Fields Of Life. Ch. 5.
Three Days Left:
But then, in 1990 my kidney function failed – due to the diabetes – and, consequently, I was on continuous Ambulatory peritoneal dialysis.
This dialysis was unlike Haemo-dialysis because, fortunately, I could move around as normal and carry out my daily activities.
I was not connected to a machine!
Another plus of this kind of dialysis was that it was done at home, four times every day.
Bottom line, through every day of the week, I adapted the schedule to my daily itinerary.
In addition, from Mondays through to Fridays, I was able to work the schedule around my routine of studying music and computers – Information Technology – at Crosskeys College.
I was the college’s first blind student!
Consequently the one-year diploma course in music performance and technology was tailored to MY needs, but in the main I did the same as everyone else.
The course included study in the music business, e.g., understanding music, history of music, performing music, composing, sequencing, sound engineering, studio recording and vocal training.
It was at this point that my music tutor reckoned my piano technique was at the level of grade eight.
Anyway, when I initially lost my eye sight, a social worker, after being introduced to me, bluntly told me I’d never be able to fly an airplane or operate a computer.
The latter he totally got wrong.
If only that social worker could see me now.
Furthermore, I never even wanted to fly an airplane anyhow!
So, as part of my physical rehabilitation, my restoration and recuperation as a blind person, I completed training in new living skills, white-cane training, audio typing, and now a full-time college course.
And to think I attended college while also having to dialyse myself!
GIFT OF LIFE:
In any case, I began peritoneal dialysis in May 1990, and this continued until a year later on 30 April, when I received a phone call which would be my gift of life.
Can you imagine how I rejoiced in God!
After having the appropriate, suitable blood tests, we were told by doctors in the Cardiff Royal Infirmary hospital, that my blood matched a kidney donation.
The best news was yet to come:
Not only was there a kidney donation, but a pancreas was included-that would change my way of life for the better!
On 1 May, 1991, I became a thankful recipient of a kidney and pancreas transplant.
The thirteenth such operation accomplished in Wales.
And let’s not forget, this all happened on account of one person deciding to be an organ donor.
That person is a hero to me.
Sure-enough, because of my new transplants, this would eliminate the need for both insulin and dialysis.
And there’s more, for the first I could remember with clarity, I would no longer need to adhere to a low-fat and low carbohydrate diet.
Did I actually invent the phrase “Sea changing?
That’s what I experienced.
Truly a sea change!
A profound transformation.
However, always those howevers, after the transplant of kidney and pancreas, I seemed to spend more time hospitalised than I spent at home.
I would be discharged one day from Cardiff Royal Infirmary and return the next.
Each admission would be at least three or four days, sometimes longer.
This continued from May 1991 through September of the same year.
All the same, finally, on this particular day, I really thought on September 6, I would be sent home for good.
LIFE OR DEATH EXPERIENCE:
Early that morning I awoke to go to the bathroom.
I had lost quite a lot of weight, weighing only just over 98 pounds – with a body mass index of 16.8!
I’d been having a special injectable food solution into my neck.
This was at long last due to be removed.
But, as I entered the bathroom, suddenly all the energy and feeling in my arms and legs left me – just disappeared.
What a traumatic experience.
Thank God for a fellow patient who could hear me struggling and summoned the nurses who came running to my aid.
They were eventually able to practically drag me back to my bed where I lay for what seemed a long time, gasping for breath.
Doctors and nurses were rushing in and out.
They came and went, came and went again and again, taking blood, frantically checking my blood pressure.
It seemed that no one could help.
No one knew what was wrong with me.
Was it finally time to go home to be with Jesus?
Only God knew!
Eventually, a professor came onto the transplant unit.
From a distance he’d perceived something was dreadfully wrong.
As he came to the foot of my bed, I went into cardiac arrest!
I can even recall the pressure from the professor’s hands on my chest as he desperately tried to revive me.
It was, at this point, that I went through a dissociative experience of observing myself from an external perspective – as though my soul had left and was observing my body.
A near death experience!
Meanwhile, Judith was at home because we were scheduled to move into a new house that day.
Somehow, Judith sensed that things had gone wrong with me at hospital.
She frantically phoned the unit, but, of course, she still didn’t know the severity of my emergency.
Naturally, the staff at the unit were only allowed to brief her with little detail.
So, Judith dashed from our house and all her responsibilities of moving, leaving the removal men to cater for themselves.
She had to get to the hospital!
When she arrived at the transplant unit, she was to discover I had been rushed to intensive care.
She was met by my consultant at the entrance to the intensive care unit, and Mr Peter Griffin took her to his office and briefed her somewhat.
He Showed Judith my blood results on his computer visual display unit, and Judith was told that I only had a nine percent chance of survival.
In fact he added, I give David no more than three days to live.
She and I, as well, later found that it appeared I had developed septicaemia – blood poisoning, caused from having the feed line in my neck for too long.
Anyhow,back to the intensive care unit – Judith was not allowed to come in to see me – so sadly, she left the office.
She went home and began telephoning everyone she knew everywhere in the United Kingdom and as far as Australia.
She pleaded with them, imploring them to pray for a miracle for me.
Back in intensive care, all my vital organs had collapsed.
Well, nearly all of them!
Quickly concern was growing about my transplants, including my heart.
Thirteen tubes were attached to me, as well as a myriad of attending machines, dripping with medication and blood transfusions, etc.
All were part of the panic scene that surrounded me.
It seemed that I was being kept alive by a respirator.
Eventually, Judith was allowed into the intensive care unit.
As she stood at the end of my bed and pleaded in a quiet voice,
“Hello Princey Boy.”
When I heard her, it was as if new life and faith had entered the room.
Immediately, I awakened from my unconsciousness, breathed hard, and smiled, although I was still very critical.
This was still only the first twenty-four hours, and don’t forget, I had been given only three days to live!
Three days later I was sent back to the transplant unit.
Four days later I was discharged from hospital to at last be reunited with Judith and move to our new semi-detached home at Malpas, Newport, South Wales.
The thrill of being allowed home after this episode in hospital was indescribable.
Without doubt, this was walking proof of the power of prayer!
Yep, that’s right!
I really believe, that the Lord, through the prayers of His people, actually saved my life.
Basically, coming from the brink of death to fullness of life is a miracle very hard to beat!
So, don’t fret or worry.
Instead of worrying, pray.
Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.
Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down.
It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the centre of your life.