My body was not responding to the treatments as anticipated. I was also having an allergic reaction to one of the medications. I had high fevers for three days, my blood pressure was very low, and I was having a lot of trouble breathing. My lungs were so affected by the infection that it caused me to have Respiratory Distress. My lungs just completely gave out and I had to be rushed to the ICU on January 23, 2005. I was placed on a ventilator at 100% oxygen and 100% respiration.
Since I was under heavy sedation for the incubation procedure to be completed, I don't remember anything that occurred after I arrived at the ICU. According to family members, my health had deteriorated to the point that the doctors were only giving me a 50% chance to live. At this point the doctors recommended that my family members come to the hospital. So my entire family and some friends were called into the hospital and were told that this might be the last time they see me.
Thank God that I have many Christian family members. They gathered together and started to pray. The effectual fervent prayer is one with power behind it, one that produces results. That is the type of prayer that you are about to read. That night, I had a vision. I saw the light and it kept coming closer to me. I then realized that I was in Heaven. As the light was right before me, the Lord appeared. He was holding his arms wide open ready to receive me. I didn't actually see the Lord's face, only His image. Yet, I knew it was Him. Then I saw the heavenly hosts, angels were all around me. At that moment, I knew that He was calling me to go into Heaven and live my eternal life there.
Suddenly, I saw my oldest son's face that came in between me and the Lord and he said, "Mommy, don't go." Tears rolled down my cheeks. Then my Fiancé appeared, my son, and my fiancé's son. I knew right there that I just couldn't leave because my family needed me. I said, "Lord, I cannot leave, I cannot leave my family. Please Lord, please give me a second chance because my family needs me."
At that moment, the light started to fade away and a war in Heaven had begun. I saw the mighty angels rush down as they were preparing to fight. I saw my son and my fiancé in what looked like Roman soldier outfits leading the battle against the demons. I felt the presence of my family members and friends. They were there ready to fight the war. It was a battle for my life. That is where my vision ended.
I suddenly woke up and I was in my room in the ICU unit. I felt the Lord's presence as if He was sitting right next to me, and I actually felt Him holding my hand. It was the most amazing feeling. I was so at peace, so comforted by His presence. I knew that He had given me a second chance to live. He had never left my side. The Lord said that the battle had been won but the war was not over, so onward Christian Soldier. The Lord also said that I am a living testimony of His power and might and my story must be told to all.
My fiancé, who had been in deep prayer and communication with God all day and all night, told me that he experienced a peace that he has never experienced before on Sunday morning at around 3 AM. My mom experienced a peace at around the same time. My aunt experienced comfort and heard a voice in her head that told her that I would be fine. I have heard countless statements of family members and friends who either felt the peace and comfort or actually had visions that just reassured them that I was going to be all right.
The Lord continued to speak to me through visions. The visions were of me being with my family. I had been given a second chance because I have to be there for my family; my sons and my future family with my fiancé and his son that are my new duty in life. That is my family and I will have to take care of them so first I need to take care of myself and my health.
I didn't fully wake up out of the sedation I was under until Wednesday, January 26, 2005. The first thing I did was thank the Lord for giving me a second chance to live, but His miracles didn't stop there. I was still in the ICU and I remained very dependent on oxygen, and my blood pressure had dropped so I had to have a blood transfusion. Suddenly, I started to stabilize day after day. I had no temperature, my blood pressure got back up to a low but healthy status, and they continued to drop my oxygen dependency from 100% to 80% and gradually down thereafter. I was breathing on my own on certain days for three hours, then six hours, and it felt so good.
Every day that I was in the hospital, I received visits from family members or friends who just wanted to share with me how many people, group, churches and schools were praying for my health. It was such a wonderful feeling to know that so many people who love and care for me were praying for me because that was the best thing they could have done for me at that moment.
On Monday, January 31, after more than a week in the ICU, I felt the Lords presence again. Suddenly I heard my lungs make a popping noise. Then I felt as if I had stopped breathing. What actually happened was that I was breathing on my own. I could feel Him healing my lungs. I was so excited. The doctors told me that they were hoping to remove me off the vent by the end of the week. Although I was a little disappointed that it was going to take that long, I had no other choice but to be patient.
