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Brain Aneurysm Threatens to Rob Family of Mother

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Cheryl Wilcox - 700 Club Producer

In early June of 2013, Tina was having a tough day. “I remember being very stressed out, and I remember being – just had a horrible headache, and I just wanted to get in the bath and relax; just have a few moments of peace in the bathtub that day.”

That’s the last thing Tina remembers. Moments later her son, John, heard a strange sound coming from the bathroom. “It sounded like whooo-whooo.  My mom was passed out and she was trying to say "help, help" but it sounded like "whoo-whooo."” John called out to his dad. “dad”

John ran to get his father, Randy. Randy recalled, “I went in the bathroom and opened the shower door and saw her laying in the tub on her stomach, making this horrible noise. It was terrifying.” Randy offered a desperate prayer and then called 911.  “Well, the first thing I said, is "Jesus, please help me!” and I asked for Him, to protect my wife.”

Tina was rushed to the hospital where doctors discovered an artery in her neck had burst, leaking blood into her brain.  According to Dr. Steven Norris, MD, “When a patient comes in with a ruptured carotid aneurysm, prognosis is grim. If they come in unconscious or in a coma, then they're likely to die.  They’ll have a 40% risk of death in that first 24 hours.”

Doctors believed she wouldn’t live long enough for surgery, and told Randy to gather family members to say goodbye.

Randy related, “It’s your worst nightmare, cause my mother had died from a brain injury, so I know what that can do. But I stopped and checked my spirit to see what the Lord was saying.  And the first thing He said is “She will live and not die.”

Friends and family filled the ICU waiting room, and prayed throughout the night. According to Randy, “When the prayers were coming on, it felt like the armies of the Lord were encamped around us.”
 
Tina survived the night, but the artery continued to bleed, putting more pressure on the brain, and leaving her paralyzed from the neck down.  She was Life-Flighted to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Hospital where doctors performed surgery and stopped the bleeding.
 
Dr. Norris’ prognosis was still grim. “Following her surgery, Tina still had a significant risk of mortality. She still had a very good chance of dying.  Up to 25% of patients with this level of injury will die over the following six months.” Doctors warned that, even if Tina did live, she might never be the same.  Dr. Norris continued. “She may have complications of – in essence stroke-like symptoms; difficulty with speech, difficulty with memory, personality changes…all that to say these are people who are oftentimes in persistent vegetative states.”

According to Randy, the only thing to do now was wait and pray. “I had to ignore what my eyes saw and focus on only what my heart saw. Friends and so forth were constantly coming back and coming back, and we ended up finding out that all these people all over were praying for us.  And whole churches all over the southwest.  There was a convent full of nuns up in upstate New York that were praying for us.”  

Seven days after surgery, doctors brought Tina out of the coma. She was fully aware and speaking clearly. Randy remembers “Her first words were "where are my babies?” and “What's going on with them?"”

But Tina was still paralyzed over 90 % of her body and they continued to pray. Then a week later, the feeling in Tina’s arms and legs began to return and she was able to stand with help. The next day, she took her first step on her own.  

Randy emotionally recalled, “It was a major "hallelujah" moment!  Jesus is totally faithful and He never fails.  He doesn't know how to!”

She continued rehab, and then, just seven weeks after her aneurysm, Tina returned home to her children. “It was the best moment in my life.  I just cried and tried to thank the Lord for giving me this moment; for letting me have this and let me have a second chance at life.”
 
Tina’s doctor couldn’t agree more. “I was truly amazed at her recovery. This just should not have happened. I believe that God played a role in this in her recovery. [It] truly was a miraculous recovery.  God had his hand on this.”
 
It’s been three years since Tina was found unconscious in the bathtub.  Today she shows no signs of brain injury. She is completely healed and she and Randy are eternally grateful.

Tina put it into perspective by saying, “I’m just a normal girl.  I’m nothing special. But God loves me and the fact that He would do this for me and that He would bring me back and let me have my life, my beautiful life.

Randy rejoiced, “It's like the most wonderful miracle ever!  And I don't know how long after that - after she got out of the hospital - whenever we'd be somewhere with our children doing something, I’d hug her and say, ‘This moment's brought to you by the Lord Jesus Christ, without whom it would not be possible.’”

See more of Tina's story at tinahare.org.

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