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A story of praise and thanks

Posted: March 10, 2011 3:13 p.m.
Updated: March 11, 2011 5:00 a.m.

Our news media is so full of negatives, hopelessness and tragedy. This is a story praising the goodness of God through others. On Jan. 12 about 7:30 p.m., my husband came in the den and announced that he wasn’t feeling real good. In questioning him all he could tell me was a bad case of indigestion -- no nausea, no pain or no sweating. We live at Lake Wateree next door to Vince (a Methodist minister) and Nancy (a nurse) Halter. I called Nancy, and Charles described his symptoms. Calmly she told him that it could just be a case of indigestion but better safe than sorry and Vince would drive us to the hospital. The back roads were still icy from the snow and continuous refreezing with the low temperatures. Within a few minutes Vince, Charles and I were on our way to KershawHealth. By the time we got to Lugoff, 10 miles away, Charles was insisting that Vince drive a little faster.

   We arrived at KershawHealth, Vince let us out and told me to inform the admitting nurse that my husband was possibly having a heart attack and needed immediate attention. She immediately put Charles down for an EKG and just as promptly he was taken to a room in Emergency. Within another few minutes, Vince and I were told that we could go back to “Charles’ room.” When we walked back the cubicle was in a buzz. I don’t know how many people were in there working with Charles but recognized professionals completely concentrating on getting their job done -- the IVs, the monitors, the oxygen, etc. The ER doctor came over as I stepped outside out of the way, put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Your husband is having a heart attack; we are not equipped to take care of him here. A helicopter is on the way from Providence Hospital. No, you can’t go with them, you’ll have to drive over.” Vince spoke up, “Not a problem, I’ll drive her over to Columbia.” The helicopter crew arrived minutes later, assured me that they could take over from there and be in Columbia in about 15 minutes. If there was a problem they promised to call on the cell, otherwise they would call when they got to Providence. They took Charles to the helicopter and Vince and I waited until they lifted off. As we got out of the parking lot, Vince took my hand and said, “Let’s have a prayer.” From then on he concentrated on his driving on those icy roads, leaving me to absorb all that was happening and say my own prayers.

The helicopter crew called as we drove on I-20 saying that Charles was doing OK and they were wheeling him to the Heart Cath Lab where the doctor was waiting. By the time we got there, the hospital was locked down and we had to go through Emergency. We were sent to a waiting room. Vince insisted we call my daughter in Charleston. Of course she was upset, saying she would be there in an hour and a half. I kept encouraging her to wait. She called back and talked to Vince. Obviously he knew that she was on her way. In his calm, compassionate, caring way we just visited, which kept me from losing control, and waited for some news. After a while someone came by to say the doctor would see us soon. Dr. Hendricks came to tell us that Charles had two blockages -- one total and one partial. Two stints had been put in and Charles was doing OK. Almost immediately he was rolled by and the attendant told me to give him a kiss and follow them. By then it was about 1:30 a.m. I insisted that Vince leave. He said he would get my car and cell phone to me in the morning. I was in that waiting room thankfully all alone with the solitude to thank God for sparing Charles’ life and begging him for a full recovery. I must have been semi-conscious when I looked up and my daughter was there about 2 a.m.

   I have my beloved husband home with me now, still healing but WITH me. Charles seemingly had no health problems except acute arthritis. But crisis raised its ugly head. God put all the pieces together to come through all this. Nancy’s training, skill and gentle persuasion convinced Charles to go to the hospital. Vince was willing to drive us to the hospital in hazardous conditions. The nurse in the ER recognized a serious condition and responded promptly. The doctor and staff at KershawHealth diagnosed the problem and called for the helicopter crew, affording a quick and safe arrival at Providence. Dr. Hendricks’ skill in diagnosing and repairing the blockages and the staff at Providence Hospital all were in place. Everything was perfectly timed by God. God sent his servant Vince, strong, caring and compassionate, to help me remain calm and trusting. Also, the prayer warriors at Lake Wateree, friends, neighbors and a loving family outreach was part of God’s putting all the pieces together. “There are angels among us!!”

 

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