*Reprinted from another issue of 'For your Heart and Home' Be reminded...
My Story - God STILL Does Miracles
By Cheryl Willhite Bigler
My life changed when I went to bed Tuesday night August 17th, 2021. I had no idea that I would spend the next three days on life support and have very little memory of the following two weeks. I worked a normal day Tuesday. Absolutely nothing out of the ordinary. I was healthy with no history of severe medical problems. As I began to piece the events of this two-week period together there was absolutely no doubt God was with me before, during and after; when I could not call on Him myself, and while many others were praying on my behalf, God was certainly there.
Almost like a hospital dateline report, I would like to share with you some of the Miracles God gave me to share…
Miracle 1 - At approximately 4:00 am on August 18th I went into cardiac arrest. I was never alert enough to ask for help. My husband said he rolled over next to me in bed and I didn’t move. Somehow he just knew something was wrong. He jumped up and called 911 when he realized I was nonresponsive. As he was talking with the 911 operator I stopped breathing and my heart stopped as he watched my lips turn blue. 911 directed him to start CPR immediately. The miracles here...he woke up at exactly the time I needed him. He credits the Holy Spirit for waking him up. Believe me he normally doesn’t usually jump out of bed and isn’t overly observant at 4:00 am. There's more...he wasn’t even supposed to be home that night. He had an overnight fishing trip planned and at the last minute…he cancelled it due to the heat. This is truly unheard of because he loves to fish!
Miracle 2 - We have a volunteer fire dept and EMT people. As one of the volunteers was leaving her home her husband was just getting home from work. He said he would ride along, as it turns out…he was an ER doctor specializing in emergency medicine.
Miracle 3 – This all happened during covid. There were no ICU beds available within 100 miles of us. The only open bed they could find was at MercyOne in Des Moines. They have an excellent heart unit with a team of doctors knowledgeable in the electrical side of the heart which is just what I needed! So what looked like a problem...was exactly how God had it planned!
Miracle 4 - The weather was so bad the Waterloo medical helicopter could not take off. Another helicopter from a different location attempted to fly into Waterloo and had to turn around. It was decided they couldn’t wait for the weather to change so I was ambulanced to Des Moines. The ER doctor who had worked 3rd shift and his wife volunteered to ride in the ambulance with me. Thank God, He sent them along because on the way to Des Moines I coded again. Thankfully, the ER Doctor knew exactly what to do. My daughter-in-law who is a nurse, said it is unheard of for a physician to ride in an ambulance.
Miracle 5 - I was put on life support as soon as I went to the first emergency room. I was in heart failure and my heart was pumping at 26% capacity, approximately 65% would be considered normal. My family was told there was a strong possibility when I recovered enough, I would need to go to a skilled nursing facility for rehabilitation to relearn daily activities like walking, talking, and feeding myself. When I was removed off of life support, amazingly, I did not need one bit of therapy!! Praise God!!
My heart has returned to normal pumping capacity. It was never determined what caused me to go into cardiac arrest. I now have a pacemaker and defibrillator implanted.
Here’s another miracle…an everyday miracle…only by the Grace of God am I here today. Only by the Grace of God am I able to go to bed and not worry.
Since my cardiac arrest, I have learned that during 2022, in the United States, there were 356,000 cardiac arrest cases. Nearly 90% were fatal. Cardiac arrest can happen at any age. CPR needs to be started immediately for best results. Cardiac arrest is not a heart attack. It is when the electrical side of your heart malfunctions and causes your heart to suddenly stop.
I don’t know why God saved my life when so many others often don’t make it. I’m still trying to figure out if there is a divine purpose for this to have happened to me. In the meantime, I know I have a new boldness to share what God has done for me. I certainly don’t take waking up each morning for granted! I have a new focus to try and make each day count as none of us know when we will take our last breath. Life is short, enjoy every moment, be kind, thoughtful and be right with Jesus!! Make everyday count!!
About Cheryl Willhite Bigler