My Son, Lazarus

Tim's own photo of his IV.
Tim's own photo of his IV.

My thirty year old son Tim, the oldest of four grown kids, has for years had some mysterious problem with his heart. He would feel faint, his chest would ache, but by the time we got him to the emergency room, nothing was found. His heart rhythms and enzyme tests were always normal. The doctors, as they usually do, just treated him for stress and sometimes depression. But the problem still existed. As time went on, it became more frequent, but still, it was like taking your car into the shop. As soon as the mechanic walks up to it, it runs fine.

But this past Friday, Tim had an appointment with his physician at the university he attends. While in the doctor’s presence, he began experiencing the same symptoms, and the doctor recognized a particular problem and immediately gave him an EKG.

Tim had gone into an atrial fibrillation, and he wasn’t coming out of it. An ambulance was called, and he was rushed to the hospital. Treatment was administered, but he wasn’t responding. The treatment was designed to make his heart go into “conversion”, where it would begin beating normally again. It wasn’t working, so they admitted him, and he was taken to a private room. He was hooked up to several monitors and observed constantly. The cardiac enzyme tests still showed no cardiac issues.

At about 3:30am the next morning, Tim sat up in his bed and told his mother that he felt horribly sick. By her account, he looked terrible. He then fell back onto the bed in a hard, limp fashion. My wife got up and tried to revive him, but he was cold, clammy and stared off into space. No response. He was not breathing. His body began to quiver uncontrollably like a bowl of Jell-O. Sammie ran out to the hallway and called for help. Just as the nurse came running in, another nurse ran down from the monitoring station because he had flat lined. He was, for that moment, dead.

The nurses began doing what they had to do, injecting medications into his IV and checking his vitals. Less than a minute later, his heartbeat returned, this time it was normal. He began to breathe, but was not completely out of the woods. Sammie was holding his hand and calling his name, but he would not answer. After a few short minutes, he was stabilized and he was responding to her voice and touch.

“I couldn’t feel your hand.” He told his mother. “I feel sick.”

“I’m right here.” She told him. She continued the prayer she started when the episode began. The nurses continued to look after him, constantly checking his vital signs.

“His heart is beating normally” the nurse told her. “He has gone into conversion, he should be okay now. We’ll wait and see.”

I got the text message at work an hour or so later and I called the room number. Tim actually answered the phone, and he sounded wiped out, but okay. He put his mother on. She was a nervous wreck. I could hear the stress in her quivering voice. If she had not have been there, who knows if the nurses would have got to him on time?

By the end of the day, Tim had flat lined two more times, each for about 10 seconds. The doctor said that was not unusual for a conversion patient, but he still needed to be monitored at least another 24 hours.

That was two days ago. So far it seems like he will be okay, and the doctor has yet to determine if he will be coming home today. Tim is feeling good, posting his comments on Facebook, along with pictures of his IV’s and a few anecdotes.

A scary moment for us all. In the natural scheme of things, children aren’t supposed to go before their parents, but as we know, it doesn’t always happen that way. I have had family members and a best friend that have passed long before their parents have, and it is so sad to see the grief in a mother’s eyes as she deals with the death of her child, regardless of age. Sammie and I have come out of this with an even deeper respect for the parents that have lost a child. It is a pain that cannot be vanquished. Even to try to comprehend the death of a child is painful. To have Tim survive this ordeal is truly a blessing, the work of God.

Tim and his sweet young wife Ashley are expecting their first child in February. It is another blessing for our family. With God’s will, Tim will continue to improve his health and defeat this heart problem. He graduates next year with an advanced degree in History. He wants to work as a curator on the museum level. But for now, he needs to take it easy, lay off of the beer, caffeine and even chocolate. This is truly a life-changing event for all of us.

But after this episode, Tim did some research on the medication he was on before the even happened (from his iPhone). Of the two meds he was taking, both of them had a good chance of causing atrial fibrillation, a condition that he seemed to already have. His maternal grandmother also has this condition, and according to the doctor, it is hereditary, and sometimes skips a generation. Beer consumption is another aggravating factor in this. Tim loves beer. His heart was a time bomb waiting to go off.

Now he has sworn off of the beer, coffee and some of his medication. When he goes home, he is planning to reorganize his lifestyle so that he has a healthy long life to spend with his future child and the ones that follow.

The day after his “demise”, I asked him what it was like when he flat lined. He said it was dark. It was like being in a dark room, pitch black. No sound, no feeling. It was as if he was waiting for something to happen. Perhaps he was in God’s “waiting room”?

