Sunday March 10, 2013
By SIMON PETER ENG
Sometimes when you think you’ve been dealt a harsh blow, it could be that you’ve actually been blessed by God’s favour.
SITTING on my garden porch and staring blankly at the sky, I felt empty. “I hate life, I hate life, I hate life”. These were the words that used to run through my head daily, from the moment I woke up with tears in my eyes, until the moment I went to bed – another long and miserable day.
But then, my life appeared to be good. I am married to a wonderful wife and have two beautiful children whom I really adore and my career was moving upward. Everything seemed rosy and promising. Yet I entertained such negative thoughts.
But something happened to me that changed my life forever.
Memories flashed through my mind and transported me back to that morning when I went for a brisk walk with my wife at the beautiful Lake Titiwangsa in Kuala Lumpur. On that fateful day, my life changed.
I had barely walked 2km when I felt a surging sensation gushing through my left hand and chest area, although I did not experience any tightness.
The gut-wrenching thought of an impending heart-attack paralysed me instantly – I have hypertension and diabetes – so it’s not unfounded fear. Immediately, I asked my wife to send me to the nearest hospital for a check-up.
After running a blood test and other examinations, the general practitioner confirmed that I had a mild heart attack, and I was urgently warded at the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) for observation. After three days of observation and tests, the cardiologist permitted me to be discharged with medication.
A sense of pride of “how could I have had a heart attack?” overwhelmed me as I knew I have always been healthy.
But, sometimes in life, things don’t always happen the way we think it should. Two weeks later, the same sensation hit my left hand again. I decided to get a second opinion from another heart specialist in another hospital.
The heart specialist advised me to do an angiogram, an X-ray test that uses fluoroscopy to take pictures of the blood flow within an artery or a vein. The day before, I had prayed earnestly to God for health and healing. As such, I was enveloped with great faith that God had healed me. But instead of declaring there was nothing wrong with me, the doctor swamped me with bad news.
“You have three blocked arteries.” That news brought on a tsunami of terrifying fears that assailed me. Before my fears could subside, he continued: “You need to do the angioplasty immediately.”
In times like this, our sense of logic easily turns to panic. Nevertheless, thank God for my wonderful family who was with me throughout this ordeal and they all agreed that I should proceed with the angioplasty instantly (a procedure used to open narrow or blocked coronary arteries).
I could visualise how tense the situation must have been for my family, waiting anxiously for the outcome of the procedure. Thank God, it was over in two hours. My wife later told me how she and our children were so relieved when they saw me giving a thumb’s up after the operation. In fact, my wife had tears of joy and relief.
I am really grateful to God for giving me such a wonderful family.
After that, I was ushered into the CCU (Coronary Care Unit) for my condition to be monitored overnight.
The way it had happened so suddenly, I felt betrayed by God.
I have been going to church regularly, doing my morning devotion daily, bringing my family to church, exercising, controlling my food intake, and yet why did He allow this to happen to me?
The next day my family came to visit me. My wife and son had breakfast at the cafeteria and my daughter decided to accompany me. I was overwhelmed with so much frustration that I threw them at my daughter, commenting, “Why did God want me to suffer like this?”
She replied: “Dad, everything happens for a reason. Maybe He wants to show you His favour.”
There and then, it dawned upon me that what had nearly cost me my life, was actually a God-given second chance at life.
I vividly recalled what the doctor had said about my condition, which in medical terms, is considered “a silent killer”. In other words, I could have died of a heart attack anytime without warning.
Was it some kind of divine intervention? I believe it was. I am grateful and thankful that God has given me a second chance in life, and now I have a new perspective of life if things don’t go according to plans. These days, I have learnt to appreciate what I have and my wonderful family tops that list!