Faith is a complicated thing and we must never judge those who doubt for I have been there too. I am still there too.
How I learned to believe that there is a God who loves unconditionally was on my death bed.
I woke up in a hospital in MacMaster University Hospital in Hamilton Ontario Canada in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit).
I soon found out a lot.
Had passed out at the Toronto East General Hospital. I had flown there for a CISCO conference with our two youngest girls (Rebecca and Natasha, Becky and Mini).
The doctors called the father to ask him if I had any allergies. Something he did not know and neither did I know. Until they told him I was unconscience.
The young lady who used to care for both girls also had a ticket to fly to Toronto and take care of her protegees for the whole week when I would be in the workshop to teach me CISCO networking.
Katie did not miss her flight but all of a sudden the father of the girls had to figure out something.
Thierry drove to the Moncton Airport and told Air Canada that it was urgent that he flies to Toronto immediately.
Someone in the waiting line heard him saying "my kids are in Hamilton and their mother is in the ICU".
The plane was full but one gentleman decided to give up his seat and that is how Thierry landed in Toronto. My sister Esther picked him up and they drove straight to the hospital (1.5hrs drive away as I had been ambulanced to Hamilton).
MacMaster University Hospital has one of the best hematology teams in Canada. They saved my life.
Fast forward, when I woke up from the medically induced coma (apparently I was pulling off all the wires including life support), I asked to be unhooked to go use the loo.
My attending nurse made a funny face. I had no idea why. But she unhooked me and when I returned to the room, there were people in medical uniforms. I thought I had missed a party.
Destined for near death or a wheel chair. But who can raise kids in a wheel chair if they are not strong?
Once my employer got word of everything, they arranged for my colleagues to come and visit me daily.
Thierry had called my big sister Sharon and alerted her. Sharon told our parish. Our parish contacted a pastor in Hamilton Ontario. This woman used to come and visit me daily and pray with me.
I was too weak to pray for myself. She came daily. But my friends from work used to come daily too. AND get this, most of my global friends are not Christians, most are Muslims, Budhists and non believers.
The thing is God manifests Himself or Herself wherever you go.
The next thing was to fly back to Moncton as Thierry had flown back with the girls and Katie had also flown home.
I knew my kids would help me to get back my desire to live. I made this very clear to the attending doctors. Fly me home.
There were only 3 places close to home which could give me Plasmapheresis. One in Ottawa (too far). Halifax (close but full). Then New York City.
I watched the doctors and nurses burn the phone. Finally my specialist Dr. Dolan from Saint John Regional Hospital got room.
Saint John Regional is only 1.5hrs drive from our home.
Company arranges for Air Ambulance. Pilot, second pilot. Nurse. All the time communicating with Saint John Regional. The receiving doctor knew how fragile I was. I had to sign some papers saying that I knew that I could die on the flight back home. I was that fragile.
An ambulance got sent to MacMaster Hamilton to bundle me up with a nurse.
We drove to Pearson Airport Toronto to get on that Air Ambulance which the company had paid to fly me home.
We landed at the Saint John airport in New Brunswick Canada.
There was an ambulance waiting with two medics.
Flashes were put on and I was rushed to STJR.
I was dying to meet the doctor who had taken the risk on me. He was not there.
I was met by 2 nurses whom I shall never forget. Vickie and Brenda. Vickie worked day and night to save my life. The specialist used to come in every morning at 8:00am promptly. But he used to have the blood suckers stick a needle in me at 4:00am daily in order to arrange for my treatment for the day.
He used to walk in with kids who were interning for medicine. So very young.
Finally he sent me home and another doctor locally in Moncton took my case up.
I will never forget the day when Vickie (my nurse) found out that there was no more plasma for me in the whole province. I was receiving 15 - 30 units daily (yes, 15 - 30 donors) and she pulled a suicide move. The hospital authorised to fly in blood. The hospital working with the provincial government sent a helicopter to the Province of Quebec to fly back my blood type. We only had 6hrs worth left.
The following day, I emailed my great friend at work and told her what had just happened.
Claudette got company management to run a blood drive. Many people were asking which blood group I was. It never matters what the blood type is. Some of us cannot tolerate universal.
The company did a blood drive and to this day, it has the highest donor list free.
The company had a sign up sheet for all the drives when I was discharged from STJR but had to go 3 times a week for infusions. The company has offices in Monton and we had an office in Saint John so any willing person could drive me there and work in the Saint John office.
