My testimony for the Lord by Joanne (Jo) Crock

"I love the Lord and I am thankful to be a walking, talking, singing Miracle that He created and allowed to live. After all - GOD IS GREATER THAN ANY PROBLEM I MAY HAVE

On July 31st 1998 I checked into Swedish Hospital in Seattle, to have an operation on my esophagus and small bowel. Since I had the same operation in 1997 I thought it was no big deal. Reverend Kizzie Jones, Sandy & Ken went with me & Kizzie & Sandy each gave me a piece of paper with a prayer on it which was pinned to my gown before I went into surgery.

Soon after surgery I began to have some really bad pain all through the left side of my chest and stomach. I was told after an x-ray that during the surgery the surgeon nicked a vein and I was bleeding all inside and one lung was partially collapsed. The first procedure they did was called a lung punch where they punched a hole in my back & inserted a tube to drain blood out. They got 500 cc's that time, but there was so much blood inside that they had to insert a chest tube into my side between my ribs and sew it into my body. This is a large hard tube and is extremely painful. This tube pumped out blood constantly but they still were not getting the large chuncks out so they had to put in some special medication to disintegrate it into liquid. This was a horrible procedure where I could not move for 4 hours after insertion. Then when the doctor went to open the valves to release the blood into a special sealed container & there was so much blood and it flowed so fast, they had to shut it off really quickly and it felt like I was having a stroke. My heart rate went through the roof and the pain was unbearable. I was screaming. They got 1200 cc's that time. They repeated that procedure 3 more times and each time got over 1200 cc's of blood.

Finally my body could not take any more of the medicine they were giving me. That night my temperature went up to 102 degrees and my blood pressure went down so low it would hardly register while my heart rate skyrocketed and the doctors were extremely worried about infection setting in. On the second night of this, all of my family were called in and everyone gathered around my bed to pray. Even the doctor came and prayed with my family for me. They all thought that I was dying and all prayed for a miracle.

At 3:00 a.m. my fever broke and went to 98.6 and God spoke to me. I woke up and saw a white cloud of light around my bed and I actually sat up partially. God said: "You will be okay and there is no infection." I felt an immediate peace and happiness. The next day I started getting better and was able to eat.

I also found out that prayers were going out everywhere, over the internet, friends, relatives, churches in Washington, Florida and the friends of friends and relatives too. Two of the men I work with went to Promise Keepers in Portland and they went up front and there 35,000 men prayed for me. They were all praying for a miracle and now we had one.

The painful chest tube was taken out but my challenges were not over yet. Radiology did two more lung punches and they were still getting more than 1200 cc's of blood each time. I also had a feeding tube. The next day the nurse and I noticed that when I drank orange or grape juice it would then come out of my drainage tube, so we called in the doctor and I was then told that I had a hole or fistula in my stomach so I was immediately taken off all food and water but could suck on ice chips. I was sent down to C.T. scan on 4 occasions but they could never find the fistula. On the 4th time there the doctor inserted a wire into my side while watching the scan since this is a dangerous area where the spleen is etc. I was under no anesthetic for any of these procedures and the pain was simply horrendous. I was moved into radiology where they would finish the procedure by shoving a tube into my side where the wire had been inserted. They accidentally punctured my small bowel. I thought at that time that the pain would never end. I just kept praying and praying.

Each time in C.T. scan I had to hold my arms up over my head for very long periods of time until I thought they would break, they hurt so badly. I remember thinking, "Know I know how Jesus felt only compared to Him my pain is nothing." That is what helped me make it through.

After that day the doctor inserted what is called a TPN or Central Line that goes in right by my collarbone and down by my heart. I was fed 24 hours a day with this tube putting back into me the electrolytes, vitamins, lipids (fats), albumin etc. that my body lost. It also helps build my tissue and muscle back up.

I was finally released from the hospital 3 weeks after entering. I left the hospital before I was supposed to because I was terrified to stay there any longer after what had happened to me. Therefore I needed a huge amount of care so went to stay with my daughter Sandy & husband Mike who literally put their lives on hold to take complete care of me. I came home with 3 tubes in me plus my bandages had to be changed constantly, my I.V. bag had to be set up with 2 pumps and the feedings at night through the feed tube with another pump and a drainage tube that had to be emptied along with trying to get around & drag an I.V. pole all over their home. I needed help doing EVERYTHING. I don't know how I would have survived if they had not been there for me.

Even their dog Shabby helped. She was so protective of me when anyone was around and I would sometimes hang onto her to get around. My sweet Jessica used to rub my dry feet with lotion at night and it sure was heavenly. Michael was a constant joy with his jokes and imagination. I have been so blessed. My daughter Tina Amanda & her husband Terry brought their 7 children down and they all lined up and sang a hymn to me called His banner over me is love with a special verse that they made up about loving Grandma. Needless to say it touched my heart so deeply that I just sat there and cried tears of joy. Then my son Bobby and his wife Chelane gifted to me a 1989 Ford Taurus that Bobby bought and fixed all up and they even filled it with gas. They left it out in front of the house one day with a loving note that said it is all mine along with the title signed over to me. You see God has worked many miracles in my life and my children are gifts of love that God gave me. I gained strength through God's help and the loving care of my family.

While staying at Sandy's a lady from her church said that she saw a band of angels circling over Sandy's house and she knew that I would be all right and that God was watching over me.

All the love, prayers, money, caring, gifts, food, and cards that I received over this last year from our family, church family and friends have overwhelmed Ken and I. The outpouring of love from you all has been a God send to us and helped us to make it through each day.

We have found a home here in Florida and a Church that we love so much. Words seem so small sometimes when I try to describe our feelings of thanks and gratitude. Our God is a loving God and has saved my life on more than one occasion. All those months while I was recovering on the couch and in pain, I just kept repeating John 3:16 which has always been my favorite Bible verse. I love the Lord and I am thankful to be a walking, talking, singing Miracle that He created and allowed to live. After all - HE IS GREATER THAN ANY PROBLEM I MAY HAVE!

Thank you, JoAnn for sharing your testimony with us. May God bless you and heal you inside and out, in Jesus' Name. By Jesus' stripes, you are healed. Amen.

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