"Dede's Walk With God""

A True Miracle
(Dick's Testimony)

On the evening of April, 18, 2002, I was up late as usual working on my Christian web-site. Dick was laying back in his recliner waiting for me to come to bed with him. We have always been very close through the years and most of our marriage we have been together 24/7. It is a way of life that we chose because of our immense love for one another.

At about 11 p.m. Dick came to me and said, "Honey, look at my feet. They both were swollen about three times the size they were normally. Having had some nursing, I knew immediately he was experiencing Congestive Heart Failure. I called the ER at one of our local hospitals and took him there immediately, as soon as his oldest daughter arrived to watch over our five foster children.

The nurse noticed he was very short of breath and took his Sat. levels right away. They were only 86 and normal is 90 and above. They put him on oxygen to bring him up to normal. We sat and waited to see a doctor, for over two hours. When the ER doctor finally came in he never touched Dick physically in any way. He took a look at his feet and advised him to go see his regular Dr. on Friday, the 19th.

Dick's reg. Dr. was not in, *Thank God*. Dick was seen by another wonderful doctor, Dr. Brian Moran. He took one look at Dick's feet and diagnosed Congested Heart Failure. He put him on Lasix, told him to go home, get his feet elevated for the week-end and come back on Monday to have a heart ultra-sound. We did this.

On Tuesday we are both very worn out so we lay down to nap and not thinking good, we turned off the phone, so the ringing would not wake us. After we woke up, we noticed there were 4-5 calls on the answering machine. They were all from Dr. Moran's nurse, Bev. She sounds frantic and says, "Come to Finley Hosp. immediately for a CT-heart scan. We did this and were told we are headed for Madison University Hospital Now! Dick wanted to wait a couple weeks and was told No, you have to go now!

I waited at the hospital with Dick till they could get an ambulance to transport him to the Madison hospital. I was told I would have to drive down by myself. I had to come home anyway and make housing arrangements for our five foster children and pack some clothes and I had no idea what we were facing or how long we would be in Madison. I packed three outfits. That was a joke, as we ended up being there three weeks.

In the ambulance they gave him meds. to lower his blood pressure as they thought the heart aneurysms would burst in route to Madison. They lowered it to 70 over 40. It was kept that way until they were able to do his surgery, on the following Friday, April 26th. We spent the whole first night in the ER room. The next day Dick was transferred to an ICU unit, (24th). He would wait there until his cardio-vascular surgeon could clear a full day schedule to do just his surgery. They said it would take approx. 6-10 hrs. which is normal. They had no idea what they were about to find when they opened him up.

On the evening before the surgery, Dr. Robert Love came to talk to us and explain what would be done during the surgery. It was so scary just to listen to the details, as this is something I had never even heard of before. He mentioned taking all the blood out of Dick's body and he would be on by-pass. That I understood. But, then he started saying how they would put his head in a bucket of ice to preserve the brain, I was getting a bit weak and shaky.

It is only yesterday May 1-07, that I got complete information on that procedure so I could explain it fully, in detail. That is one of the reasons I am rewriting Dick's testimony. This procedure is called *Induced Hypothermia* It allows for a temporary death, so it can suspend cellular functioning without ending it. This surgical technique was explained to us as such:
*It kills you before it saves you*
You are legally dead for the length of time you are under induced hypothermia. None of this was explained to us before Dick had his surgery. The Dr. probably thought we could not handle all the gruesome details and he would have been so right.

Dr. Love said it was going to be a long day, so try to relax as much as possible. He said after the surgery they re-insert his blood and start the heart again. According to Dr. Love, this hypothermia procedure had been used since in the 1950's and with great success. He told Dick he had about 2% odds of living through the surgery but if he didn't have it, he could have 1 day to 6 months, if he was that lucky. The aneurysms would burst and he would be dead instantly.

The surgeons later told us it would have taken 7-10 years for Dick's aneurysms to have grown to the size they were and they measured 9 & 11 cm. They said Dick was a walking time bomb just waiting to explode. Praise God for His goodness & unconditional love, that they were found when they were and not any later. Dick chose to have the surgery...... I was terrified that when he left for surgery the next morning that it would be the last time I would see him alive, but Dick remained so peaceful and calm and he told his son, Mike and I to go get some sleep so he could get some sleep. I checked him a few mins. later and he was fast asleep, peaceful as could be. Dr. Love told me that when I kiss him before surgery in the morning to make it a good one as it probably would be the last.

