Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Guillian-Barre Syndrome Miracle

In September 1999, Ray had surgery to correct a deviated septum. He was seeing Dr. Queen and it was decided that it would help him quit snoring. After the surgery, Dr. Queen went to a conference and left another doctor in charge. We thought the surgery went well, but immediately afterward, Ray's temperature and blood pressure spiked. He had to stay in recovery a couple of extra hours. He was a little shaky, but seemed alright at first. I thought it was the pain medication. Instead of getting steadier, he seemed to be deteriorating. I had to borrow a walker for him to get around the house. Monday, we went to see the doctor and he released Ray, gave him instructions and sent him home.

That night when we went to bed, Ray was so unsteady on his feet that I told him not to get up during the night without waking me up. I had already decided that I was taking him to our regular doctor or the hospital the first thing in the morning. Just as we were going to bed, his nose started to bleed profusely. It just would not stop, so I called 911 and they took him to Mary Immaculate Hospital where he laid in emergency for 4 hours before he actually saw a doctor. The doctor packed his nose with gauze and sent him home. Twenty-four hours later the nosebleed came back and the doctor at Mary Immaculate Hospital admitted him.

Ray ended up staying in the hospital for five long days. I tried to work because I did not have much leave and without Ray working, we could not afford for me to go on Leave Without Pay. By working half days and spending afternoons with him, I was able to help him and not hurt our finances. I would get there around 1:30 p.m. and he would just be lying in the bed. No one had helped him bathe or even changed his sheets. He had barely eaten. I made sure he ate and bathed him. I had never bed bathed a full grown man and assured him that he could tell how much I loved him from that. I even searched for the nurse, procured sheets, and changed the sheets myself.

By the fifth day, they decided to send him home. That is when I noticed the pumpkin seed. The first night, I had a pack of pumpkin seeds. It was the only thing I had to eat and must have dropped one. There it was on the floor under the chair. That spoke volumes to me. The floor had not been cleaned in five days. This was a very expensive hospital, but they just were not doing a good job. Ray could barely move, but they released him anyway.

We had to borrow a cane from a friend and then another friend, Bob Yeatman, procured a walker from the Masonic Lodge. That night I told him not to get up without waking me. During the night, he decided to get up and go to the bathroom.  He fell and hit his head on the chest of drawers and his elbow on the end of the bed. I was sound asleep and our dog, Precious, woke me up licking my face.
I could not get him up, so I called 911 to get an ambulance. The paramedics were going to take him back to Mary Immaculate, but I said. “I don’t care what it costs,  he is going to Riverside.” When we got to the emergency room, they determined that he has badly bruised his elbow and could have a concussion from where he hit his head.

It was around two in the morning and Dr. Parcells, the head neurologist, was walking through the emergency room. They brought him in to see Ray and he knew what was wrong even before they did the spinal tap—Guillian-Barre’ Syndrome (GBS). It is a disease of the peripheral nerves. The myelin sheath that protects the nerves deteriorates and falls off. It causes the nerves to die, but does not affect the brain or spinal cord. This was on the 29th of September 1999.

By my birthday on October 1, things were drastic. When I got to Ray’s room, I saw his eyes were open and started talking to him; he was snoring. The nurse said that the nerves in his eyelids were not working and he could not close his eyes. It broke my heart. She mentioned that they may have to put him on a respirator. That really frightened me but I tried not to show it to Ray. I just sat there until he woke up.

I kept running in and out of the cardiac care unit the rest of the day. I drove around town, collecting money for Ray’s business. All day, there were radio preachers on the Christian channels on the radio talking about healing. I prayed all day and felt an enormous burden. That evening, my friend Glynn and her husband came to the hospital. They even brought me flowers for my birthday.

There were so many people from church visiting and praying for Ray. Charlie Nichols and Andy Hughes came by and prayed with Ray. They were such great prayer partners. Everyone was so concerned for him and prayers were lifted to heaven from all over.

After everyone left that night, I stood by Ray’s bed and told him that I never prayed out-loud for anything much before, other than food, but I thought it was about time that I did. I held his hand and to his chorus of “Yes, Lord,” I prayed for the illness to stop attacking his body and let him get better from that day forward. I did not try to bargain with God; we know that doesn’t work. But, I wanted His will to be as ours. God heard our prayer that night and He put the words in my mouth to speak it His way. When I left that night, the nurse told me to sleep in the next day because they were taking Ray back for another spinal tap the next morning.

When I went to the van that night, I started it up and immediately heard the opening chorus to “God is Good, All the Time!” I sang with them all the way home and by the time I got there, I was feeling much better. I woke up Saturday morning,
washed clothes, vacuumed, and got to the hospital around 11:30.

I helped Ray with his lunch and sat with him, talking in between his naps. Around three o’clock or so, Dr. Parcells came in. He had evaluated the spinal tap and discovered that the GBS had stopped. He said those same words that I prayed the night before. The disease had stopped and Ray would get better from that day forward. If you have never heard of GBS, you need to know that this is virtually unheard of. Ray was a hairs breath away from being on a respirator. Thank you, Lord.

He stayed in the Cardiac Care unit for 9 days, a regular room for 9 days, and then in Rehab for two weeks. He was home a week and then he was working again. Thank you, Lord. His healing was miraculous. Guillian-Barre Syndrome normally takes months, even years to heal completely.

God is Good, All the Time!


  1. Barbara not only are you a great writer, you are also a wonderful encourager. Sharing
    Ray's story with people around the world is a powerful testimony to show how our God can and does still heal. The God we serve is the same who healed the woman in the Bible with the issue of blood in Mat.9:20-22. Indeed the God we serve is Good all the Time. Cresenti

  2. If reading this testimony sways someone's heart toward Jesus, I will be happy. Most of the time it is not one testimony, but many that one hears. Sometimes it is just one that sends a person over the wall into the arms of Jesus.