Testimony Part 1
Sister Carol Loch suffered a brain haemorrhage in 2005 and underwent secondary perventative surgery two and a half years later. This is her testimony how that God preserved her life during that trial and of how God has used her situation to reach out to others in bringing them closer to Christ through her near death experience.
My Testimony (Part 1) (2005)
Wednesday 26th January 2005 I was at home doing my housework.
My daughter Pamela should have been at work but was on sick leave due to having a chest infection. All of a sudden I felt a strange sensation go through my body. I called upstairs to Pamela that something was wrong, but I didn't know what.
...a doctor told me I had a brain haemorrhage
The next thing I remember is coming round the following day in hospital and a doctor told me I had a brain haemorrhage. He said it was a subarachnoid aneurysm and he asked if I knew what an aneurysm was. I told him that my dad died of a brain haemorrhage when he was aged 36. (I was 12 years old then; mum was 35 and was left with 5 kids). The only thing I remember between Wednesday and Thursday was a blur of green colour and people saying something about the "Victoria" which was the first hospital I was taken to.
Pamela said the blur of green was the ambulance driver's uniforms and that I spoke to them in the kitchen. I should say here that Pamela found me lying downstairs on the kitchen floor; she said I vomited three times and she with the help of our neighbour had to put me on to my side, as I fought all the way with them. This was not a pretty sight for a young girl to watch. It was a traumatic time for her and I am so proud of the way she handled the entire situation. Pamela said that she was never so relieved to be off work sick; she saved my life. It took the ambulance service only 15 minutes to reach the house after her call. I was taken first to the Victoria Infirmary then transferred to the Neurological Unit at the Southern General Hospital Glasgow. Brian came to the Victoria as soon as he got the news at work, when he asked if I was critically ill, he was told that I was critical but it could be fatal. Then the doctor travelled in the ambulance from the Victoria Infirmary to the Southern General Hospital with me, and Brian was instructed to follow in the car behind. He said that I wouldn't let go of him, but I have no memory of this at all.
On Thursday a doctor explained to me that the aneurysm had started to seal "itself" on the way to the hospital, otherwise I would not have arrived there alive. Of course I knew that it was the hand of the Lord on me at every stage. He explained that there were two options available to me; the safest being keyhole surgery where they could go in through my groin, up around my heart and on into my brain. If this did not work then a more major operation would have to take place where they would have to open up my head. He told us the risk involved etc. I'm sorry, but I find it hard to share some of these details with you.
...I must be honest, I was terrified and I didn't want to die
I then had some time with Brian, Pamela and her fiancé Stewart before my sister Margaret arrived from Elgin 185 miles north of Glasgow. I had so much going on in my mind. I told the surgeon I was a Christian and that I knew where I was going if I died. However I also told him that my daughter was getting married in six weeks time and I wasn’t dying. I then told Stewart and Pamela to have a great wedding no matter what happened that day in surgery. Stewart had just recently lost his father after a heart attack and the last thing they needed was for something to happen to myself as well. We all cried and I remember Brian's determined look when he looked into my eyes and assured me I was going to be fine and he told me to stop talking the way I was. He kept reassuring me with the Word of God. I couldn't stop thinking of Sonia and how I hadn't even spoken to her. Here we were again, I had ended up in hospital with my father's illness and surgery was scheduled for the anniversary of my mother's death, which was also the day before Sonia's birthday. I prayed, they prayed, we all just kept giving everything back to God and then I was wheeled into surgery. Of course I wasn't aware then, that people around the world already knew what was happening and they were also praying, as I wasn't taking in everything that was being said at that point. I am so thankful to each and every one of you that prayed. Brian said I kept asking them over and over to pray even though they had already done so.
The days following...
The days following were a bit of a muddle and all seemed to roll into one, but I do know that the reports were that I was making a remarkable recovery and just needed rest. I had to lie on the flat of my back for eight days to prevent having a stroke and to allow the healing to be effective. Some of you know that I also live with a condition known as Ankylosing Spondylitis and have done since I was aged 26, so chronic pain is just part of my life. Lying on my back for eight days was the worst
thing to do for my A.S. but I had to endure for the greater good. This has caused me some problems with incredible pain and stifled mobility, but thankfully by the grace of God and His healing touch this is improving on a daily basis. To be honest, I am just so thankful to feel the pain, and to still be here with you.
