You know the saying that you don’t know what you have until it is missing? Well, I then knew that I had a fantastic marriage. Regretfully, I started recalling the trivial things that I’d previously gotten angry over. Like hubby playing video games. If only my husband were here playing video games. I reminisced about my husband’s relentless encouragement. He would often say, Write new songs, practice your guitar, practice your singing, get better. Now, I tried to do those things, but he wasn’t here to see me.
Despite all, Lola wouldn’t give up on me. She called me every day for 18 days straight. Every midnight she would call me, and we would pray for hours, each time persuading me to actively participate. My brother-in-law also came through for me. I was stymied from visiting my husband at the hospital, but my brother-in-law occasionally visited. Once, he put through an audio call where we got the whole family to speak with hubby. And when it got to my turn, I started singing. Slowly and gradually, my husband started to move. He wiggled his toes and finally opened his eyes. The nurse rushed in to check if everything was fine. She stood in amazement. she said, “Do you know how many drugs we have used to sedate him?” She wasn’t expecting him to wake up quite yet. We have used three (3) different sedatives to knock him out, the nurse pointed out. “If he is responding this well, maybe in two or three days he’ll be out of here”. And with that slender glimmer of hope, my heart was strengthened.
I hear a different story. Only two days later, the hospital notified me that my husband had gotten worse. I don’t get it. “Are you people conducting an experiment with my husband?” I raged. There is a different thing attacking the lungs, the doctor answered. It’s bacteria; He’s having pneumonia. I wondered what they were doing there at the hospital. How can we bring a patient to the hospital, and he’s getting worse? This is nonsense! “I hollered at my brother-in-law in frustration. I was upset.
The next time the doctor called me, I demanded to know what they were doing to my husband. Oh, we ran a test, the doctor replied. “He has a strong cough, which is good, but it is not good for the machine. He is fighting the machine, so he needs to relax”. “Give me the names of the drugs” I insisted as if I knew all about drugs. “I got the names and began researching drugs used on COVID patients.
The hospitals were swamped. On Saturday when my brother-in-law went to visit hubby at Peter Lougheed hospital, the previous one-to-one 1:1 patient/ nurse arrangement had suddenly turned to one nurse to three patients. Next, I hear that they’ve moved my husband to Foothills, the hospital that I initially wanted him taken to. But no one informed me before they moved him. Upon that, they wouldn’t let me see my husband, and it is one week now.
At Foothills, the nurse called me as the next of kin with surprise news. She told me they had iPads that patients could use to talk to relatives. I still couldn’t visit – except it was the end of life. I was elated. I was overjoyed to see my husband ‘virtually’ for the first time after a time that seemed like forever. My husband could barely keep his eyes open when I saw him. He heard my voice and opened it before shutting them again. ‘’ His lips were as dry as the desert. However, the nurse assured me she’ll take care of him here. I spoke and sang to him for about 30 mins to 1 hour. With the many requests from family, in the following days, we set up a video call with our extended family from Canada, the US, and Nigeria. We all saw him, oh what a heartwarming time!
I received a new report on Tuesday: He might have caught a bug. My husband’s eyes were entirely red-shot. ‘’What is this, how did this happen?” I questioned. The Nurse wasn’t sure. The nurse thought it might have to do with the move. “I need to speak to a doctor” I demanded. I just want to let you know your husband is doing well. The doctor tried to console me. But the nurse just told me otherwise. “What is happening there?” I fumed. Oh no, he said, “Looking at it from all his charts, I am telling you he is doing well. We are looking for ways to get him out of Coma. “I need to know the truth, is he doing better or worse?”. My heart was begging for answers.
That evening the nurse called me back. Possibly scolded for giving me that information, he said the test came back. My husband did not catch any bug and he’s even virus-free. “You mean, no more COVID virus?” Yeah! Hallelujah! I screamed in excitement. “Can you make an exemption for me to visit now?” I inquired excitedly. Since my quarantine would end the next day, the nurse said I could come that day. I took that invitation with a grain of salt. I reasoned, why were they suddenly asking me to come? Perhaps it was the end of my husband’s life, and this may be a trick to lure me in to see him. I was afraid. The doctor called me the following day, reiterating their exception for me to come to visit. Now, aghast, I wondered If I could get myself to visit the hospital. I eventually summoned the courage to go see my husband that fateful Wednesday. I walked past a room – covered with a transparent curtain- and I couldn’t even recognize my husband’s frame. He was semi-conscious with very many tubes, and wires connected all around him.
When I asked to speak to a doctor that Wednesday, I got to speak with a resident doctor since most doctors had left for the day. I asked about the condition of hubby’s health and if there were any hopes of us leaving soon. The resident doctor said that many patients get to stay in the hospital for three (3) months “What three months?” I lashed out. I rejected that prophecy. At the hospital that Wednesday evening, however, I was asked to come the next morning if I wanted to see the head doctor. Meanwhile, I and Lola had been praying that my husband would come out, as in, walk out the door by his birthday, Friday just 2 days away. Lola would ask me to point to the door. We prayed that the Lord would order his angels to get him out of the hospital. We said you will walk through this door; you will come back for your birthday.
Thursday was the last day the head doctor watching over my husband since arriving at Foothills would be around, so that would be the last chance to see him. My request was “Please Lord, bring him out of COVID. Eventually, they opened visitation to me from 9 am to 9 pm. Another friend reminded me that there was Wi-Fi at the hospital, and I could work from there since I was working from home. I jumped at that idea. Then there’ll be no excuse not to visit. I packed my things and left for the hospital. About shortly past 9 am that Thursday morning I was at the hospital, waiting for the doctor to do his rounds. The rounds were delayed. Finally, at 12:00 noon I got to talk to the Doctor.
