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A Cough Becomes a Death Sentence

John Martin - 700 Club Producer

“I just got to coughing, just – I mean, just really coughing hard. And just… I’d lose my wind.”

At first, Doug thought the occasional fits of coughing that started in January of 2013, were from allergies. But after a few months, they were getting worse. 

“Not only coughing, it just shuts my wind off, and it – when it shuts the wind off I just pass out.”

By the time summer rolled around, they were coming more frequently, up to 6 or 7 times a day. Even then, he put off going to see a doctor

“Honestly, I guess I was afraid to.  I mean, I don't know – I've got five kids and I never had nothing like this before.”

Finally, his sister, Karen, convinced him to see a doctor.

“He was cough – starting to cough up blood.  And I knew when he started coughing up blood something was wrong.”

Doctors ran numerous tests. While waiting for the results, Doug and his family prayed. 

“I was asking the Lord to deliver me from this and stuff and kept praying that this cough would be gone.”

“We told him, ‘We are praying for you.  We know God is going to touch you and give you strength. He's going to keep you safe.’ Because I really didn't believe God was through with him.”

It was the end of July when Doug got the results.

“He said, ‘Well, they found a tumor in my lower intestine. And it's cancerous.’  He says, ‘You have cancer.’ As bad as my symptoms were, that was not what I wanted to hear. Honestly, I was asking God to take me on home because I just – I – if I was going to have cancer, I didn't want to be here.  I don't want to – I don't want to sit back and suffer and have to be dependent on somebody else.”

Doug’s doctor referred him to an oncologist to explore treatment options.  But when Doug started coughing up blood the next morning, he couldn’t stop and had to be taken to Methodist Hospital in San Antonio. Doctors there discovered it was worse than anyone thought… his liver was covered in cancerous carcinoid tumors.

“He says, ‘Well, there's nothing we can do. If we do surgery,’ he says, ‘you'll die on the operating table because of the symptoms. If we do chemo it'll destroy what liver you have left. You are going to die.’ It was like a depression that I sorta went into.”

Given only 3-4 months to live Doug told his family

"We were praying. We’re just praying you know, the Bible says to pray without ceasing and that's what we did."

They kept Doug in the hospital for observation.  During his stay, he fasted and prayed.

“And I realized that at that point in time that my life was in God's hands, nobody else's. That's when he let me know that ‘Hey, I've always been here.  I've never left you. He says he'll never leave or forsake us.  And I realized then that, you know, I'm not alone.’”

He had been fasting five days, when he had another attack and passed out.

“That night, going through that, the Lord spoke to me and told me that he would heal me if I do what I was called to do, and that's to live for him and-and live according to his word. Not by my – not by my theories or my ideologies, but by his word And I thought, ‘Okay God, I'll do it.’ And this is a vow that I made to God that night that I'd go anywhere and do anything he's called me to do. 

The next morning, Doug awoke, knowing everything had changed!

“I know when I woke up that I had been healed from the cancer. I knew without a doubt in my mind, because he wasn't going to let me come back.  If he hadn't have healed me, he would have taken me home.”

Two days later, Doug was released from the hospital with medications to help with pain and coughing. But Doug never needed them.

“The coughing was gone.  All the symptoms were gone.  There was no more symptoms. And I thought, ‘Lord, you bring me out of the worst things, now take me into the better things.’"

“We just praised the Lord. That was an answer to prayer. “

In December of 2014, he went for an MRI, that told doctors what Doug already knew.

“He says, ‘There's no active cancer cells in your body at all.’  He says, ‘Not even in your lower intestine or anywhere.’  He says, ‘There's no cancer. It's all gone.’”

“God.  God is the answer.”

Today, Doug has followed God’s call as a missionary to the Philippines. His Faith forever changed, by the healing experienced in his life.

"It's just a simple faith.  Just believe it and watch God do what he does. And my walk with him, it is the most important thing in my life.  And I wouldn’t—I wouldn't trade it for anything."

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