by: Bruce Cook

I write this testimony to illustrate how many times the Lord intervened to help me in this time in my life with Doctors appointments, changing schedules and many other needs. See how many times you can count.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008 I went to my place of employment to start preparing for a management yearly meeting to be held on the 24th. I didn't want to wait until the last minute to start preparing for it. I hadn't held one of these for over ten years. I felt fine as I left work and walked to the parking lot and drove home. When I got out of the truck I didn't think I had enough strength to get up the driveway and climb the steps into the house.

We took my pulse and it was 32 beats per minute, my pulse the past few years has run slow but would go back up in the forties and fifties. So we waited until the next morning to see what it would be. It wasn't any better. We called my family doctor and we got him right away, he told me to come down at 10:30. He told me he would call my cardiologist and a doctor who put pace makers in all over the tri state area. I wanted another doctor because he did my carotid artery and did a good job. My family doctor told me that I didn't have that kind of time, and told me how good this doctor was and how many of these he puts in, so I agreed to have him do it if he was available. My family doctor and cardiologist decided to call the pace maker doctor to see how soon he could see me. Both doctors called right back before I left the office. I was to see the pace maker doctor at 7:00 am the next morning in the cath lab at Wheeling Hospital. I was to shower and wash good with dial soap before going in case he wanted to do it that day.

I met the pace maker doctor at the cath lab and he had an EKG done and my heart was only beating every other time, my wife told me later that it was only beating every third beat. He told me his schedule was pretty full around the area. He said that he could do it Monday or even Saturday if necessary. I asked if he could do it today? He thought and said he would try to do it at 4:15. He said for me to be admitted to the hospital and start doing some tests. Later the nurse told me that he had moved me to 1:30. I would be going down at one o'clock. I remember the nurses in the operating room preparing me by shaving my chest and upper body, then one on each side swabbing my body with a very cold solution, then putting some big cold patches on my body. This was the last I remember. I was told later that as the incision was made my heart stopped. The doctor said he had to improvise and that I made him sweat. After starting it, and implanting the pace maker they wanted to keep me overnight.

When they took me up to my room it was a room with a man who needed and wanted constant attention. He wanted the television on 24 hours a day, loud at times, and lights on all the time. I needed to get out of there bad. The next morning I developed bad chills and high fever. Because of a previous round of this during another procedure I knew what my problem was. I had developed a blood infection and would need large amounts of antibiotics intravenously. My wife had asked them to move me and they quickly agreed with the help of my cardiologist.

They moved me a couple of doors down the hall and my roommate was a retired doctor of many years in emergency room work and supervision. The doctor was a perfect roommate for me. He was a very interesting man to talk with and I liked listening to him. He had quite a life and history to tell. He was always interested and asking me if I was okay. We developed a good friendship. I went home the evening of January 14, 2008.

On January 23rd I worked for four hours getting ready for the top management meeting I had scheduled for the 24th. I came home from work and my wife said let’s go to Staffalinos restaurant and use the gift certificate that the kids had given us. We both had a steak and when I returned home I took a couple of Rolaids and sat down on the couch, put my feet up and slept for an hour. When I woke up it was strange, I could see and hear good but couldn't respond right away. I couldn't stand on my feet and my right leg wouldn't hold me. I could hear my wife yelling at me but I couldn't respond for a while. My wife called the ambulance and they took me to the Wheeling Hospital Emergency Room. After doing some testing on me they decided to admit me. They put me in a room with another man who slept all the time in his chair. After much ado and questions I was left with my wife who decided to stay all night with me, it was already after midnight.

At about three o'clock in the morning I felt everything in my body return to normal. I told my wife that I was okay now, that I could walk. I got out of bed walked around the foot of the bed and back again. After much testing I was released that evening to come home. The thought was that I was over medicated. Rehab and social workers come to see me but all admitted that I was fine.

February 1, 2008 I had an appointment with the doctor to check my pace maker. They said that it was working fine, but I was showing some atril fibrillation. I am continually praising and thanking the Lord for his mercy, and am amazed that He did all this for an 80 year old man.

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