Yet another conflicting report. This time the respiratory therapist informed me that they needed to take my husband off the ventilator, however, the doctor tells me something different. I felt lied to, so I called my friend in Nigeria. I complained, the doctor says this, and the nurse says this, whose report should I believe?” We shall believe the report of the Lord”. My friend thundered. “His report says your husband is healed; His report says he is well.” Before the doctor came in that day, the respiratory therapist said they tried lowering the ventilator support for my husband, but then he started to cough. I begged the respiratory therapist to test my husband again, “I’m sure, he will do well”. Well, immediately after the first test, the nurse insisted they change his position.’’ The moment they changed his position, my husband reacted. His BP started rising and thus they halted the test.
During the rounds later that afternoon, the respiratory therapist reported that they tried to do the test this morning, but he didn’t do well. The doctor said it wasn’t ethical to keep his mouth open for more than 12 days. Seeing that my husband had passed that mark, they planned to do surgery (incision to his throat) the next day. ‘’ Tomorrow is his birthday! It is not the day to cut anybody’s throat’’ I lamented. Then the doctor remarked that I ought to be grateful my husband was still alive as many had died in this situation.
On my way to the hospital Friday the next day, I called the nurse to inform her that I was on my way. She replied, “Just come, nothing is happening for Him today “. In my mind, I said it is a lie. That morning, on Cover2Cover we read of the children of Israel, finally leaving Egypt and I felt that was a sign. Today is his birthday. Something will happen. Surprisingly that Friday on his birthday, a new doctor arrived. This doctor, Dr. Chip was sent from heaven. The doctor empathized, “What can a hospital give to a man on his birthday? Let us try to bring him out of the coma”. There were some hesitations with the new respiratory therapist. However, she later obliged. Anyway, long story short. They planned to do one test. And if he breathes by himself in the three (3) hour test period without any help from the ventilator, they’ll take him out of the coma. Then I asked the respiratory therapist, “What are you looking out for?” “His oxygen needs to be at 96 /94 without the support of the machine.” Right away, this became our new prayer point
Instantly, I sent out words to friends to please pray for my husband ‘’ They are running a test. Please pray, so that they can bring him out today”. In that whirlwind of medical activities, I paced to my husband and held his hands. I whispered to him saying, “You have to relax. Breathe and pass this test, so we can go home. Ok?” He nodded—he could communicate by nodding, blinking, or wiggling his toes.
Meanwhile that day, I asked my husband if we should release or pause the song we had previously planned to release on his birthday— I could only ask yes/no questions. The song was a thanksgiving song ‘Exceeding Grace’, I personally thought we should wait until everything was ok. He gestured that we should carry on with releasing the song. “How will we be praising and singing to God when we were still in the middle of this storm?” It didn’t add up. Anyway, by faith, we released the song.
I thank God for the new doctor. He did a great job defending us. I kept watching my husband’s oxygen during the test. After about two hours, I heard the respiratory therapist speaking with the doctor, outside. Saying, he is not doing well. The doctor told her don’t worry. Go ahead and do it. At worst, you will put him back into a coma. Then she complained again saying, it’s usually hard to put a patient back into a coma. “How did you put him in a coma at first? Did he give a problem when he was out at first?” The doctor asked. She now said no. He didn’t really give many problems. I wondered, “Why are they saying the numbers aren’t good? The number seemed fine to me. He was breathing at the 96 mark the respiratory therapist mentioned. It was then that the nurse revealed to me that there were other numbers being looked at. They looked at how deep of a breath, and how long he was breathing. With the doctor’s order to go ahead, they proceeded to take him out of the coma. At that same instant, a pastor, Rev. Chris Delvan from Kaduna State in Nigeria called my phone.
‘’I heard your husband is at the hospital, is he there with you? ‘’ I answered yes. He ordered me to hold his hands. He began to pray. He prayed, declaring that every chain of darkness is taken off him now. Almost at the same time, right before my eyes, all the cords, and tubes that had been wound all over his neck and body were being removed. The pastor continued” We lose everything off his body. They were now removing the gigantic balloons that they had put in his throat. Everything! Ah, it was like deliverance! The respiratory therapist then asked, can you open your eyes? He opened his eyes. Can you say something? In fact, before the completion of the sentence. He screamed “Aaaahhhh”. she asked can you talk to us; He said in a croaky and hoarse voice “Hello”. But that voice was music to my ears. The most beautiful thing I had heard. Before we knew it, my husband’s phone started ringing. Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday. The breathing continued. By the grace of God, he could sustain himself without the ventilator. Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Praise … the Lord! Hallelujah.
Man is prone to error, but God does not make mistakes; he will hold fast to His promises. Let’s search them out and use them as keys of the Kingdom of Heaven to petition for the miracles Christ wants to give you and receive them with Thankfulness!
Here are Some of My Takeaways.
Takeaway #1 Praise works wonders
Takeaway #2: Carefully choose your inner circle who can pray with you through a storm
Takeaway #3: God is real, His miracles are real, and His love and mercy are most real!
Takeaway #4: Even though he was still in a coma, my husband said let us praise God. Even though we had not seen everything we wanted, he said let us praise God. That is faith
Takeaway #5: Don’t station your faith in God based on the pain and distress of the moment, anchor your faith on the unchanging, inerrant word of God. And locate people who will remind you when you’re swamped in your troubles.
Takeaway #6: Choosing to continue doing what God instructs us even when it bites is proof of our faith in God.
Indeed, I will exalt you, Lord, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me. Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.
You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead; you spared me from going down to the pit. Sing the praises of the Lord, you, his faithful people; praise his holy name.
For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:1-5)