My experience showed me that…human experience continues beyond the grave...under the gaze of a God who loves and cares about each of us.
- Eben Alexander, neurosurgeon and author
Michelle Rogers Nichols, MD, sent me a story about her father, who was also a medical doctor. Her note said something I think is very important for all of us to remember:
“Often when we read stories in the Bible, we think that those miracles don't happen anymore. Nothing could be further from the truth! I stand before you to tell you that the Word still lives.” I am pleased to be able to share her story with you.
I am a family physician in Pilot Mountain, North Carolina. On November 12, 2007, I received a call that my father had collapsed from an excruciating headache. When I arrived in the emergency room, Dad was still talking. He said his headache was getting worse and shut his eyes tightly.
I asked, “Daddy? Are you all right?” There was no response. I lifted his eyelids. His pupils were pinpoint and fixed. My medical knowledge and training were telling me that my dad was dying.
As I yelled for other personnel to come to his aid, I started CPR. Finally, the neurosurgeon called me aside and showed me the CT scan results. They were devastating. My dad had suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm. Blood covered his brain, causing deadly pressure.
“This is one of the worst cases I’ve seen,” he said. “Call your family. If he survives, he will need surgery within 24 hours.” From that point on, family members and I began to pray without ceasing. The next day, the physicians didn’t think his condition was improving. With essentially no brain activity, we made the hardest decision one ever has to make: to take him off life support.
As I entered the room, I touched my dad’s leg. At that moment, his eyes flew wide open! I couldn’t believe it! I really knew what Mary and Martha felt when they were at their brother’s tomb.
Without a minute to spare, Dad had the necessary surgery. Twenty-four hours later, he was off life support. He began to talk, asking for his father, who had been dead for 10 years. He mentioned that he had walked with a friend. Together, they were all seeing the Great Physician.
“What did he look like, Daddy?” I asked.
“I couldn’t see his face, but I know he was talking to my father about me. He told me that I have great doctors in the hospital here, but that I needed to see the Great Physician. In the end, he told me that I was going to be fine.”
What blessed reassurance we have if we believe in Christ. As in Psalms 23, my dad was met by the Great Physician’s staff, comforted and healed. When we pray without ceasing and trust with the heart of a child, there are no limits to seeing his wonders displayed.