If ever there was a defining moment in my life it was the evening of June 30, 2003. As I was rushed to hospital in an ambulance, I put my life into God's hands. I prayed, “Lord take me if it is your will, or please, cause me to completely recover.” Within minutes of arriving at the hospital it was confirmed I was having a heart attack. Injections were given to unblock my arteries, but still the pain continued. Another injection was administered, but to no avail. I remember the moment I drifted into unconsciousness, and then sometime later remember waking to the sound of my name being called.
Days later I was told what had happened— my heart had stopped twice, and I had been given five electric shocks, and a heart massage. It really was a miracle I was still alive. An angiogram showed I had experienced the rarest of all heart attacks—a dissected coronary artery. The main right artery had split from top to bottom. The doctor and nurses stood with their mouths gaping, speechless and wondering how I was still alive.
But I knew why. The nurses told me of the presence of God in the room throughout the crisis! There was still a purpose in my life for which the Lord was preserving me, despite the incredible odds. Being only 41 years old and the mother of five sons under 10, this event was very traumatic.
Six months later, a bigger test of faith came when our family doctor confirmed I was pregnant. This sent shock waves through my soul. I had been told while recovering from the heart attack not to fall pregnant. Most women have heart attacks only after childbearing age, but because I was still in that range it became a big issue among the health workers.
Within a few days I had appointments with the specialist cardiologist and the specialist obstetrician. Both described the risks of my pregnancy. The obstetrician asked if it is worth risking my life for another baby when I already had five young children. Both specialists couldn't guarantee my safety throughout the pregnancy or rule out another heart attack, which according to the statistics was likely to be fatal. Termination was suggested.
I cannot describe the range of emotions that my husband, George, and I went through over the next two months.
As Christians we believed God was, without doubt, the author of every pregnancy and child born. We had no right, we felt, to terminate a life God had created. Even in knowing this, I was fearful for my life and for my children.
I turned to the Lord in desperate prayer. As I did He gave me the key to the situation and said, “Give up the right to preserve your own life.” Having understood His path for me, I simply prayed committing my life and the growing child within me, into His hands. I immediately felt relief, as if a heavy weight had been lifted of me. We informed the doctors that we would proceed with the pregnancy.
Some days later, I saw an image in my mind while I was praying—it was the child in the womb being held in His hands. Another time He told me, “You won't carry this baby.” As the pregnancy progressed I noticed a lot of differences to my previous pregnancies. First there was no serious morning sickness.That was a big change! Second, I wasn't exhausted all the time and actually felt in the best health I had for a long time.
I often told George that I didn't even feel like I was pregnant. It was true—the Lord was carrying the baby. There were times along the way when I would be attacked with fear, but each time I cried out to God, who would steady my heart and soothe my anxieties.
As the months passed, the condition of my heart once again became an issue.
The doctors wanted to decide the type of delivery I should have to minimise the strain on my heart. When I was seven months pregnant I was sent to have a scan. The results were amazing.
The heart is an organ that can't regenerate.
Once damaged, which previous tests had shown mine was, it remains in that condition. But there was little or no trace of damage at all. In fact the report said that I had 100 per cent operation of my heart. George and I were dumbfounded, but we knew God had performed an incredible miracle. Consequently the doctors decided to let me go full term and have a normal delivery.
When the time came to deliver the baby I hesitated, wondering if I could do it and if something would go wrong with my heart as I pushed. Suddenly a tangible peace settled over George and I, just as if a blanket had been placed over us. It was the presence of God bringing me reassurance. I knew in that moment everything would be OK. I pushed, with the confidence that God's peace brought, and our sixth child, baby Moses, was born two minutes later.
Three weeks later I had an ECG done in the doctor's office. After carefully reading the heart traces the doctor announced with amazement that some of the traces had actually reversed since the heart attack and returned to normal.
We went on our way rejoicing that God takes up the things we lay down to Him. He had achieved what should have been impossible and brought our precious miracle baby Moses and me safely through it all.
I wanted to share this testimony of God's healing and enabling strength to encourage other women facing pregnancies with medical conditions to trust their lives into the Lord's hands. It was true what He said to me—He was the One who carried Moses for me in the womb, and He brought him safely into this world. In the process of surrendering my life to Him, He took over and healed and carried me. This was supposed to be the most dangerous of all my pregnancies, but the Lord made it to be the best and the easiest.
My soul magnifies the Lord for He has done wondrous things for me.