This is the incredible story of Carrie Drake, 43, wife, mother of 3. Her family goes to my church and nearly a month ago, the unthinkable happened. But through it, God showed all of us that miracles still DO happen. This is her story, written out by her brother, Mike:
We all go through our day to day life, running the same routine, not really expecting anything extraordinary to happen. It is the times when calamity strikes that our thoughts and beliefs are really put to the test. It is these times in our lives that God chooses to show us how strong our faith is and how great his power truly is. It was a time such as this that God showed me that even with a speck of faith he will do exceedingly more than we ever imagined possible. And with the collective prayers of many, our specks of faith can quickly grow into a mountain.
Matthew 17: 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”
On February 27, 2012 Carrie Drake, a 43 year old wife and mother of three, was experiencing chest pains and shortness of breath and was forced to make a trip to the ER. Upon arrival at the ER they performed some tests and determine that she had low potassium levels and prescribed a potassium drip. The nurse who administered the IV had accidentally left the brake on and after Carrie had sat there for 2 hours she had received no fluids. The Doctor decided to run another test and found that the problem was much more severe. Carrie had an Aortic Aneurysm which ruptured and was causing internal bleeding into her heart cavity. They immediately rushed her into the OR to do an emergency open heart surgery. It was said that had she actually received the potassium it would have caused her heart to speed up, bleed out, and die in seconds. That was the first miracle, thank the Lord the nurse didn’t do her job properly.
As family and friends waited frantically in the waiting room the surgeon work tirelessly to repair the damage to her heart. Many people were praying for her. The word was spread quickly using text messages, e-mails, and Facebook to pray for Carrie. The outpouring of prayers and support was incredible, including people across the U.S. and even abroad. Her situation was dire and hope soon began to flicker like a candle under a glass. The Doctor worked on her for 12 hours straight and his report came back bleak at best. He said her heart had stopped beating a few times and he was having trouble stopping the bleeding. It wasn’t looking good. Everyone knew it was time they should start saying their goodbyes to her.
Despite being there late the night before, the Doctor began working on her early the next day in an attempt to stop the bleeding. The Surgery took another 6 hours and when he finished the bleeding was slowed but not stopped. He said that he would work on one repair and another bleed would start in another place. The whole surgery was like that, but he couldn’t give up on her, since his wife happened to be the same exact age as Carrie. They replaced the aortic valve in her heart, repaired another valve, and tried to stop the bleeding, but there was nothing further they could do. The doctor said, “It is up to God and Carrie now.” They had her hooked up to machines pumping her blood for her as her heart was not functioning. They decided to transport her 170 miles to the University of Chicago, Cardiac Unit by ambulance.
As she was laid up in the Cardiac unit in Chicago, she was in and out of consciousness. She was in pain and discomfort with tubes running out of her everywhere and a giant breathing tube down her throat. Her chest was open and exposed with a thin layer of Gortex covering the hole in her chest. The Doctors had to routinely go back in her chest cavity and clean the blood clots out. They turned the pumps down in hopes that her heart would take over again but to no avail. They determined her heart was only 10% functional. When I asked the doctor what the chances are that she would heart start beating again he told me it was very unlikely and that he had never seen a heart that bad off start working again. He stated that a heart transplant was her only hope and that she would most likely be hooked up to those machines for months awaiting a donor heart. He also said people with this problem typically don’t live; they usually never even make it the hospital alive, and if they do, they have brain damage and/or kidney failure. It was a miracle she was there and talking to us with no signs of brain damage or organ failure.
Carrie was very uncomfortable and growing increasing agitated with the tube in her throat. They had to restrain her hands to keep her for pulling it out. I, (her brother Mike), my wife Kasey, her niece Kayla, and her sister Amy came to relieve her husband (who had slept very little in days), and stayed with her in Chicago for the weekend. We brought her an iPod and some speakers because Carrie loves music and sings quite often in church. Now I’m not really one to openly share my faith with everybody, but when I turned on the Christian music and I held her hand, while Amy was holding her other hand, I just started praying out loud. I was compelled to pray, I couldn’t stop if I wanted to. We prayed for the Holy Spirit to be with her, to heal her, and to comfort her. I could feel a great presence in the room and tingles like tiny stings of electricity. Her demeanor changed and she became calmer. She was a awake and alert and writing us little messages to us on a dry erase board. My sister Amy is a great comforter and did her toe nails and massaged her feet with oils. It reminded of the story of the woman washing Jesus’ feet.
Carrie went into another routine Surgery to clean out her blood clots and the remainder of the weekend she was sedated pretty heavily and would only briefly come to. The music played for her almost nonstop and it seemed to keep her calm. We took turns keeping watch over her for the weekend.
Her husband and our Parents came back that Monday morning. They had moved her to the top of the transplant list and the next available heart that matched would be hers. A week had now past since her heart stopped beating and our prayers had now turned to “Please God give her a new heart.” She was about to go in for another routine surgery to remove the clots again when her mother Carolyn said, “We are trusting God to do a miracle and give her a new heart.” and her husband replied, “If God was going was going to do a miracle he would have made her old heart start beating already.” I’m pretty sure God heard him.
They brought her into the operating room yet again and began the routine surgery to clean the blood clots as they had done before. As they turned the pumps down on the machines pumping her blood it happened. Her heart took off and started beating entirely on its own! The Surgeon ran out of the OR to tell the good news to the family. It was an honest to God miracle!
My eyes were definitely opened through all of this and I learned a lesson about myself. On the day it happened I posted on Facebook for everyone to pray for her heart to start beating and after the doctor told me her only hope was heart transplant I started praying for a new heart. How small is my faith that I believed God was going to heal her but didn’t believe he would do what we all originally asked for. If faith the size of a mustard seed can move a mountain, then my faith is size of a tiny speck. It wasn’t one person’s faith that prompted God, but an outpouring of believers prayers that made the impossible possible. When we all pray together, our tiny grains of sand of faith quickly add up to make a mountain. That is why it is important to pray for each other and ask for prayer. If a seed of faith can move a mountain than a mountain of faith can move the Earth itself.
By: Michael S. Turbett