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Brought to Tears by God's Faithfulness

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“The doctors gave me the bleak outlook,” Patti Nichols said. “I could not believe it. ‘Oh, God, what do I do now? He's my best friend.’ The worst thing that I could imagine would be losing him.”

On March 8, 2015, Doug and Patti were vacationing in Florida. Having walked the beach earlier, they sat down for lunch, and that’s when Patti noticed there was something terribly wrong with her husband.

“I looked over at him and I thought, ‘Oh, gosh, he's having a stroke,’” Patti said. “His face was not quite right and when he was talking to me it was all gibberish. I said, ‘We need to go to the doctor now.’”

Patti drove Doug to the ER. Hours later, doctors told Patti that he had indeed experienced a mini stroke and that they would monitor him overnight. She returned to their condo to get some rest, only to receive a call letting her know that Doug was moved to another hospital and that he had suffered a massive stroke in the ambulance.  

“I met the doctor there and he said, ‘Come with me.’ So, we went to the little room and he showed me the scan of his brain,” Patti said. ‘As you can see, he lost two thirds of the right side of his brain, which affected his left side of the body. We don't know if he's going to make it through the night.’ It was scary. Then, I was talking to God and I was just saying, ‘You know what? It is in your hands.”

Patti picked up her phone and called everyone she could think of asking them to pray for Doug. Then something happened that night.

“As I was laying there, I was worried about not being able to go to sleep and what was going to happen next,” Doug said. “I felt that there was like a presence in the room that I couldn't explain. In hindsight, I guess that could have been all the intercessory prayers that were happening at that time. Its origin was somewhere from God, that's all I know. It calmed me and eventually I fell asleep for a while. The next morning my wife did come in the room. The first thing that I said to her was, ‘Remember, you promised to God, in sickness or in health, till death do we part.’”

“Seeing Doug there after his stroke in the ICU with that big smile on his face, it just, I knew things were okay,” Patti said. “I just knew it. I knew God had us and we were going to be fine.”

Doug had an atrial fibrillation, the cause of his strokes, that doctors were trying to bring under control with medication. He also still lacked motor function on the left side of his body. But prayers continued to pour in, and by day eight, Doug’s Afib was under control and he began walking.

“Incredible,” Doug said. “I couldn't believe that I was back on my feet. ‘God is at work, look at what God has done.’ That's when the real impact of the intercessory prayers was starting to hit me. ‘Here it is, living proof, right? I can walk again.’”

Doug was in rehab for four months, regaining ninety-five percent of his motor functions. A surgery was performed to correct his Afib and he soon began driving and working again. Then, nearly one year to the day, Doug and Patti returned to Florida to finish their vacation.

“I was going to get my run on the beach, which I had been cheated out of the first trip,” Doug said. “It was the most emotional run that you could ever imagine. I was literally running and crying, praising God. I decided I was going to collect some shells to remember the run by. Little did I know that on Christmas I would receive a shadow box from my daughter with the shells. It also had the verse of Isaiah 40:31: ‘They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up on wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary, walk and not faint.’ And that shadow box has become my memorial stone.”

Doug now acts as a peer mentor, counseling and encouraging others who have suffered strokes. He and Patti give all the credit to God for his survival and miraculous recovery.

“I'm very grateful to God after everything we went through,” Patti said. “I thank Him all the time for giving us more time together. It's very satisfying and it's very peaceful knowing that He has always had our backs and that he is in our life permanently.”

“Still brings me to tears,” Doug said. “Everybody gathered and were praying, it was an unbelievable effort to save me and heal me. It's all God, it's not me, and it's all for His glory. Prayer is powerful, and I am a living testimonial to the healing power of God."


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About The Author

Isaac Gwin

Isaac Gwin joined Operation Blessing in 2013 as a National Media Liaison producing domestic hunger relief stories. He then moved to Israel in 2015 where he spent the next six years as a CBN Features Producer developing stories throughout the Middle East. Now back in the U.S., Isaac continues to produce inspiring, true life stories for The 700 Club.