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This Is My Story

March 5, 2006


had an appointment with a heart surgeon for August 30, 2005 in Gulfport, MS, but God had his own agenda; Hurricane Katrina hit August 29.

My daughter Angela, granddaughter, Brittney, grandson Anthony, and I evacuated Sunday, August 28 to a motel in Marietta Georgia.   While we were there, I called Sue, my old friend of more than 30 years, now living in Eatonton, Georgia. She in turn called her daughter, Becky, living in Dallas Georgia, a mere 30 minutes away from the motel.   Becky phoned me at the motel and invited us all to come and stay with her.

Becky and her husband have a new, very large three-bedroom home, which they graciously opened up to us. Becky was so thoughtful -- not only stocking both the pantry and the freezer during our stay, but also taking off work to carry me to the doctor because I needed refills on my medications.   I am a diabetic with high blood pressure and am very overweight (not a good surgical prospect).

When we evacuated our home in Mississippi, I brought my medical records regarding my heart and all the results of the tests I had done before Katrina.   I was scheduled to have an aortic valve replacement, a bypass and a left carotid artery repair for a blockage.   The doctor I saw in Georgia told me that I should not delay my surgeries and that upon my return to Mississippi, if the surgeon and the hospital were not able to perform the surgery, that I should call him right away so he could contact a surgeon in Atlanta for me.

We returned to Mississippi and found that my surgeon had not returned to the area and the hospital had sustained damage. My surgery was not going to take place in Mississippi. I notified the doctor in Georgia and the very next day received a call from his office wanting to schedule an appointment for me to see him again. My appointment was October 4.

My daughter and I drove back to Georgia and stayed with Becky again.   When I saw the surgeon, he referred me to a friend of his who is a vascular surgeon.   The cardiac surgeon stated that I had to have my artery cleaned out before having the heart surgery.   He wanted all the blood flowing correctly without blockages. They scheduled my left carotid artery surgery for October 10 and my heart surgery for October 12.

My Pastor, Sam Johnson drove from Mississippi early Monday morning on the tenth and was there waiting for me before I ever got down from my room.   After  “prepping” me for surgery, they allowed Pastor Sam to come back and pray with me.   As he was praying, I felt something like a “big rush” leave my body through my arms and hands, then the same thing happened through my legs and feet. Suddenly I felt relaxed and comfortable.   I had no fear, just a sense of well being. No, they had not yet given me any medication. I was given a local anesthetic in the operating room much later.

Pastor Sam waited with my family in the waiting room. Of course the surgery lasted three hours longer than expected, but he stayed there until they came out and said I was in recovery. Then, He drove back to Mississippi with no sleep. My pastor is a man who not only talks the talk, but also walks the walk.   He called my daughter at the hospital and apologized for not being able to return on Wednesday for the heart surgery because there was a disaster-relief team coming to stay in our church and he needed to be there.

The surgery went very well on Wednesday and the next day I went to my room from recovery.   Saturday they came in to tell me that I was going to be discharged on Monday.   The doctor stated that I had a miraculous recovery considering all of my handicaps.   I told the doctor that God’s hands were all over this.   He brought me out of harms way from Katrina and took me to Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. He directed the surgeons and the hospital he had pre-selected for me.

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t thank God for all he has done for me even though I don’t deserve any of it. Because of His love for me, God saved this 65 year-old obese diabetic with high blood pressure.   How does that old hymn go? Oh yes,  “He saved a wretch like me.” These words were written for me; I honestly believe that!

Thank you for allowing me to share this story with you.   I hope it helps someone who reads it to accept the Lord, Jesus Christ as their Savior and know that He died for our sins.   God truly loves you.   God always has the best of things in His agenda for you and me.   We need only to accept his love and acknowledge that He is the only true God.

Your sister in Christ,

Beverly M. Alger