On July 28, 2011, I returned to the hospital where I gave birth to Ella one year ago, the same place I died and was revived back to life. I invited the doctors, nurses and staff to a party to celebrate this glorious one year birthday of Ella and anniversary of my survival.
The staff members who were involved in my care were there and emotions were running high on all our parts as we remembered back to that almost tragic day. The first person who greeted me was the person who first administered CPR to me. She looked at me and said, “I could never forget those eyes.” She said that even when I was dead, lifeless, and blue, there was something about my eyes. Then she went on to tell me that when she was in the room with me giving me CPR, she could feel she was not alone–that a great presence–a mighty presence was in there too. I knew she was speaking about God. I told her I wanted to hear more and to contact me later so we could speak one on one about what she experienced. I can’t wait to find out more from her!
I heard so many stories that I feel like I could write another book detailing the staff’s account of my time with them! In my book, I told a story of how the housecleaning staff came and prayed for me after I was transferred to another room; they prayed not knowing if I had lived or died. Two of them were there and I was able to hug and thank them. See picture to the left. I wish I could share every story these staff members told me. They all warmed my heart. Each person did so much to assist in saving my life. I didn’t want to leave this little party and strongly feel Mercy Gilbert is a special hospital with beautiful people working there!
That evening, we celebrated Mass with friends, family and my church community. It was amazing to see so many who have been lifting us up in prayer all year. My heart was warmed as I was able to pray in thanksgiving for Ella’s and my life. I definitely got choked up throughout the whole Mass.
After Mass, we went back to my house to celebrate Ella’s and my dad’s birthday. The “oohs” and “awes” were loudly heard as Ella made her entrance in a princess outfit with her crown.
She wore it proudly and loved the attention. Since Ella was a princess, I thought it was only fitting to make my father the king of the co-birthday party!
The house was jammed packed full of family and a few of Ella’s friends; it was hot, and getting late, but truly wonderful and joy filled! When everyone left, there was an incredible mess to clean up, tired children to put to bed, and a little packing I needed to do before I left for Minnesota the next morning. As I was getting ready for bed, I noticed I was smiling…for no reason other than from the joy of such a well spent day. It was everything I wanted it to be and more! I wouldn’t have wanted to miss this day!
I have always believed that when you follow Christ, He will bless your life more than you could ever imagine, and I am experiencing the truth in that now as I feel rich in all the things that really matter, like family, friends, ministry, etc. Then Lord is true to His promises.
I spent the weekend giving talks to 2000 teens at a Steubenville Conference in Minnesota where I was able to share about the power of prayer and the might of God! It was an incredible weekend as I witnessed many young hearts be drawn closer to the Lord.
Before the conference began in Minnesota, I was able to visit with my 99 year-old grandmother. I gave her a book (see picture). I returned to see grandma on Sunday before I caught my plane, and found that she had informed most of the nursing home that her granddaughter wrote a book. I heard whisperings as I walked through, “There’s the miracle-girl.” She was so proud and I was glad I brought a few extra books because she had a list of orders from her friends! I thought that was cute!
A year ago, I wondered what life would be like in a year. There was great uncertainty in each day as I did my best to survive, but here I am—a year later— and life is well…back to normal…a simple, wonderful, blessed normal!!