Tuesday morning, at about 5:00 A.M., the Lord came to me again. He told me that he was going to take me off the vent that morning and that I would get up out of the bed that day. I asked the Lord to remove my doubt and fears. At 5:30 A.M. that morning, a nurse came in to draw my blood. She told me not to mind her and that she hopes I am not offended by what she was going to do. I didn't think anything of it but suddenly she started praying for me. Once she finished praying, she grabbed my hand and told me, "No matter what the doctors tells you, always remember that God is in control. He has said that He would heal you and His word is true."
That morning around 9:00 A.M., a doctor came in and checked my oxygen level and read my chart. He stated that they were thinking of getting me off the ventilator by Thursday. Again I was disappointed but suddenly I remembered . . . no . . . the Lord said He would take me off that day and I believed Him. They sent the Head RN into my room to do an experiment with my oxygen. She took me down to 10% respiration, which means I was basically breathing on my own with minimal support. She also took down my oxygen to 30%. My breathing was fine. She kept me on this setting for about an hour.
After the hour was over, an ABG test was done. The ABG test showed exactly how much oxygen was in my blood being circulated and how the lungs were functioning. According to the test, my oxygen had improved so much that I was ready to be taken off the ventilator.
It was 11:A.M. when the ICU doctors were discussing my status outside my door and I could hear them debating whether or not to take me off the ventilator that day. They decided to remove me off the ventilator on Wednesday morning but my nurse, who had been wonderful during my entire time in the ICU, right away disagreed with their decision and really pushed for them to take me off the ventilator on that day.
The Resident ICU Doctor came into the room and asked me if I felt ready to have the ventilator removed that day. Very enthusiastically I shook my head yes. He laughed and told the nurse to remove me from the ventilator. Thank you Lord. Thank you Lord. You did it as you said you would. Those were the thoughts that ran into my head. At that moment my sister and my two cousins showed up and they came into the room and they saw the brightest smile on my face. They were wondering what was going on. The nurse explained to them what they were going to do and asked them to step out while they remove the ventilator tubes. They were just thrilled, all sharing my excitement. I was breathing on my own but I was still dependent on oxygen. The doctors explained that they would keep me in the ICU for observation for a couple of days. Nevertheless, with the therapist's assistance, I was able to get out of bed and walked that day, just like the Lord had said I would.
I could finally talk and the first thing I wanted to do was speak with my fiancé and my kids. I hadn't spoken to them since I was admitted into the ICU and I was missing them profoundly. I wanted to share my good news with them. I wanted to share with them my experience and let them know they were and will always be my reason for living. I wasn't allowed to have a phone in my room but that day I requested one right away.
Wednesday evening I was released from the ICU and placed in a regular room. I was told that I needed to remain hospitalized for at least another week so that I could finish my treatment. I still needed oxygen and I was placed on a 4.0 Liter setting. I couldn't be happier that at least I was getting out of the ICU after being there for ten days.
Thursday morning I got a visit from all my doctors and from the Discharge Coordinator. It seemed as if I was doing amazingly well and I would not need to remain hospitalized for much longer. They were looking into releasing me by the weekend. They were sending me home with oxygen so a vendor was contacted and my equipment was ordered and scheduled for delivery for the very next day.
I was released from the hospital on Friday, February 4, 2005. I was released with only 2.5 Liters of oxygen. I still had to take my Pneumonia medication at home for two weeks and I had a little bit of wheezing so I needed to use an inhaler if needed. None of that mattered to me because I was finally going home to my family. The miracles didn't stop upon my discharge from the hospital. My family continued to pray for healing and their answers were not left unheard.
A week later I went to my doctor for a follow up and I was removed from the oxygen and the ABG test that I took confirmed that my lungs were basically functioning back to normal. I did not need to use the inhaler since the first day I was home, and I was feeling great.
Some doctors will recognize the power of God while others place their amazement of my recovery on the unknown or their treatment. I know in my heart that if it weren't for my Christian family and friends who fervently sought the Lord for mercy and healing, I wouldn't be here today. God is an almighty God, full of power and might. What would I have done without the Holy Trinity in my life? The Lord saved me from a path of destruction and I understood why I went through this trial. I had too because I had forsaken my Lord and turned away from the faith. He sat me down and just wanted to talk to me and tell me that He loved me and would never leave me or forsake me.
Copyright © 2005 Glorivel Castillo