On January 7th I was awakened by the police at my door telling me that my 19 year old son, Justin was in the hospital in Idaho and was in serious condition. I called the hospital and the doctor told me that his heart stopped and that he was dead for five minutes before they were able to resuscitate him. He went on to tell me that he was on life support and that he was in critical condition. I think I lost my mind for a few minutes there and immediately started praying to God to keep my baby alive. I felt so helpless and terrified and all I could do was talk to God and beg him to give Justin his life. The doctor said they were transferring him to a larger hospital with an ICU in Coeur d’alene and that my brother was with him right now. My parents, my youngest son and I got in the car and started the drive to Coeur d’alene, Idaho…longest 6 hours of my life!
When I got to the hospital Justin was in ICU and had a breathing tube breathing for him and he was semi-conscious. He had tears dripping out of his eyes and he was combative so they had to restrain him because he kept trying to pull the tube out of his throat. He was shaking his head no no no and was trying so hard to talk but he couldn’t figure out what was happening. He had no idea where he was or what had happened. I stayed with him all night praying and asking my friends and online friends for prayers for Justin. His heart was not doing very well, he had a sinus rhythm (not sure what that means) and he went into v-tach frequently. All I could do was pray. I wasn’t allowed to touch him because they were trying to keep him sedated and calm so I just sat there in the chair staring at him and willing him to live. The next couple of days are kind of a blur of tears and prayers. They didn’t know much other than the fact that he had a “bad lung infection” and that they found opiates in his blood. They couldn’t tell me more because he is over 18 and said he would have to tell me when he could.
They kept putting tubes down into his lungs to suck out the “gunk” which was disgusting and Justin HATED it..(thank God he doesn’t remember any of it now!). The day they took the tube out he was trying so hard to breathe and cough but his lungs were just not strong and it sounded HORRIBLE. Things were up and down and up and down for 24-48 hours and then finally yesterday they said he was stable enough to be moved out of ICU and into a regular room.
By this time I found out more about what happened…Justin moved in with a “friend” of his that he had met in Kellogg where he was living with my brother and the first night he was out on his own he apparently took an accidental overdose of morphine and between that and the pneumonia sent him into septic shock which caused his heart to stop. The mother of the “friend” found him in the morning and called 911 and by the time ambulance got there he was non-responsive. They did CPR, gave him a shot in his heart and I’m not sure what else to get him going again but thank God they did. Justin does not remember anything from the time he went to sleep at his friends house until yesterday so he can’t tell me how much morphine he took, (or won’t), but he does know everything that happened, I’ve told him over and over (he keeps forgetting) but today he really seems to be with it and seems to understand the severity of the situation as he posted on his facebook earlier today something about how drugs did all of this.
Justin has pneumonia and the left side of his face is numb and he isn’t able to talk normally or swallow right now. He can’t eat or drink and feels like he’s been to the dentist where they numb your face and you have no control or feeling over your mouth. (left side). The doctors are hoping that it’s temporary nerve damage from the breathing tube but only time will tell. He is talking better everyday and his voice is starting to come back a little so I hope that it is temporary, I pray that it is temporary. If it is brain or neurological damage, the recovery will be much worse, especially since we have no insurance and there is no medicaid for anyone over 19 in WA state where we live. Had he had insurance he would have gone to the doctor before this turned into pneumonia but don’t get me started on medical insurance issues!!!
It is a miracle and proof that prayer works that Justin is alive and doing as well as he is. All of my family, friends and online friends on facebook and youtube have been praying for him and words cannot express how very grateful I am for every prayer and for every positive thought. I had no idea so many people whom I have never met could be so thoughtful and caring! I want to say thank you to everyone and here is a picture of Justin today so you can see how much better he is doing 🙂
If your child ever does drugs or even thinks about it, share this first picture of my 19 year old with them and tell them that pills (or any drugs) can do this to you in a heartbeat! I’m sharing this picture in hopes that it will help someone realize how serious and how dangerous addiction is and to also show you the miracle that God is working in our lives. There is only a three day time period between pictures, now THAT is a miracle!
Thank you all again for your well wishes and mostly for your prayers. It means the world to me and to Justin.