A Rally Call for Prayer Sees Answer for Healing
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Gary Williams remembers, “He said, ‘Your wife is critical because she's got COVID in her blood stream.’ And he said, ‘This is as bad as it gets.’"
"And I'm like, 'This cannot be right. Mom, like Mom?'" recalls Gary's daughter, Kristin.
On August 1, 2021, Gary Williams took Nancy Mae, his wife of 42 years, to the emergency room at Orlando Metro Health Center. She was coughing and having trouble breathing. Gary thought it was Nancy Mae’s asthma flaring up, however tests revealed it was COVID. The doctor explained with her age and asthma issues, the prognosis was bleak.
Dr. Andrew Little, an emergency medicine specialist in Orlando says, “I went to triage and found her kind of slumped over in a chair. So, we rushed her back to one of our resuscitative bays.”
Her right lung was 40 percent infected. In her left lung, the infection had spread to 90 percent. “We had to intervene immediately,” says Dr. Little, “or we were going to look at maybe her going into cardiac arrest.”
Nancy Mae was put in a medically induced coma and on a ventilator. Her daughter, Kristin, a nurse, recalls the situation.
“As a medical professional and having experience in the field, I knew how serious it was.”
Gary says, “I bent down, and I put my hands on the side of her face and I kissed her and I kissed her hands and I prayed again. And that's when a lady came up behind me and she said, ‘What are you doing? Your wife has got the worst kind of COVID imaginable and you're kissing her?’ And I just looked at her and I said, ‘Well, if it's the last time I see her, if something goes south and I lose her, at least I will have had one last kiss.’"
Doctors were concerned her organs may soon start shutting down. Nancy was rushed by ambulance to Advent Health Orlando for specialized care. “The chances of her coming out with a full neurological recovery were going to be very low,” says Dr. Little.
Gary says, “It just devastated me. I didn't know if she was in pain or what, or if she was scared. I didn't know.”
Gary and Kristin put their faith in God and Gary asked his friends and church family to pray.
Kristin says, “A lot of prayers. I have great friends. I have a wonderful family. We have a great church family. Communicating with them and venting to them and just blowing off steam – you just had to keep moving. There were people saying, ‘What if your mom's not going to make it?’ I said, ‘I do not want to hear that. My mom's going to make it.’”
Gary also called The 700 Club prayer center for support.
“I thought, you know, here we are, we're members of The 700 Club, they're one of the biggest prayer teams there probably is,” says Gary “And so I called, and I talked to this woman and she started that prayer off, ‘Father God, we're standing on the truth of your written word.’
And she had me right there. I started crying. She said, ‘Miss Nancy Mae will live and not die.’ And she mentioned that she was one of His daughters and how much God loves His daughters.”
Two days after praying with The 700 Club, Gary received a phone call from the doctor. Nancy Mae’s condition was improving. Gary recalls, “They were able to get her off the ventilators, but she couldn’t talk.”
Nancy Mae still faced a multitude of challenges. After thirty-eight days in the hospital and over a week off the vent, she still was not fully alert or able to speak. Doctors told Gary they were not sure if she would ever be able to come home. Alone and afraid, Gary cried out to God.
“I haven't given up on you, you're still my God, and I'm still gonna put my faith, my hope, my trust in you,” says Gary. “And I'm sorry I'm angry with you, you just gotta help me get over this bump in the road.”
Two days later, his prayer was answered. The hospital called and told him that Nancy Mae had been moved out of the COVID ward. Gary could now come see her.
Gary says, “I just wanted to make a beeline to see her. I walked in there and she was smiling at me. There's my sweetheart I thought. And I've got her by both hands. And she's alive and she's getting better. They got her out of COVID and now it's just a matter of rehabilitation.”
Nancy Mae says, “When he came through the door, I was so happy. I was crying. I was just thankful that the Lord gave me more time with Gary.”
“I can remember the day our first daughter was born. I was walking on cloud nine,” says Gary. “And that's the way I felt when I was able to sit on the edge of her bed and hold her hands.”
Eight days later, Nancy Mae was released from the hospital to recover at home with Gary.
Dr. Little says, “Her walking out of the hospital at 45 days with – despite an aggressive time in the hospital and a lot of problems that she had to face when she left, the fact that she was there, able to be with her husband and walk out of the hospital on her own accord is huge. And if that's not a miracle, I just don't what it is.”
Gary and Nancy Mae say they felt God’s presence and know He heard their prayers in their most difficult time.
Gary says, “I would have never got through this if it had not been for talking to the Lord.”
“Make sure to pray for strength,” says Nancy Mae. “He's got it there for you. The 700 Club helped us through this, through praying. Our church family helped us through this.”
“People need to know, they can go to God with anything, no matter how bad it is, no matter how ugly it is,” says Gary. “All they gotta do is talk to Him. He's there all the time.”
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