share a little more about that later.
They started prepping me for the surgery. I was scared to death. Before the surgery, a Catholic nun came into my room to pray with my husband and I. I can’t explain it (well, yes I can), but after the prayer I felt a sense of overwhelming peace. My husband, on the other hand, was a nervous wreck.
Before surgery, they had one more test to do. They completed the test and I thought I was on my way to the operating room when they wheeled me next to my hospital room. I am thinking to myself, is my case that severe that they can’t do the surgery? No one said anything to me as I lay there wondering what is going on. Just like that, my husband came out of the room to greet me with a big smile.
I did NOT have an aneurysm. Thank the Lord! But they wanted me to stay a few days for other tests. They wanted to find out what caused the bleed in my brain. After 6 days in the hospital, they released me. All they could tell me while grasping for an explanation was there was some small defect in one of my blood vessels – probably since birth.
I cried the entire way home. So thankful to be alive. So thankful that I was still a mom to three young girls. So thankful to be a wife.
Do you believe in miracles?
I certainly do. I believe God had plans for me.
A couple more interesting notes about this story. During my hospital stay, I heard some noise in the hallway. The cleaning lady was cleaning my room and I asked her about it. Nonchalantly, she said “Ronald Regan was out in the hallway to greet the nurses who cared for him while at the hospital. A few years prior, he fell off a horse at his California ranch. He came to the Mayo Hospital for his care.”
Oh my, I thought. Well, I had to see for myself. I got up for a “walk” and lo-and-behold, there he was. We said hello to each other in my hospital gown.
My last interesting note was after I was out of the hospital for a couple of weeks, I walked by my TV set at home and the show 60 minutes was on. I stopped to see what the story was about and realized the gentleman looked familiar. It was Dr. Sundt, the neurosurgeon that was going to perform my surgery had I needed it. I had no idea at the time he was world renowned. I thought he was important as he had an entourage as he came into my hospital room. He was a world famous neurosurgeon and again, I had no idea.
The reason for the 60 Minutes story was he had cancer and was still performing surgeries, despite his diagnosis. He died a short time after the airing.
So I ask again, Do You Believe in Miracles?