I love this picture.
This is Erin. She is a remarkable young woman who played a part in Mike’s story that most don’t know about.
Mike and I were walking alone on a beat up road that runs between two newer housing developments about a mile from our home when he went down. There was NO warning. He just groaned, crumpled to his knees and then to the ground, his eyes rolled back and foam formed around his mouth.
I yelled for help and a contractor working in one of the homes came out, asking if he should call 911. I was shaking as I fumbled with my phone and didn’t know any of the street names, so YES … please! While the man called, I knelt to give Mike chest compressions.
About then, a car bumped down the road. I wasn’t sure if the driver could see us, so I stood, wildly waving for the car to stop. It did and a young woman jumped out, running towards me.
“Are you okay? What happened? Can I help?”
This was Erin. I learned later that Erin is just 18 years old and is a full-time swim instructor. Bravely, she knelt down to help me give CPR. At that moment, a 911 operator began to talk me through the process and the paramedics arrived.
This gave me a chance to call our neighbor; Erin again helped, giving directions and answering questions. I was so grateful to have another person helping.
We later learned that Erin lives in that neighborhood, yet almost NEVER drives down that particular road. “For some reason, I just really felt like I needed to go that way that night,” she told us four weeks later in the hospital room.
“Please … please … tell me how he does,” were the last words she said that night as she typed her name into my phone. As I sat in the passenger seat of the ambulance and rode away, I saw Erin surrounded by her boyfriend and family … all sobbing. Someone had seen the emergency vehicles and Erin’s car, and had assumed that she had been in an accident.
We texted back and forth a couple of times in the following weeks, and then, as Mike began to make his comeback, I invited her to come meet him. You see the results above … such a remarkable moment.
So much in our lives right now can only be describe as remarkable. Take this ex-ray:
This is a picture of the tumor that lives in Mike. Remarkable how big it is. Remarkable that he hasn’t been more impacted and that it’s benign. Remarkable that we now have answers for eye sight issues, memory issues, and hormone imbalances. Remarkable that tumor or no tumor, God is sovereign.
Remarkable that doctors found this tumor. I read through some of the past FB posts tonight and was quickly caught up in the emotions of that first week … the difficulty of Mike not coming out of the coma … the ugly intensity of what he endured in ICU …. the peace God gave me that even if Mike didn’t wake up, He was holding Mike … the understanding that the suffering had a purpose as it led to something we needed to know.
It’s remarkable that shortly after the discovery of the tumor, the ejection fraction of his heart raised from 15% to 55% (60-75% indicates a healthy heart.) Mike’s regular physician explained to us a few days ago that this rarely happens. “It’s like stretching out a balloon,” he said. Once stretched apart it doesn’t normally flex back to its normal shape. Remarkable that so much prayer went towards this particular issue. Remarkable that the Life Vest is really just a formality at this point and is likely to come off in a few weeks …therefore, what looked like a heart matter really wasn’t the heart after all.
Remarkable love. I had considered whether I’m being too open, too detailed about what we’re going through … involving too many people … “But don’t you see,” a friend pressed me, “that’s what we’re wired for. God’s love is not made to be contained … let people be a part if that’s what God gives them to do. It gives them joy… hope … plus, there are so many watching. Many may never see love like this … just let people be like Jesus so that those who need to see it can.”
It has been a strange week. While we are in this often shadowy valley … a number of friends have ended up in situations equally as life altering and even more painful. Strange, because I feel cautious about praying for these valleys to pass too quickly for any of us. Instead, I ask for strength, because pain, I have learned, has another face.
“How often we look upon God as our last and feeblest resource! We go to Him because we have nowhere else to go. And then we learn that the storms of live have driven us, not upon the rocks, but into the desired haven.” – George MacDonald