So many amazing things have happened during this time that it would take a book to contain them all, but I will condense and share just a few of them with you.
I didn't come from a Christian background and I had a difficult upbringing, losing dad so young and that led to other problems. Since that time, things have changed dramatically and I have a full heart for my brothers and my sister and my prayer is that one day they will all come to know the Lord as their Saviour; they all know that what they have witnessed is a miracle. At this time I need to pay tribute to my sister Margaret, Brian said that he couldn’t have got through it all if she wasn’t there, she was a great help to us both, not only when I was in hospital but she stayed at my house for several weeks to take care of me while Brian was at work. She definitely went beyond the call of duty.
...if one soul in my family should come to the Lord through this, it would have been worth everything.
My aunt and cousin were sitting around my hospital bed telling me two separate stories of people that were heroin addicts whose lives had been transformed after giving their lives to Christ. I had my two nieces praying for me and one prayed with her boyfriend who is not even a Christian. Margaret, who used to claim to be an atheist now owns a Bible and had been praying for me. I said to Brian, that if one soul in my family should come to the Lord through this, it would have been worth everything. You can imagine my joy when listening to my family recognising the hand of God in this whole situation.
...God is still on the throne!
In closing, I want you to know that I didn't lose my sense of humour or miss an opportunity to witness for the Lord. The doctors and everyone else kept asking me questions such as, "Do you know where you are?”What month and year is it?" and "Who is the Prime Minister? It felt like they were asking me every hour, but Brian said it was every five minutes. Anyway, after my surgery and still under the influence of anaesthetic, the questions were asked again and before he got to "Who is the Prime Minister?" I answered, "Tony Blair is the prime minister." then I screamed at the top of my voice "BUT GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE!!!" I am so glad He is.
Although I should have been in the Southern General for twelve days then transferred to the Victoria Infirmary for a further seven days, I was home in ten days and the doctors, nurses and occupational therapist have nothing but praise at my recovery.
Thank you so much for listening to my long yet condensed testimony. It is not possible to fit a great God into a few pages. I love and appreciate each and every one of you. I also thank God for my wonderful husband Brian, daughters Sonia and Pamela, son-in-law Mike and my soon to be son in-law Stewart. God had given me so much when as I young person I had so little to give. Also, as well as being overwhelmed by God's love, I am overwhelmed by my family, friends and the love of the saints of God around the world. Thank you all so much for your prayers, cards, flowers, gifts and thoughts. God bless you all.
Love and Blessings
Carol Loch (Bible Believers Fellowship, Scotland)
My Testimony (Part 2, two and a half years later, in 2007)
I am writing part two of my testimony to give glory to God and to encourage anyone who is struggling with a health problem in any way or maybe just need to assurance that God is with them.
Since the Lord brought me through a near death experience, I have used my testimony in many ways to reach others for Christ.
Now he is giving me regular opportunities just with people I meet to share his greatness. Again, it's too long to type all the happenings, but in short in August 2005 Mr. Lindsay, who is the top neuro-surgeon in Europe and did all my surgery, informed me that he had discovered another two aneurisms in my brain. My first option was to live with them with the hope that they never ruptured, while the second option was to have invasive surgery opening my head. He explained that due to where the aneurisms were in my brain, it was not possible to coil this time and again he listed the risks involved opting for surgery. We prayed about it for six weeks, and then felt that the right thing for me to do was to have the surgery.
I sent an e-mail round to my friends with just two requests
The Chief of Staff
Now I come to the best bit. I sent an e-mail round to my friends with just two requests. Number one was, "Please pray for my family" - from by my experience, I was to have an anaesthetic and wake up what seemed one minute later, but that one minute for me was seven hours for my family. My second request was that the Lord would guide the hand of the surgeon. One of my many e-mail replies was from my friend Tarah from N. Carolina. She sent me a painting of an operating room, with three doctors performing surgery. Standing next to the main surgeon was Jesus. He was supporting the surgeon by placing one hand on the surgeons shoulder, and His other hand wasn't touching the surgeon's hand, but he was guiding his hand as he performed the surgery. Well, you can imagine the effect and my relief. I had goose bumps and a shiver going right through me. I was totally covered in peace.
