MY HUSBAND WILL LIVE!

 
A TRUE STORY OF OUR BATTLE WITH THE DEADLY WEST NILE VIRUS ENCEPHALITIS THAT ATTACKED MY HUSBAND SAM'S BRAIN IN 2012
 
by Jacquelyn K. Heasley
 
Labor Day 2012 will always be a holiday that is seared in my mind. My husband, Sam, and myself travelled to Amarillo, Texas to be with my family as we celebrated Sam’s 60th birthday. As we were driving home back to Arkansas, strange symptoms began manifesting in Sam, symptoms of the deadly West Nile Virus that went to his brain, encephalitis. That was just the beginning of 16 days in the hospital, 9.5 of those with Sam on a ventilator in a medically induced coma.
 
Friends and family poured in to see Sam, to pray, and to be there for me. I had numerous meltdowns a day, so I was always appreciative of a shoulder to sob on. So much of those days are a blur to me, but there are a couple of incidents that I will never forget.
 
Our girls, Michelle and Kellye, just left their dad’s bedside to get a cup of coffee and as soon as they left the room, the Spirit of The Lord fell on me in a powerful way. Faith and words of faith filled my heart and my mouth. I walked around my comatose husband and declared the Word of God over him. I declared he would live and not die and declare the works of the Lord! I spoke health and healing to his body, telling death it had no power over him. My heart was resolute. My mind was set.
 
Later, Michelle was weeping, grasping for all the faith she could muster. She said to me that she didn’t have the faith I have or didn’t know how to pray like I do, but she wanted to believe in her dad’s recovery. The words I used to encourage and teach her, actually became powerful to me and, of course, a Split-Second Sermon! I said to her, “We all have the same measure of faith, so I don’t have more faith than you. It’s just that I don’t have DOUBT!”
 
Here is the one-liner that came out of that hospital room——YOUR PROBLEM IS NOT A LACK OF FAITH—YOUR PROBLEM IS UNBELIEF. Every time I read this I can here the words of Jesus, “Only BELIEVE!”
 
It was a few more days before Sam was safely awakened from the coma, but I didn’t waiver. I cried, I hurt, I was tired, but I knew God was bringing Sam back to me.
 
The day Sam was freed from the ventilator, Jennifer Kennedy Hyatt texted to see how Sam was. As I was telling her the miraculous testimony, she told me I had to write a Split-Second Sermon about this miracle! I told her I had not even thought about it. As soon as my fingers finished the sentence, these words rolled into my spirit:
 
IF THE REAPER CAN OVERTAKE THE SOWER, THEN MOST CERTAINLY, YOUR MIRACLE CAN OVERTAKE YOUR PRAYERS.
 
We had to deal with blood clots in both legs and pneumonia in both lungs, all from the coma, but amazingly, Sam was in very good condition. He boggled the minds of all the doctors. In fact, to date we have had 16 physicians call him a walking miracle.
 
I’m not going to lie, I ended up with a mild case of PTSD. I didn’t understand what it was until I experienced it. When I would hear Sam’s voice so raspy, I would cry. When I would put him to bed at night, so exhausted from fatigue like I have never seen, I would blink back tears and run out of the room and cry. I went through this for about three months, but finally I was able to see through a day without tears.
 
Sam has been great and his appreciation for life and family have been completely enhanced. He has no memories of about thirteen days of the illness, thank God. But, I have memories of amazing couples from our Sunday School class staying tirelessly with me at the hospital. I have memories of family coming in from Texas. And memories of Crystal taking care of my home and my guests unselfishly.
 
My story could have so easily gone another direction, but I thank God it didn’t. I need my husband. Our children need him and our grandchildren need him! All glory be to God who always causes us to triumph in Christ Jesus.  SELAH
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