…. they were unschooled, ordinary men …. they had been with Jesus …. the crippled man healed standing with them – Acts 4:13,14
Sair R. Park, M.D. He is an OB/GYN and a professor emeritus from the University of California-Davis Medical School. He is also the Founder and President of SAM-Care, a non-profit medicare care and humanitarian organisation.
I once had to perform surgery on a three-hundred-pound patient at the VA Medical Center, and she almost died during the procedure. This patient had been diagnosed with a large benign tumor in her uterus, but, given her weight, her first doctor had determined that conventional surgery would be too risky. She was referred to me for an endoscopic procedure.
There was no surgical table large enough to accomodate her body size, and two beds were put together for her in the operating room. As the surgery commenced, I proceeded to insert a large endoscope into her abodmen, and as I did, a fourth-year resident pulled the instrument back, stating that something was strange. Within seconds, blood began rushing everywhere. An artery had been severed; the endoscope must have accidentally cut through it. Immediately we opened her up. Her abdomen was deep and wide, a pool of blood gushing relentlessly. I could not see anything but a massive, pulsating ocean of red. Two residents and I tried our best to stop the spouting and spurting, to no avail.
We started immediate blood transfusion. “Her blood pressure is falling fast!” the anesthesiologist yelled. “I don’t have a pulse!”, he shouted.
Panicked and without being cognizant of even doing so, I began crying out loud to the Lord.
“Oh Lord Jesus! Please save this woman, everyone knows I’m a missionary devoted to saving lives. But if this patient dies under my care, what would happen to your name? Please have mercy on us. Please save her life!”
People in the operating theatre had shocked and gaping expressions on their faces. To them, I was shouting incoherent, crazy gibberish. At that very moment, I yelled, “I got it!” I located the severed artery as if I had caught a small thread in a rushing river. The patient’s life was saved.
For some time afterward, word continued to spread like wildfire around the hospital about “Professor Park’s crazy, nonsensical talk that saved the patient.”
On the day she was discharged, the patient gave me a hug and said, “I knew that it was your God that saved me. Thank you.”
My frequent trips into North Korea and to churches on both sides of the Pacific left little time for anything else. So when a cancer patient came to me for surgery, I was already booked on a Friday flight to Washington, D.C., to preach at a church revival service over the weekend. The patient was insistent that I perform her surgery. Given my tight calendar, I scheduled her operation for the Thursday before I left. The surgery would be very involved and difficult as the patient’s disease was advanced and aggressively metastasizing. I consulted with the patient and her husband about possible risk factors. “Its a difficult surgery; there’s always the chance that complications could occur,” I informed them.
“That’s why I chose to come to you,” the patient stated confidently.
“As I’ve already mentioned, I’ll be leaving on Friday for D.C., I’ll perform the surgery and my colleagues wlll take good care of you during your recuperation until I get back.” She and her husband both nodded their heads in complicit agreement.
The surgery turned out to be very complicated, much more than I had expected. It took over six hours to complete. While at home later that evening, my thoughts remained on my ailing patient.
At three in the morning, my phone rang.
“The patient is barely alive!’ It was the hospital resident physician.
I rushed back to the hospital and performed an emergency surgery on the patient. This operation lasted for more than three hours. Afterward, I was convinced that nothing more could be medically done to save this patient. I felt certain that her death was imminent. I returned home to quickly shower and change clothes and then headed straight back to the hospital to check on her in the intensive care unit.
Hearing the grave condition, extended family members began gathering outside her unit to hold a vigil. The patient’s husband remained by her bedside, watching intently for signs of improvement in his comatose wife. I placed my hand lightly on his shoulder and beckoned him to tollow me out to the hallway for a brief meeting. He nodded his head and quietly followed. His eyes were bloodshot with exhuastion.
“We’ve done all that we can for your wife up to this point. As you know, I’m leaving for D.C. My colleagues here will do their best to take good care of your wife until I get back,” I stated assuredly.
His face immediately flushed a deep red hue and he became visibly distraught. “How can you go anywhere while your patient is dying?” His hands balled up into tight fists and his voice shook with disbelief.
“Didn’t we already agree to this prior to the surgery?” I reminded him as calmly and evenly as I could manage.
“That was on the assumption that things would go well. Your patient is dying! Where do you think you’re going without first saving her!?” he screamed.
In an instant, every eye was fixed on us in a moment of stunned hush. Conflict welled up inside of me. Lord, I’m incapable of doing anything further for my dying patient. How can I tell these people that I’m going away to preach the gospel and lead a revival meeting? Father, what am I supposed to do? Should I stay, even though there’s nothing more I can do for her, or should I go on to D.C.?
I called the family members waiting in the hallway into the patient’s room and asked them to join me in prayer for the dying woman. Ignoring the expressions of shock flitting across their faces, I carefully cradled the patient’s frail hands in mine and prayed, “Dear Heavenly Father, this woman’s precious life is in your hands. I now commit everything to you and your grace ….”
As I resolutely walked out of the room, heading for the airport, I could feel the family’s hostile resentment and great disapproval boring into my back.
As my flight took off, my pager began to rattle softly. As first, I did not immediately recognize the callback number flashing on the small screen, when it suddenly dawned on me that the patient’s husband must have been trying to reach me. I immediately assumed the worst. “Ah, the patient passed away,” I whispered somberly to myself. This deadly disease robbed this young woman of her life much too soon. What pain and sorrow her family must be suffering.
Upon landing in D.C., I immediately called the patient’s husband. I expected to hear his furious voice screaming through the phone, “How are you able to even call yourself a doctor!”
But I did not hear an angry voice. Instead, his jubilant voice came bustling through. “Dr Park, my wife is breathing. Her pulse and blood pressure have normalized. She has come back to life!” The God you prayed to has saved her!”
God Almighty, thank you!
To the best of my professional knowledge, the patient was dying. Medically speaking, her disease was so advanced and metastasized, there was nothing more that could have been done to save her.
Yet, she lived. And continues to live.
I had always thought that it was my intelligence, my skills acquired through intensive training, and my talent that saved people’s lives. How foolish and egotistical I was.
After that day, I spent much time repenting of my sinful pride before the Lord. It has been well over fifteen years since that incident. Today, the patient is alive and well, living a healthy and happy life with her family.
And this doctor lives with the undeniable certainty that it is not I but rather, He, who is truly the “Good Doctor.”
I accompanied the medical team headed to Ussrisk. Each day, within minutes after the setup of our field clinics, we would be inundated with two to three hundred patients eagerly flocking around us seeking help.
One morning as I took a short break from seeing patients, I noticed a large crowd congregating a short distance from our clinic site. I heard shouts of, “Amen!” “Hallelujah!” “Its a miracle!”
We were used to such exclamations; but on that day, these sounded particularly different. One of my colleagues suddenly ran towards me. “It’s a miracle! A paralyzed man just stood up!” he shouted.
I immediately followed him to find people in tears and dancing jubilantly.
“It’s a miracle! God truly lives!”
That morning, a paralytic patient had been carried into our clinic on someone’s back. That same patient had been prayed for and was now jumping and leaping about like a wild deer in ecstatic tears of joy.
From the corner of my eye, I saw several members of the Russian police silently observe the scene, and then slowly slink away. They always seemed to slip away whenever we Christians become overjoyed by supernatural events.
Source: Sai R. Park, M.D., The Good Doctor, Bringing Healing to the Hopeless, Biblica, 2010
by 林弟兄, bro Lim
October 30, 2014
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