A couple of months ago as he was in the process of trying to get some medical care to address some chronic pain he had been having as his body began to unexplainably shut down. He was taken to the ER and as soon as the doctors noticed that his legs were turning blue they immediately admitted him and he was almost as quickly in surgery and then in the intensive care unit fighting for his life.
I got the call from my Command Sergeant Major on a Tuesday around noon, I was in the middle of a book study with a couple other chaplains covering the topic of “The Upside of Stress” and the call was short and to the point, “You need to get to the hospital now Chaplain, they are saying he is not going to make it….”
When I got to the ICU, I went straight to his bedside and met Tony’s wife, Lutz, and she told me how bad it was, no kidney function – he was on continuous dialysis, no blood flow to either legs – if he somehow survived both legs would have to be amputated up to the pelvis and would he need kidney transplants. He had tubes everywhere and it appeared that all they were doing was keeping him alive with very little hope of recovery. They told Lutz to gather her children and prepare to say goodbye to Tony.
When all seems so hopeless, the only thing we can do is pray. And so I prayed with Lutz and her friend. When the children came, I gathered them all in the waiting room and we prayed together. The staff allowed us to all gather around Tony’s bed, and holding hands, we prayed. I showed them where the chapel was and we went down there, on our knees and we prayed.
We prayed for Tony. We prayed for the Doctors and Nurses. We prayed for Grace and Mercy and Healing. The problem was that Tony’s circulatory system was unique, it took this event to discover that, so to try something bold and new they created a bypass system, an artificial vena cava, a large vein for blood flow from the heart to the lower body – it was a new medical procedure that had not been tried before – medical history was made as prayers were answered!
Over the next couple weeks Tony endured more surgeries that allowed blood flow to the legs – they began to heal and then somehow his kidneys began to heal to the point of total removal from dialysis – another miracle. Tony continued to heal, and in the end they decided to amputate one portion of Tony’s leg – below the knee and he is doing better today than ever. He is attacking his rehabilitation with fierce determination and looks forward to his new prosthetic and walking.
Through it all he is telling everyone he knows about this gracious healing touch from his loving Heavenly Father – and he has given me permission to share this story of grace and healing with you.
CH (COL) Randy Brandt
For more stories reporting the fruit of CBAmerica chaplain ministries, go to www.cbamerica.org/chaplaincy.