A Miracle Story & The Power of Prayers!
Updated: Aug 26, 2019
In my 24 years as a disciple and member of the Central Christian Church, through doubts and testing times, I've always held on to a verse in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future"... God has shown me so many times that He truly means what He says.
Last November 2017 was a shocking month for me. When my beloved husband, Tony, was having some rib cage pain, we thought he had probably overstretched himself. When he was at the polyclinic, they did an ECG, and it showed that HE HAD AN HEART ATTACK! He was immediately put in an ambulance and sent to the Tan Tock Seng hospital emergency room. I settled my kids at home and rushed to the hospital in the same hour. They put me in a "resuscitate room" (to wait for him). I couldn't believe my eyes and I doubted my English as I had to search on Google to find out if the meaning of “resuscitate” is truly what I understood it as.
It turned out that Tony actually had a ‘major’ heart attack. It was so serious and urgent that they had to put two balloon stents in his right main vessel immediately as it was 100% blocked. The doctor showed me his scan, the C-shaped right coronary artery is already half cut off due to the lack of oxygen. If he were to further delay further his trip to the hospital, he would have been gone! Scary! Indeed God had definitely protected him!!! But the stents were not good enough to sustain him long-term, and he had to undergo a major (quadruple) heart bypass because his other three arteries were also blocked! In total, four of them were severely blocked!
Following that was a very busy and stressful week, as I had to sort out many things by myself: medical bills, if he was covered by insurance, which surgeon and hospital, the types of risks involved and the after surgery effects and aftercare, etc. I was definitely fearful because it was a huge challenge I've never faced before; thinking I might lose Tony during the surgery as they had to stop his heart (assisted by heart-lung machine) for four hours during the operation.
I must thank the church, the many who have participated in the prayers for Tony’s condition and operation. I am especially grateful for the Rangers’ team, that took up different responsibilities voluntarily: Liana arranged for our kids to play together with hers regularly, and just when I needed someone to accompany me to the surgeon's office to discuss the procedure and costs, May and Cheng Cheng put aside their work and went with me. Joyce, Grace, Wee Keong, Phua Hee, Vincent and some zone members came to visit and cheer him on before his operation. So many visits and countless prayers were offered. Grace and ZQ initiated a 16-hour prayer chain with their parents’ chat group for Tony’s operation to be successful. We are so grateful for the support and love we've received from the church members during our ordeal! That gave us so much strength, faith and hope. I relied on those prayers a lot during those two to three weeks. That thought alone gave me so much peace, knowing we were securely wrapped up in many prayers, and everything will turn out fine.
Due to the many prayers, we finally managed to find a renowned Thoracic Cardiovascular Surgeon who was very positive about his surgery. Actually our church sisters Sharon and Liana, and Tony’s brother separately went to ask around their friends as to which surgeon we should be engaging for his major operation and it turned out that these three separate sources pointed us back to the same surgeon by the name of Dr. C.H. Lim. We immediately knew then that it was definitely God revealing to all of us that this surgeon is THE ONE. You see.. you wouldn't want to put your life in the hands of any doctor.. unless he is the one chosen by God! I am grateful that God is the centre of my confidence and we could rely on Him, including selecting this surgeon!
To cut a long story short, Tony went through a successful open heart surgery which lasted about four hours. To the doctor's surprise, he woke up within 1.5 hours after the surgery while others in a similar operation would usually take a few hours. He also did not require any blood transfusion (I was told by the surgeon that one in two patients would need that). Again, I knew it was definitely due to the many prayers offered and indeed God had given him the extra strength and protected him in every way. Thank you sisters!
Our hospital bill finally came up to $100,000 and thankfully, it had been paid by his insurance. We will never forget the love and prayers offered.
In fact, nowadays, whenever I speak to someone outside church about this episode, I'll deliberately mention the numerous prayers and prayer chain, and the love and support we had received. I will "boast" about how great our church and God's kingdom is, and they'll always respond with amazement upon hearing and knowing God's love and power!
“Remember how the Lord your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would obey his commands. Yes, He humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” (Deuteronomy 8:2-3 NLT)
By the grace of God, Tony has been recovering very well! He said that this episode is one of the "best things that has ever happened in my (his) life". He also felt that he has a much deeper understanding of God and Christ’s love for him now. In fact, his love for God has deepened and blossomed many folds as well and he is totally surrendered and trusting in Him with anything and everything now. He is very faithful and confident that God’s plan is forever the best plan; to prosper him and not to harm him.
I really respect his conviction about God because if I were to be the one who went through it, I'm not sure if I could say "it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me". I believe he had experienced God’s love and grace; and the love he had received from the church members as well. He chose to respond to it with love and gratitude! But one thing is for sure, I know the love, visits and prayer chain have also left a deep impression in my elder daughter, Summer's heart. She had witnessed God’s miracle on her dad; as many times in our prayers together, we would mention it and thank God for that.
Once again, thank you all who have kept our family in your prayers during our ordeal and we’re eternally grateful! We really see God's presence and love through all of you!
Jazzmin Tan (Parents Ministry)
Jazzmin is a creative, fun, serving and faithful sister. She helped to design many of the church's invitations and served as a staff. She met Tony when he visited the Singapore church (he became a disciple in New York in 1999). They have been married for 16 years and have two lovely daughters (Summer and Tiara). Jazzmin is now with the parents ministry and serves the Rangers very happily.