Archive for April, 2006
I am sending you a picture of a billboard that St Joseph’s Medical Center put up of me in San Joaquin County. They are in the Stockton, Lodi, Tracy, Modesto and Manteca communities. I am in my 38th year of teaching World History and coaching football and softball at Linden High School.
On January 16, 2003, I had the most dynamic experience of my life. On January 13th, 2003 I suffered a heart attack after softball practice. I was taken to St Joseph’s Medical Center by Ambulance. A stint was placed in my heart and I was taken to the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit where a nurse weighed me at 360 lbs.
Three mornings later, January 16, I suffered a major heart attack, the nurses who responded saved my life. Another stint was put in my heart. I was told I need to lose weight or die. Over the next 8 months, through dieting and exercise I lost 170 lbs, had two more stints, failed 4 cardiolite stress tests, and finally in August of 2003, after my 5th failed stress test, my cardiologist told me I needed open heart surgery.
I told the doctor that we were a week into football, and that school was about to start, that this wasn’t a good time. He told me that actually this was the best time, for without surgery, I didn’t have much time left at all.
I had a triple by-pass open heart surgery on August 26th, and when I woke up, I could tell my world had changed for the better. I was back on the field coaching football 6 days later. I now run 3-4 miles a day, my shirt size has gone from a size XXXL to a size L, my waist from a size 46 to a size 32.
My softball team went 26-4 in 2004, I was selected as the California State High School Softball ‘Coach of the Year’, and in 2005 the team went 29-0, and we were the California State Division IV Softball Champions.
My two granddaughters have been born since my heart attacks, I raised $10,000 for the American Heart Association’s Heartwalk, I was selected as the San Joaquin County AHA ‘Volunteer of the Year’ in 2005. I spoke at the Food 4 Less Pro Am Golf tournament, and at the St Joseph’s Medical Center/AHA ‘Affair of the Heart’s Silent Auction. We raised over $90,000 that evening.
I had 6 youngsters speak at our first football game this last September. All are heart patients. One of the youngsters, a 10 year old girl needed a heart. She received her heart on Thanksgiving Day this past year. I speak to heart patients every Saturday morning at St Joseph’s Medical Center. There is a huge need to get the message across that a bend in the road is not always the end of the road. In my case, it was the beginning of a whole new life. I honestly believe that during my second heart attack, the people who responded to my call were actually angels disguised as nurses.
Life is Good. Miracles do indeed happen.
This miracle story submitted by “M.M.” from California
More Miracle Stories
I was at a junction in my life when I felt the call of God tugging at my spirit. I had several incidences that were leading me to Him: tickets to a Christian play that mysteriously were put in my mailbox, with just enough tickets for my husband and two children; my son continually talked about Jesus; and eventually I began to ask questions.
I was a doubter and considered myself too “well read” to believe what I thought of as a farytale. Many of the books I had read up to that point led me to believe Christianity was a way to make ancient governments keep the people in check, so to speak. I had read books that spoke of secrets and cover-ups that made the Bible untrue.
But as we all know, once God speaks to us, we can’t forget. I felt His pull and a few events happened that led my family and me to church. I was also surrounded by a good Christian group of women at my new job (coincidence? I think not).
Eventhough I was trying hard to become a part of God’s family, but my doubts were in the way. I prayed and cried to God that I needed him and wanted to believe, to please erase any doubts I had so that I could love Him unconditionally and quit questioning faith. What I didn’t realize is that God was already working in me!
In the last few months leading up to this, I had somehow developed an interest or you may say a yearning to give to others. Charity, animal shelters, clothes for need children. You name it and I wanted to help. This was very unlike me, as I can be a little self-absorbed.
One day at work (I work in a hospital), as I was getting on the elevator, I saw a very non-descript lady of about 55 or so who was already on. I saw that she already had FLOOR #1 button pushed and that was where I was going, too. I smiled and said, “I’m going to Floor One, also.”
After that I began to get lost in my own thought. Just as we were getting to our floor, I heard an almost muffled voice, but noticeable and clear (if that makes any sense) say to me…”Thank you for your work.” I kind of shook myself a little, because I wasn’t sure I heard this lady correctly and at first what she said to me didn’t make sense. I looked at her and said “huh?” It was then I really looked at her for the first time.
She never repeated herself, she just smiled serenely and as I looked in her eyes a glimmer, a light, if you will, seemed to pass across her eyes (it reminded me of the way car headlights look going across a window in a house at night). They actually gleamed.
I was left speechless and suddenly very backward. And without her repeating, I just inherently knew what it was she just had said. I kind of stammered and said “Oh, uh, thank you.” And I smiled.
The door opened for us to get off on Floor One, which I did. But the lady stayed on. When I turned back to look at her, she seemed almost a blur to me. My mind was racing because I knew something had just happened here. It seemed odd that she had my floor already pushed on the elevator when I got on as if that was the floor she was going to also, but she never got off.
All the women I worked with said it was an angel. And then a soft, nudging voice said, “This was a thank you for the good works you’ve been doing.” And I knew God had answered my plea, my cry to Him to erase all doubt, because his angel had been “in the face proof”. More proof than what I could ever ask for. I knew my job was to help others and put their needs first.
Any time my creeping doubt would work its way in, something always made me remember, my angel that briefly touched me during my time of doubt. God had me then and forever. Thank you.
This story was submitted by “G.M.” from Maryland