David Wake’s Testimony
Jeremiah 1 verse 5
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
I believe now, that God indeed did know me before I was born and had a plan for my life that top heart doctors could not possibly understand. After my birth I was classified as a blue baby that would not live through the first hour. I guess they were wrong, eh?
For those of you that do not know what blue babies are imagine a newborn that is a blue color rather than a nice pink. This immediately tells the doctors that there are serious problems with the heart and or the lungs. In my case my heart was kind of messed up. The hospital chaplain was called to baptize me, give my last rites or maybe just pray for me; I’m not sure which because my parents were not churchgoers. Mom told Karen years later that I was baptized but she couldn’t remember by whom.
When I was around 6 years old I wanted to know why I couldn’t do the same things other kids were doing and Mother explained what all the tests and exrays had shown. There were 3 holes in my unusually horseshoe shaped heart and the arteries were twisted stopping the proper flow of blood. My heart is backwards and on the right side too. When this occurs breathing is difficult too. There were no other patients to compare this to and at that time no known ways to fix it.
Repeated visits to Sick Kids Hospital continued to be very negative. “He won’t live much longer” or “he’ll never be a teenager.” The outlook of the doctors and my Mothers stern warnings didn’t stop me from being a boy. I often tried her patience because if this was all I was going to have then I was going to make sure I had fun. At the age of eight I played so hard I suffered a heart attack and woke up in Sick Children’s hospital in a heart and lung machine. This was my home for about a month. When they felt the heart recovered as much as it could I went home. At that last appointment the doctor said he would be surprised to see me (alive) the following month. I overheard this and got really angry with this “so called doctor” – what did he know! This all happened in 1958.
A few months later on a Sunday morning I was looking for cartoons on our TV but there weren’t any. The only thing I could find was an Oral Roberts Tent Sermon. I was just about to change the channel when Oral said “don’t change that channel, we’ll be right back,” I figured he meant me so I left the TV alone. When he came back he said he had a letter from one of his partners in Canada about a young boy named David that had a serious heart condition that needed our prayers. When he prayed I felt the Lord touch my heart and it started beat fast and skip beats and then it settled down. I ran into the kitchen and told my Mother and she replied that I should be used to it by now and we forgot about it.
The next check up at the hospital did indeed come around and the Doctor couldn’t believe the change in my condition. He had the tests re-done and when they showed the same results he insisted on redoing them yet again himself. The great improvement stunned him. Life went on from that point as usual until surgery became an option in 1962. It was decided that a procedure developed in the U.S. would give me a slim chance of living longer. Without it, death was inevitable since my heart could not support my growing body.
Open-heart surgery in those days involved putting the patient on the heart and lung machine and taking the heart out of the body and working on it. They figured that the whole operation would take 5 hours. Ten hours later when they were just about finished they took me off the machine and I died. I saw myself get up off the operating table and watch the doctors try to revive me. A bright light surrounded me and I felt so peaceful and pain free. I started walking towards an image at the end of the lighted path when a voice told me “stop, go back it’s not time, your mother needs you.”
The next thing I knew I was in the recovery room. While I was a guest of Sick Children’s Hospital for over a month getting over the surgery there were numerous doctors and other specialists coming in to examine me. I felt like a guinea pig and couldn’t wait to get out of there.
At home, still resting and generally pestering my Mom I watched the first astronaut to orbit the earth John Glenn. Little did I know that history was being made, nor that my survival today 2011 is also making medical history.
After I became of age to make my own decisions I decided the doctors didn’t know too much and stopped going for my annual checkups. I apprenticed as a chef and worked in the food service industry for 16 years then in 1981 decided enough of that and started over as a glazier making and installing windows, doors and storefronts. After Karen and I moved up here house building seemed like a good idea so in 2002 I started working at Quality Homes in their cutting and framing area.
Did I tell you? I wasn’t supposed to be able to do any of this according to the specialists. In fact I wouldn’t be able to drive a car, get married or have kids.
At exactly His time, the Lord guided us back to church. Through most of our marriage we had been the Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving type of Christians. Our sons went to Sunday School because we felt it was important but we were too busy.
We had tried different churches but came away feeling empty.
Trish, Jim’s niece and our daughter-in-law called one Sunday and said they were going to her uncle’s church and would pick us up in a half-hour. I wasn’t feeling well that day so Karen went with the kids and came back telling me I had to come and check this small church out for myself. I did and here we are. That was nearly seven years ago and only 7 months before I would need heart surgery again. This time they were going to try a method that had worked on children but never on an adult to improve my oxygen supply.
Our Father then set the stage at Toronto General Hospital. I had a Christian surgeon who thanks God daily for his gift. Christian nurses would be reading to me from the Bible. Karen tells me they would read even when I was sleeping or wiped out on pain meds. Our church family here, Kenneth Copeland and dear friends from Sacred Heart were all praying. My standing here today is proof of the power of prayer.
Five weeks after this surgery I was walking 3km per day in Spring Valley Park.
The expected improvement in my oxygen supply was to get the numbers up from 62% to as close to 80% (Normal people our age have about 91%) At my last testing I have 85%.
I am seeing a heart specialist now, at least once a year. He is at St Mary’s Hospital in Kitchener working in partnership with my cardiologist at Toronto General. This new Doctor is excited about having me as his patient because he and others can learn so much. It is a mystery to him and the rest of his team – how a man can function and live fully with only ½ of his heart working properly. I tell him God is my healer and the He is just borrowing the doctor’s hands.
A bout with water retention last year has also been healed through prayer and medical help.
Since my recovery God spoke to me telling me to get off the fence and come on the other side. His words were “I gave freely to you – life, therefore you give freely to others.” And so, as He has instructed, I will pray for all of you and others – lay hands on if possible, and ask our heavenly Father to use me as His instrument to work through.
To close I’d like to repeat the last verse of the song “In Christ Alone”
No guilt in life, no fear in death
this is the power of Christ in me
from life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
can ever pluck me from His hand
’til He returns or calls me home
here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.
By the way, my name is David and I will be 61 years old in August. Thanks be to God!