Psalm 118:17 I shall not die, but I shall live and recount the deeds of the Lord!
When one looks at Bertie today, they see a person who speaks clearly, prays fervently, demonstrates the signs and wonders spoken of in the word, and only when looking very closely can they see the lingering effects of a year of challenges, pain, struggle and work. Bertie continues to shine her light in spite of a 12 months that would have sent a lesser person to the grave.
Last December (2014) Bertie was fighting for her life in the Intensive care Unit at Adventist Hospital. First diagnosed with pneumonia, she was only expected to have a short stay and some antibiotics before she was sent on her way. Unfortunately, that was not the case, Bertie’s pneumonia turned into Adult Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (AARDS), something that most people her age do not fully recover from. The AARDS was then further complicated by sepsis, dramatically elevated white blood cell counts, an inability to breathe on her own, renal distress and an eventual stroke. Bertie spent several weeks in the ICU, was placed on a ventilator, and put into an induced coma. She was given very little hope of recovery by her doctors and her daughters were informed that even if she recovered she would never be the same; unable to walk or communicate, and possibly not even be able to feed or care for herself independently in any way.
This was not Bertie’s first dance with illness and possible death, as she was healed of Thyroid Cancer in her late thirties in a Kathryn Kuhlman meeting. For years she would recount how she told her doctors that they were good, but they were not the great Physician and that only God decided when she would die. These stories of faith, helped her daughters and friends believe and intercede for Bertie’s miracle this go around.
The faithful sat on the wall for Bertie and prayed without ceasing. They spent hours in the ICU lifting up Bertie and her family. Leslie and her daughter Hannah, were by Bertie’s side, almost twenty four hours a day and when they couldn’t be there, others came and stood in the gap. Bertie’s precious “daughters and sisters” stood vigil in her darkest hour and called forth her miracle. After weeks in the ICU and when given no hope, Bertie began to rise from her slumber. The ventilator was taken out and she inhaled deeply her first independent breaths. She began to rouse from the induced state and began to focus her eyes and squeeze the hands of those around her. Since she was intubated for such a long time, they weren’t sure she would recover her voice, and yet, she began speaking. When the nurse asked her if she could do anything for her, Bertie responded, “Don't alienate me from my peeps!”
Wow! Bertie has been on a healing journey and continues to make gains a year after her original illness. Her therapists are beyond amazed and keep telling her that people who went through what she did make gains for about three months, not for twelve. Bertie shows no signs of stopping. She is ministering again, praying for people, sharing her testimony of healing and working for Precious Daughters. She is walking with a cane and expects to be completely independent soon. There are still things she hopes to gain both physically, mentally and emotionally after the year she has been through. She believes whole heartedly that she will be completely restored to her former self.