Have you ever needed a savior? Have you ever felt like you were dying and needed someone else to save you? As a Christian, I know what it feels like to know my eternal salvation is dependent on Christ and being saved by Him, but until two years ago I had never felt like my life was actually contingent on another person saving me.
In April 2017, I caught a small glimpse of what it must be like to finally see Jesus and know that it’s all going to be okay because my Savior is here. I rarely tell this story because it’s hard to get through it without getting choked up. The background: I was in the hospital (again) because I needed to have a stent placed in my pancreas due to a post-surgical leak. That stent ended up getting clogged in the central bile duct of my pancreas which caused the fluid to start increasing rapidly and becoming infected. After six days in the hospital, the doctors figured out what was going on and decided I needed to be sent to Chapel Hill to see the only doctor in the state who could do the specific procedure I needed done (shout out to Dr. Baron who literally wrote the textbook on these GI procedures).
The majority of those six days are a blur thanks to all of the pain meds I was on, but I distinctly remember how it felt to feel my body shutting down. I remember being on oxygen and how hard it was to breathe because the fluid was pressing on my lungs and I remember being too scared to ask my parents if they thought I was dying. Since Dr. Baron was the only doctor who could help me it was imperative that I get to him ASAP. When my doctor called, he told him it was an emergency and I needed to see him that day. He agreed to take me that afternoon because he was leaving the next morning for a week long vacation. When the ambulance that was supposed to transfer me didn’t show up, my dad found out that my transfer papers weren’t put in the hospital system correctly and there were no plans to get me to UNC. At this point, I had missed my appointment and UNC told WakeMed, they would wait for me until 4:30, and after that – they wouldn’t be able to see me. After the idea of transferring me on their helicopter was tossed around (how cool would that have been?!) an ambulance finally arrived and I made it to UNC with just a few minutes to spare.
Despite all the things I want to forget about that time in the hospital, one of the things I’m glad I’ll always remember was how it felt when Dr. Baron walked into the operating room. I felt this huge sense of relief because I knew that man was going to save me. He was going to make the pain go away. I’d never experienced emotions like that before and I know that is just a small fraction of how it’s going to feel like when I see my real Savior one day.