The Parish also had people ready to drive me.
The music teacher for the girls used to pick them up from school and keep them until I returned. The best piano teacher ever. But you have to figure that she also had kids that young so it was pick up for mine, take them with her on errands, return to her home, teach them piano, help them to do home work, feed them and then sometimes when we returned from the hospital, she had a ready meal for me. God is amazing.
My doctors are Jewish, Christians and none believers. They saved my life. God is very powerful. He will send all the right people in your life when He knows who you need.
One day the catheter I had in my big vein got infected. At 4:00am, I jumped into the car and drove to the English hospital. Waited for hours. Was supposed to read in church so I texted my big sister Sharon and told her what was going on. At 11:00am sharp, all the pain went away but I had told the nursing station that I was gonna drop dead.
The doctor was called and rushed to meet me. Reply "I am perfectly fine now. I would like to discharge myself.". He asked me why I felt that I was feeling perfectly "Doctor, I was supposed to be in church and I know they prayed for me so I am now completely healed.".
Reply "I am a committed Christian and praise God. But He works through all of us and I want to run some tests on you before you go off all totally healed".
I had already called for my ride. I was feeling that awesome. Then the doctor tells Thierry and the girls that he wanted to keep me for 24hrs. WHY? I kind of thought that he hated me.
All the rooms were taken in our English hospital. But he found a room and made me stay that night. Told the girls "your mom looks great and feels great but I would like to observe her tonight and could send her home tomorrow".
That night, he pulled out the catheter from my big artery and said he would never put another as I had had 3 of them infected in the past.
My blood pressure dropped down so bad that night and I was heading for death.
I was begging to be sent back to Saint John where my specialist was always ready and Vickie and Brenda knew what to do even when that doctor was away.
The doctor in Moncton said "I am the Internal Medicine doctor here and I know your doctor well but let me try to help you". This doctor is one of the best hematology doctors in Canada and knew my doctor well.
The next day, the father of the girls came to pick me up with both littles.
The doctor told them he was keeping me for another day. The faces of those kids.
He did send me home on day 2 but with Extramulor. I was septic and needed infusions of antibiotics.
They got me a bag to wear like a hand bag with the medication flowing into my veins. Daily, the nurses from Shediac had to come and replenish it.
Canada is very organised. The pharmacist got an electronic transmission to stock the medication I needed.
One day, a patient who needed the same medication and the pharmacy had ran out called me and said it was urgent that they get some of the virals I had been given for that week. A taxi pulled up in the driveway and took back some virals for the other patient. Our pharmacist was getting the next shipment day after.
Fast forward - Rebecca got very sick and missed 6 weeks of school. Ebola was raging and so many people were suspicious. This doctor walked in to examine Rebecca and said "Hey Rebecca, how is your little sister Natasha? I will do everything to get you well and back in school". Rebecca did not have Ebola or the other virus that had killed kids in Canada and USA.
Rebecca missed school in her last year of high school but the doctor told her it was nothing if she got healthy again. Our family doctor works at the same hospital and offered to write letters for Becky to get into University. It turned out not to be needed because the kid had gotten into Dalhousie University on her own when she was only 16ysr old. She is heading for medical school. She saw the great work of people who work in the medical field.
God is awesome. He is good and always good.
I was saved by the love of God. Never doubt God.
Martha Leah Nangalama (saved by Grace)
Born in Uganda (Bududa District) and that hospital is a Death Trap.
PS: It is a bit funny when I write this down. My doctors in Hamilton had noticed that I was always looking for my laptop. Reason I had to be put in a coma. Then my doctor in Saint John noticed the same but I think the ones in Ontario had warned him. So in Moncton, all the doctors usually ask "Does she have her computer bag?". All the hospitals here have a computer center for the patients and free internet but I am usually bed ridden so laptop works and it saves people from being driven nuts. In 2013 the doctor in Shediac sent me to Moncton to be hospitalised for 10 days. No food. On morphine, all I kept hearing was "does she have her laptop?". As soon as I got out of surgery, the nurse took me to my room and placed the laptop on my bed. Ugandans do not know that most times I write and publish when I am in hospital. This has not changed since 2006. I spend more time in hospitals than you could ever imagine. The only difference is a great medical system and I am a living testimony to it. The other one is God loves us so very much that He will ensure that if your work is not done, He will send the right people to keep you alive.
You make a very big mistake to think that God does not exist. S/he exists fully. One day, you will find out.