Sunday, May 10, 2015

God in the Details

I drove to the city early Friday morning beneath a sky washed in vibrant pink, to join a team of staff helping to host a conference at the beautiful new campus of Tyndale University College and Seminary. Paul left the house early too, he was part of Faith and Culture Inclusion Network hosting OASIS 2015 at the Sheraton Hotel in Richmond Hill and Friday was the last day of that conference.

It was just before 3.30 that I returned to my seat and saw a call from Paul coming in on my silenced cell phone. Had I not returned at that moment I wouldn't have seen it but I did and answered it. I heard Paul say deliberately, "Love, I'm okay, but I've had a heart attack," and then more shakily, "It would be very good if you could be here." He told me which hospital he was in. All I could say was, "I'm on my way. I'll be right there!" And on my way out, I told people in my path what had happened, leaving shocked faces in my wake, and prayers following me to my car. 

I called our children quickly from the car and headed into Friday afternoon rush hour going north to South Lake hospital. On the way I was flooded with emotion, but also peace. I had so many unanswered questions, and when I finally got to the hospital, and found him, looking weak and vulnerable and attached to many monitoring devices, the details of what had happened amazed me.

Instead of heading up highway 404 to go home; as he had on the other days; at noon when the conference ended, he decided that because it was such a lovely day he would take the slower drive along Yonge Street from Richmond Hill. 

As he drove north, a burning sensation started in his chest, then intensified to severe pain that radiated into his jaw. He knew he had to get to a hospital. At first he thought he would keep heading for South Lake hospital in Newmarket, but quickly realized he couldn't make it, so he turned the car around and headed for McKenzie Health in Richmond Hill. In the lane beside him he noticed a police car at one point and considered honking the horn to get their attention, but thinking that if they called an ambulance it would take longer to get there, he kept driving. In under 10 minutes he parked his car outside the door of the emergency department, walked in, and said he had severe chest pain.

The medical staff at McKenzie Health immediately went into action, with 4 nitro-glycerine pills under his tongue and more nitro sprayed into his mouth. They called ahead to have a team prepared at South Lake, then got him into an ambulance and headed up the highway. The major left ventricle to the heart was 90% blocked. At South Lake the blockage was removed and a stent put in.

Besides the fact that he was alive there were so many details to thank God for; so many decisions made that were the right ones.

Over this weekend he has continued to amaze us with his recovery. On Saturday his heart was functioning at 63% capacity. Today (Sunday,) the doctor told him that it was barely possible to see any damage on the sonogram. I arrived this morning to find him dressed in street clothes and dress shoes and having walked several laps of the cardiac floor. He should be coming home tomorrow; there is still a road to be traveled; we are so very thankful...

This photo of Paul was taken while still at the OASIS conference on Friday by our friend and coworker Dwayne Milley. Dwayne said, "He told me not to take the pic. He's laughing because he knew I was ignoring his request."

Proverbs 4:23New International Version (NIV)

23 Above all else, guard your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it.

16 comments:

Brave Raven said...

His eye is on the Sparrow. A story full of mini-miracles. I am grateful for each of them. God is good.

Belinda Burston said...

Yes, it is true, his eye is on the sparrow! Those many mini miracles are as amazing to me as the parting of the Red Sea. I am grateful with you, Brave Raven.

Dave Hingsburger said...

I can't tell you how glad I am that he is on the mend. He's done so much, he's contributed to the lives of his family but also to the lives of people with disabilities. He needs to rest and take care of him - a lot of people still need him!

Belinda Burston said...

Thank you Dear Friend Dave. I got the call this morning from Paul. I can pick him up at 10.00!

Anonymous said...

Interesting the time of your post ...8:28. I think of romans 8.28 ...
Love and prayers, B&J

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to hear he's doing so much better. How are you doing?
The one thing I know for sure is that once we have made a decision for Christ He makes all of our decisions in difficult times ' the right ones '.
Read; Footprints in the sand. .... it was then that He carried us! !!
Michelle

Cindy said...

So glad to know he is on the road to recovery. It is so amazing when you can look back and realize the nudging God does to make sure that everything goes as well as possible under the circumstances.

Belinda Burston said...

Dear Jane and Barb,
Romans 8.28 is such a perfect verse. Thank you. As for me--I am grateful and leaning into the comfort of the praying family of God. We are so blessed.

Belinda Burston said...

Thank you Michelle, what a comforting thought about the decisions in tough times. And also Footprints. So wonderful. Yes, he carries us at those times.

Belinda Burston said...

Cindy, yes!! It makes me wonder how often we miss those nudges or reason them away. Glad Paul didn't. :)

Anonymous said...

Our times are in His Hands!!

Belinda Burston said...

They sure are Anon. Both Paul and I have had near misses now, and it makes us feel that God isn't finished with us yet! We still have more to do. Our times are in his hands indeed.

Marilyn Yocum said...

He's definitely not done with you yet, my friend. I'm glad for your peace on the drive. I'm glad Paul began with "I'm alright." I'm glad you wrote about this very scary incident, to keep us all paying attention to what's happening and to make wise choices to seek care. Love to all there!

Belinda Burston said...

Oh Marilyn, my friend, so glad to hear from you. Life gets exciting in our elder years, and I thought it was supposed to be a quiet time. :)

Monica Ryanor said...

Hi Belinda you are in my prayers.Paul's angel was watching over him as the Holy Spirit guided him along.,

Belinda Burston said...

Thank you for your prayers Monica. Yes indeed Paul's angel was watching over him.