Sammie and I continue to talk of the “what if’s” and how indeed there was a stronger, more Divine force controlling this cataclysmic event in our lives. My father in law, who is a preacher in a small country church in the next county, told us that he was in church the night before Tim flat lined. In the middle of singing, he felt an overwhelmingly powerful urge to pray for someone that desperately needed God’s hand. He stopped the music and led the congregation in prayer, not knowing who he was praying for. The next day, he found out about what had happened and fell to his knees in grateful prayer of thanks. He never dreamed that it was for his grandson.

There is a lesson in this. To Tim and Ashley it may be evident right away. To others it may take it’s time hitting home, but for those of us that were there and were close to it, we know what that lesson is, as it may be a different one for each of us, and we will learn from it all in God’s good time.

Thank you Lord for all of Your blessings.

Thank all of you good people for taking the time to read this.

©2012 By Del Banks

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Comments 10 comments

nina64 profile image

nina64 4 years ago from chicago, Illinois

My prayers are with you and your family. I hope that Tim has a speedy recovery so that he can be able to graduate and to see the birth of his first child. Voted up!!!!!


Sparklea profile image

Sparklea 4 years ago from Upstate New York

Bad Egg; Voted up and useful. I felt like weeping, especially for what your wife went through during that ordeal in the hospital.

We NEVER know when it is our last day on earth. Someone very close to my daughter was killed in an auto accident last November (Her stepbrother by my ex husband's second marriage)...she has still not recovered, I've never seen her so devastated. They were so very close.

I am so thrilled your son survived, and my best wishes for him, his wife and little baby on the way.

You and your wife have been on my prayer list, and I've been praying for you both daily. I just know I would love your wife, she sounds like a wonderful, caring woman.

I am going to add your son, his wife and little baby to my prayer list.

THANK YOU for sharing this heart felt story which I know will be an eye-opener, as well as inspirational, to those who read it.

God bless, Sparklea :)


badegg profile image

badegg 4 years ago from Southern Appalachians Author

Thank you again for the prayers, Sparklea. You are absolutely right. We never know when the time will come.


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas

Tim and all your family are now, forever, in my prayers. My son was born with congenital heart disease so I can sympathize with your pain and anguish. Keep the faith and pray diligently, constantly and without ceasing. This is a very important Hub as this type thing can befall anyone at any time be it at birth or into adulthood and so few people are aware of the many strange things that happen with the heart suddenly and without warning. Your family appears to be a very strong support system -- not only by their presence but through their prayer life -- how fortunate Tim is to have all of you. Again, my prayers are on the way and thanks for sharing this difficult happening. Best/Sis


badegg profile image

badegg 4 years ago from Southern Appalachians Author

Thank you so much!


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

Del, you have my prayers over Tim and his family today. It is a blessing that he came through this ordeal and is able to see the positive changes that will increase his life enjoyment. God works wonders still. Voted up and across.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona

I am glad he is going to be ok!


badegg profile image

badegg 4 years ago from Southern Appalachians Author

Thank you. We are too.


Steel Engineer profile image

Steel Engineer 4 years ago from Kiev, Ukraine

Brother, these kinds of things absolutely happen. I actually teared up reading about the preacher who prayed for he knew not what. That has happened with me before. I know many Christians who have the same testimony. Here is one you might like:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5hYMJBFArk&noredir...

A few years ago, moved by the Holy Spirit, I began to pray to learn how to pray better. After many months, I began to learn about "deliverance". Basically, it is praying using the Word of God generously, believing scripture and scriptural authority "over every power of the enemy", and basically praying like Jesus prayed (very different from prayer in most churches, unfortunately.) The best teaching on this I have heard comes from an American named William Lau. You can watch or listen to his free 1-hour and 3-hour teachings on how to pray at www.theelijahchallenge.org

When I read the opening of your hub, about symptoms coming and going without an identifical medical cause, my immediate thought was, "That is demonic. This is something prayer will overcome."

As his father and mother, your own prayers will have great effect. Pray something simple and direct, like, "In the name of Jesus, I command every spirit of infirmity, every spirit of heart palpitation, and any work of the enemy to be bound and to depart immediately, and to never return."

Follow up with the William Lau stuff. It is great. I got set free from a laundry list of garbage. I prayed 15 minutes and by the Kingdom of God, my mother is free from diabetes, depression, lack of energy, and more than a third of her meds. It is a wondrous transformation.

Peace.


badegg profile image

badegg 4 years ago from Southern Appalachians Author

Thank you for your kind input. I have seen a lot of things happen with prayer that I could not understand except for the fact that they were the works of God.

Bless you, sir.

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