Dick told me later the reason he chose the surgery was because without it he was going to die and he had faith enough that he felt God was going to save him. How's that for a strong faith in God? I always thought my faith was strong, but now I know mine still needs work. Dick said he had no doubts what so ever that God was going to save him. Dick has always been a very private person, very silent and keeps things to himself. I always knew he believed in God but I had no idea his faith was this strong.

April 26-2002
The surgery took from 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. We prayed all day and wandered the halls of the hospital. I made several calls to Jimmy, our wonderful friend and my web-master for my Christian site. He had notified all of what we were going through and had asked for prayers for us. What a blessing in our life Jimmy has been! Well, God answered those prayer requests. We were told by Dr. Love that if by some miracle Dick survived the surgery, they didn't feel he'd make it off the ventilator. Four to five days later, God took care of that problem also. This is another miracle as Dick had been told for over 20 years that his lungs were shot and he should quit smoking. He had his last cigarette right before they loaded him in the ambulance to head for Madison, University Hospital.

After Dick got off the ventilator, he developed pneumonia. This turned out to be a little rough but he made it over that hurdle. After that it was extremely hard for him to get phlem up by himself so they put him on an IVP machine to help inhale some meds. while it rattles your bronchial area and upper chest, keeping everything loose and loosening up the rest that has already adhered to the walls of his lungs. We now have to be careful for the rest of Dick's life not to let him come in direct contact with sick people as this would compromise his weak immune system.

During his day of surgery, Dr. Love told us after they opened his chest, they were at a loss for words as his biggest aneurysm just kind of jumped out at them. They had a video going and took pictures that were given to us so we could see how horrific this whole procedure was. The biggest aneurysm was right on top of his heart. It was his main coronary aorta. The second one hung in the arch where the aorta swings to go to the lower part of your body. They said there was a third one at one time that somehow had seeped itself dry. The dry blood and tissue was evidenced on top of the main one. They were amazed that it just hadn't burst as everything in his chest was squeezed in so tight, it was hard to so the surgery.

During the surgery, they put his head in the bucket of ice, the (induced hypothermia), then removed all the blood from his body, put him on by-pass. Dr. Love explained they were keeping his brain alive by cooling it. But: this could only be done for up to 40-45 minutes at the very most without causing major brain damage. They used it for 40 mins. on Dick. He explained there would be some psychological changes anyway. That would be okay as long as he lived.

They put in a whole new man made coronary artery graft, installed a new metal aortic heart valve. They repaired a hole in his heart that should have closed shortly after his birth, but never did. Dr Love told us later that he would have rather done a complete heart/ lung transplant on Dick, than to have put him through all he had endured during the surgery. When Dick was brought back from surgery, I hardly recognized him. He was all ballooned up like the Pillsbury Dough Boy. They had 9 IV stands with 6 prongs on each and all the prongs had something hanging on them, except two. There were 6 bags of blood and only our Precious lord knows what else. Many bags of antibiotics also.

During Dick's three week recovery, he got A-fibulation, where the heart beats uncontrollably fast. They had to use the paddles on him twice to get his heart regulated. We were told this can be very dangerous if they could not have gotten his heart back into rhythm. It could also be life threatening. God got that under control also.

A lot of work for God! Not on your life, folks.... He's a great God and He alone can do anything you can ever imagine. I felt my faith being tested many times during the three weeks I spent in the hospital with Dick. I cried many tears and prayed many prayers, not only for Dick but for all the families there that were going through one crisis after another. I saw 5 people die while I was there. It was a scary experience and my heart ached for those families. Every day that Dick was alive I praised and thanked God more. He had 12 weeks of healing to do and by the power and grace of God, he is doing wonderful today. Don't get me wrong, we have experienced some hurdles along the way. He was on oxygen 24/7 for a few years. Now he only needs it at night and during the day if he is going to do anything physical. He hasn't had to use it much as he doesn't chase me around too much any more. No energy!

Folks, please believe me our Loving Father in heaven is alive today and He still performs many miracles. If you have not accepted Jesus
as your personal Savior, don't wait.... Go to Salvation page now.....

Read it, take it to heart,
you are never promised a tomorrow....
God is the answer! There are NO exceptions!
Do not take our Loving Heavenly Father for granted.
He is always there for us, Just ask!
It's that simple!
People walk away from God, He never walks away from us!

May God Bless & Guide You Always!

Written by Delilah (Dede) M. Haas
May 16-2002
Revised May 2- 2007

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           "Dede's Walk With God"

Midi "Feel My Love"
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