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Debilitating Stomach Pain Brings Woman to Her Knees

Ed Heath - 700 Club Producer

Tammy Ward and her husband, Ken, of Smithfield, North Carolina enjoy spending time together, especially cooking. A good meal is something Tammy has come to appreciate. That’s because for years, she struggled to keep anything down.

Tammy says, “In 2009, I started getting sick and I think it was - I thought it was distress. I started throwing up. I weighed probably about 140-41 pounds at that time.” Ken recalls, “We went test after test, you know, seeing what was going on. Each doctor was giving us the same thing that, you know, ‘We don't know enough about it.'” As months passed Tammy got sicker and started to lose weight. She also started having intense pain above her stomach.

Soon she had to cut back her hours at work, and now spent most of her day in pain. She remembers, “It would be like a severe pain and they could never figure out what that was.” Her friends and family prayed for answers. Finally, in late 2010, she was diagnosed with an incurable stomach disorder. Her doctor says, “Gastroparesis in general is just a situation where the stomach isn’t doing its natural movement of food and nutrition through and allowing it to be processed and absorbed.” One of Tammy’s doctors, Peter Roethling, tried to help any way he could. He recalls, “You could see physically, medically just really how she was going through a steady, worrisome decline.”

Four more years passed, and Tammy continued to suffer, losing over forty pounds. Ken recalls, “It was very hard to see a person that was so strong and then gradually getting so weak, you know.” By April of 2014, Tammy was so sick she had to quit work. Even with no answers and her body continuing to break down, the couple was determined to hold on to their faith. Tammy says, “I never felt like I was abandoned by God because every time that I would pray, you always felt like somebody was right beside of you. I'd get so tired of walking, I would start crawling around in my house, on my knees and I would just pray. And I just kept praying. ‘God, just whatever's your will, help me, Lord. Help me Lord. Whatever is your will.'” Ken recalls, “I was praying for her to be healed.” 

A few months later, Tammy came across The 700 Club. She remembers, “The lady was reading a question and it was from a woman. Her husband had not been healed. He had been sick, and he had not been healed. And she wanted to know why.” Pat Robertson answered the question saying, “He wants everybody to be healed and He’s given us the power, He said, ‘speak the Word.’ Search your heart and see what’s in there but particularly this matter of unforgiveness.” That caused her and Ken to search their hearts. Tammy recalls, “I said, ‘God, if there's anybody I've done anything wrong to him, please, God let them forgive me. I forgive them.'”

Spiritually, Tammy was at peace, but her body was still wasting away. The situation looked so grim that even though her church was still praying for her, they offered Tammy a burial plot.  By now she weighed 80 pounds, was struggling to breathe, and couldn’t even hold down water. Tammy recalls, “I lost so much weight that the bones stick out. You could see my heart beating under my shirt. And the skin starts tearing.” Ken says, “I was thinking she might die. I was thinking, ‘Oh Lord, you know, what am I going to do?’"

Then, on September 1, 2014, after going to bed, Tammy reached her breaking point. She remembers, “I was constantly, constantly in pain. I thought I would just - I prayed to die.” After falling asleep, Tammy had a dream. Her family was making a mess in her kitchen, so she ran everyone out yelling: “’I don't need you. All I need is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is all I need. Jesus Christ is Lord.’ And when I said that in my dream, somebody hit me on my right shoulder so hard, punched me, that I picked my head up and I said, ‘What is it?’ And when I did, He spoke in this ear, ‘You are healed.'"

When Tammy woke up the next morning, she noticed she felt completely different. She recalls, “I didn't hurt anymore. And I just felt different. I got off the bed, didn’t have any difficulty. But I had a little jar of stage one baby food in the refrigerator. And I ate that little jar of baby food. And it was so good.” Later that day she had a doctor’s appointment. Tammy remembers, “And when he walked in, he said, ‘What happened? Which one of the doctors did something for you last week?’ And I said, ‘I didn't get in.’ He said, ‘Well, somebody did something.’ He said, ‘Your color's back’. And we did every test known to mankind that they can do. He come back in he said, ‘I will say you have been healed.'”

On the way home, Tammy felt hungry for the first time in a long time. She says, “Here I am driving, I say, ‘God, I'm not testing you, but I am hungry now’. I pulled in Bojangles. One hour it took me to eat that ham biscuit because I cried and prayed the whole time, I was eating that ham biscuit and drinking that Mountain Dew. And when I finished, I said, ‘Oh Lord, I got to tell people.’ I said, they did not know the power of God and they really didn’t know how hungry I was. I was hungry!” Ken says, “It was great to have her back. I mean, remarkable.” Over the next few months Tammy regained her strength and today, she is completely healthy again. Dr. Roethling says, “Really in everything I saw over time, and everything I know in my medical knowledge and my experience in health care, her situation is one of those miracles I’ve seen.” Ken says, “Never give up because God is always standing with you. There's nothing that God cannot do.”

Tammy says, “I learned I was not in control. I learned I was the one that He created. I was not one who created anything. He was in charge. If we didn't have difficulty in our life, we wouldn't learn who God is. That's when you realize God is all you ever needed.”

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