For my admission to hospital in January 2006, I packed my MP3 player with some recorded messages on it, my bible, a copy of Sister Rebekah Smith's book on healing, a prayer cloth and my knitting to keep me busy. (I was an expecting grandma at this time.) and of course I printed the picture Tarah sent me.
I told Helen that it was nothing to do with me being strong; it was trusting the God I serve...
The Lord used me to reach others in that ward, both staff and patients. An elderly lady called Helen I believe was especially touched. She had felt her time was near and was amazed at how positive I was before surgery. I told Helen that it was nothing to do with me being strong; it was trusting the God I serve and I also had people around the world praying for me. I gave her the copy of the picture I had printed. (Since then I have bought 100 postcard prints from the painter)
Lord if you take me now to heaven, that's fine...
Anytime in the past that I've had surgery, I've always cried as I'm a bit of a coward. However, this time I was totally covered in a peace. One nurse asked me if I had had a pre-med, but I assured her I had nothing but peace and calm. The doctors were wonderful as usual and talked me through them giving me the anaesthetic. I looked at the big clock in front of me. It was 08:45 and at that moment I told the Lord, "Lord if you take me now to heaven, that's fine and if I come through the surgery, then that's fine too".
Well, here I am, I've come through. The surgeon only had to shave a little bit of my hair at the front. Until I got that peace from God, the thought of them opening up my head just terrified me, but now I had the assurance from God that I was in His hands. If I were to type the testimonies and the outcomes springing from this experience it would take forever. I know of and appreciate the prayers that all of my brothers and sisters in Christ and my own family have offered up to God for me, from which I received much assurance. But I must share this one in closing. My friend Julie from Ohio, U.S.A., is a very special sister who serves others with a very open heart and she actually set her clock for 03:30 just to pray for me, as they are five hours behind us in time. I found this very humbling that she would do this just for me. However, when I talked to Julie on the 'phone, she told me that she didn't make it to prayer until 03:45.
I had those goose bumps back again, as that was the exact time I was telling the Lord he could take me or bring me through and that I was ok with either. Isn't God's timing just perfect?
In January this year I had another angio-gram, as I can't have an MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging) scan due to me having metal placed in my brain from the previous operation. The angio-gram showed up that the two aneurisms clipped last year were fine, but that the coiled one that actually ruptured before showed a re-growth. The situation was that they couldn't do more surgery at this moment, but that I have to have another angio-gram in March 2009. I covet your prayers and the reason that I didn't write part two sooner was because I was waiting until I go the all clear from the doctors. But I know that whatever happens, I've got the all clear from the Lord. He knows all things and I trust completely in Him.
I have shared this testimony with many people and I believe that the Lord has been using me to reach individuals from different backgrounds and the prints that I have given to some of "The Great Physician" has brought peace to so many people.
...I believe the Lord has used Kailey as part of my recovery
In July 2006 I had the honour of being with Pamela and Stewart when little Kailey Hope Cupples came into the world. They had asked me to be at the birth of my first grandchild and she has brought a lot of joy into my life and I believe the Lord has used Kailey as part of my recovery. In November 2006 she had her first flight to U.S.A., with her mummy and me to visit her auntie Sonia and Uncle Mike.
Once again I say, "thank you" to all who prayed for me and I am so thankful to God for the people he has brought into my life around the world. But also for my own family and the brothers and sisters of our own fellowship at Bible Believers Fellowship (Scotland) for their love and support has been so special. And the pastor; well what can I say; he's also my husband and best friend!!!
In one way I feel I should apologise for your eyestrain in reading my testimony. But on the other hand, how do you condense a miracle working God?.........You don't..... He is still on the throne.
Now it’s May 2013 – I talked with my neuro-surgeon and he said I don’t have any aneurisms, the re-occurrence is in fact a “neck remnant” and not dangerous. So that’s the latest news. I have so much to thank God for.
Love and Blessings
Carol Loch (Bible Believers Fellowship, Scotland)
Download Sister Carol Loch's Testimony: