A Thorny Journey

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IT was 4th November 2019, I was waiting with great anticipation for my mum’s call to confirm her arrival in Auckland.

As I waited anxiously my phone finally rang, I answered the call but my mum was very quiet. I immediately felt that something was very wrong. She couldn’t talk. After what seemed ages, she broke the news that my father had fainted in the hospital and now he was in a coma. Doctors had told her to prepare for the worst.

What had happened to my beloved father impeded my mind. The blow was too difficult to accept. At this juncture of mixed feelings, I knelt down and prayed to God. We (siblings) knew there was nothing much that we could do from afar. We prayed for divine intervention. Prayers were also pouring in from across the globe.

I have 2 younger brothers, the elder in Perth Australia and the younger in Kuala Lumpur.

My mother was all by herself when all of this took place. I could not imagine these critical hours between life and death which my father was going through and the great distress that my mother had to endure. However, God mobilised his beautiful people from Emmanuel Methodist Church (EMC), relatives and friends to accompany her throughout this difficult journey at the hospitals (Bintulu – Miri – Sibu – Kuching).

Several hours after the incident first happened, my father was sent to Miri by an ambulance for an emergency Neurosurgery because the nearest and only Neuro surgeon available was there. My youngest brother made it just in time to see my parents off in the ambulance. It was already 8:30 pm. The next day he drove to Miri and to his surprise, the Neuro Surgeon was my older brother’s classmate. He was the one who had performed the operation that later proved crucial in saving his life. Later, in the evening my older brother arrived to join mum and our youngest brother.

A flicker of hope
The next 48 hours were critical for my father. He was diagnosed to have had a brain aneurysm that had ruptured. God is merciful. According to the surgeon, my father was able to respond to simple commands and there was a flicker of hope. Therefore, without delay the medical team prepared him to be sent to Sibu by helicopter for further treatment. However, God had a better plan and he was sent to Sarawak General Hospital in Kuching instead. He reached Kuching on the 8th November 2019. My brothers and my mum’s 2nd brother accompanied my mum throughout this ordeal. They took a commercial flight to await my dad’s arrival at the hospital. I was told that he was a hanging on by a very slim thread then and that it was a miracle that he had hung on for so long.

My husband and I only arrived on 17th November 2019 because I was recovering from a miscarriage. When we reached Kuching, I was so tired but I was relieved that finally I was with my mum and my brothers. Able to see my father once a day was so comforting as I was still recovering physically.

After more than 20 days in coma, my father was discharged from the Neurosurgical (HDU) Ward and transferred to the Geriatric Ward at Samarahan, Kuching.

Indeed, it has been a tough and unforgettable journey! My brothers and husband needed to go back to their respective places of work, leaving mum and myself to care for my father. He continued to receive his rehabilitation treatment for a month at the Geriatic Ward and with the love and prayers from all, mum and I were able to sustain and see my father through to his recovery. At this juncture, we know that the support of small group members, family, friends and church members has played a pivotal role in our lives. Their outpourings of love and care have all touched us in one way or another.

I vividly remember on 10th December 2019 mum called me saying that she needed to go back to the place we stayed to have a good rest because she felt very tired. I needed to arrange someone to pick her up from hospital and send me to hospital and for a return trip that night as well. I called 3 persons and all were unable to help me due to short notice. I cried to the Lord and God whispered to me a certain friend’s name. Without hesitation I called her. She answered my call but told me her whole family was actually in the airport and waiting to board a flight. My heart sank and I was starting to question our good Lord: how she can help me when she is going for a family holiday? I prayed and cried out to the Lord. Ten minutes later she called me back to tell me that her hubby had arranged someone to pick me up and bring me to the hospital and later at night would bring my mum to the hospital and send me home. What a relief! I praised God for His arrangements. I recall Philippians 4:19 “And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”

God works through angels
God has worked AMAZINGLY through His angels whom He sent to us in our hours of greatest needs. The healing miracles that my beloved father has received are beyond words and thankfulness. He is recovering very well and gaining all his strengths, both physically and mentally. There was one point when he despised himself; again God’s angels appeared to uplift him. My father was discharged on 28th December 2019. We were so happy to finally go home.

He continues his rehabilitation at home. It has been more than 6 months now, I’m grateful to the Lord that my father is independent and able to carry out his own routine by his own strength. He is now able to walk with the aid of a walking stick and able to drive too.

God has healed him. He hears our prayers. He will not forsake His children. Our Almighty God is a great healer. Luke 1:37 “For nothing is impossible with God.”

Our family would like to take this opportunity to express our *SINCERE UTMOST APPRECIATION AND GRATITUDE* to everyone who has contributed directly or indirectly and did not cease showing the SOLID support that has enabled us to walk through this thorny journey.

By Christina Sim, New Zealand