November 30, 2012 - Reported in marshfieldnewsherald.com. It was Saturday evening, July 14, 2012. I wasn’t feeling very well, to the point of spitting up pink blood and a constant cough. A friend came over to find out why I wasn’t at our annual Knights of Columbus Golf Tournament. He noticed that my lips were an awful shade of blue and tried to convince me to go to the emergency room. With no luck, he contacted one of my brothers who rushed over. After 20 minutes of persuasion, we were off to the emergency room.
At the hospital, I was thinking that the doctor would check me over and send me home with some medicine and that would be it. Boy, was I mistaken. The hospital admitted me for more observation and testing. This included many blood samples and taking my blood pressure every four hours. This continued for the first four days of my stay. This was driving me absolutely nuts. I was starting to feel like a pin cushion from all the poking and prodding. The nurses would always say, “This is going to hurt a little bit!” to which I would respond, “Maybe not you, but it does hurt me!”
On the fifth day in the hospital, one of the nurses and a physical therapist wanted me to go on a little walk to check on my stability and strength. I told them, “No, I don’t think this is such a great idea.” Yet they kept persisting that I go for a small walk. Against my better judgment, I finally gave into their wishes. Maybe five steps into the walk I felt my knees buckle, and I collapsed right there on the floor; my heart stopped and all of my organs shut down. I was listed as “code blue,” dead!
I was out for a long time, it seemed to me, but it was only about 4 minutes. In that brief time, I saw the most beautiful light, 10 times brighter than the sun. I then saw two men walking hand in hand, coming toward me. One was my dad, who had died 13 years earlier, and the other was Jesus Christ.
Jesus showed me his hands and feet and his side from when he was crucified. It was at that moment Jesus spoke to me and said, “Patrick, we are not ready for you yet!” I said, “Jesus, it must have really hurt when the Romans nailed you to the cross.” And he said, “Yes Patrick, it certainly did, but I did it for all mankind, now and into the future. In fact, it was one of the three times that I cried in my life.”
He went on to tell me, “I have work for you to do on earth.” So I asked him what kind of work would this be. Jesus responded, “Patrick, you tell everybody you know and even the people you do not know, that they are truly loved, and that there is a man named Jesus. And assure them all ‘that there is a special place for them. Living on earth is just temporary and … heaven is everlasting.’”
My dad asked Jesus if he could speak to me for a moment, so Jesus gave him the go-ahead. Now understand, my dad died when he was 85; and now he (appears to be) 45, so I am now “older” than my dad. In heaven, it seems, you are the age that you want to be. Dad then talked to me saying, “Patrick, I love you very much, and I always will. You are doing a great job taking care of Mom. I see that every day, so I thank you. Now, I want you to really truly listen to what Jesus told you, and we will see you in about 50 years from now.”
Jesus then came back and said, “I want you back on earth to take care of your mother and to proclaim and spread the good news.” And just like that, they were gone. The next thing I knew, I woke up surrounded by eight to 10 doctors and nurses, and I was back in my bed, and they were the first people that I told of the awesome love of Jesus. I know in my heart of hearts that Jesus is real. I mean I knew it before, but now I can put an actual face to “the man” from my readings in the Bible. All I can say is that he is simple awesome.
After that jaw-dropping fifth day, the doctors and the nurses did more blood tests and were getting a bit frustrated by not finding out what they wanted. After 10 more days of tests, one of the doctors ordered an ultrasound of my lungs and my legs, and to my surprise, I had huge blood clots in both lungs and in both legs. This pretty much scared me. At 11 p.m., a doctor said that he had to perform life-or-death surgery. A filter would be inserted to dissolve the clots that night, or I would be dead in the morning.
He assured me the whole procedure would be done in 17 minutes, and I would be awake. I asked for a couple minutes alone, and he said OK. I consulted Jesus and asked him for any kind of sign to let me know that this doctor was trustworthy. Within 30 seconds, he responded with one flash of lightning; and that was my answer. The doctor came back and asked for my answer, and I told him I wanted to live. The surgery team prepared me, and sure enough the procedure took exactly 17 minutes, just as the doctor had said.
The next week, I worked really hard with the therapist on my walking and my breathing, and I was able to go home. And if I can quote Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz: “There is no place like home, there is no place like home.” Patrick Brayer is a Marshfield resident.