Biographical Non-Fiction posted November 30, 2014 Chapters:  ...20 21 -22- 23... 


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Wayne's heart failing

A chapter in the book She Did, Right -Now She Does Write

Heart Attack and Open Heart Surgery

by patcelaw














Heart Attack and Open Heart Surgery

As we were in our garage doing a project, when Wayne suddenly reached for his neck and said he was having pain.
I realized right away that it could be his heart because of how he described the pain. I brought him into the house and called his internal medicine doctor and said. "This is Mrs. Lawrence. I think Wayne is having something bad going on with his heart."
She said to me, "is he stable enough to drive him to my office?"
"I think he is." I walked him carefully to the car. In about ten minutes we arrived at the doctor's office. When we arrived at the office, the doctor immediately did an EKG and said "he has just had a heart attack." The doctor called for an ambulance and he was taken by ambulance to the hospital here in town. Once hospitalized here in town, they did a test and found he had a blockages in three ares of his heart. He would need bypass surgery to fix the problem. He was transferred to a hospital in El Paso, Texas where they had facilities that could do the bypass surgery. Two days later surgery was done. The surgery had lasted about four hours. My daughters, my pastor and I were waiting in the area for families. The doctor came out and told us the surgery was done.

Wayne was in ICU for five days. In ICU they were having trouble getting him off the respirator, because he was not wanting to breathe on his own. Finally they were able to get him to breathe on his own, then sent him to a heart unit. A couple of days later Wayne coughed so hard, the wiring in his chest gave way and again he had to go back to surgery to rewire his ribs. Then he went back to ICU and there was more trouble getting him off the respirator. Finally he was off the respirator and spent another three days in the heart unit. I was the able to bring him home.

While he was in El Paso I made the 100-mile round trip each day however, there were about four days I had to miss because I got a bad cold.

As he was on very many medicines for his heart, he developed a bleeding ulcer and he had to go back to the hospital.
There was not a lot I could do for him and he was in good hands with the staff of the hospital. I would go to the hospital to visit him and because he was in ICU, I could only visit for 15 minutes at a time. While he was hospitalized here, he again coughed hard and broke the wires in his chest and developed an infection, so it was back to El Paso for another opening of his chest. It was a struggle for me to keep up with the driving and caring for our home.

Wayne said, "Pat all the miles you are having to travel, why don't you only come to the hospital once a day to
visit. I can see you are getting quite tired." But through it all, I had comfort in my spirit that Wayne was a child of God and that God knew what was in the future for him. He was in the hospital a total of 64 days and spent 18 of those days in ICU. Our pastor Bob Diggings was good to help as he would go visit Wayne when I was unable to do so, and my church had us both bathed in prayer. Scripture was comforting me as I read the book of Job and God encouraged my heart to rest in him. The book of Job comforted me as in Job 23:10 it says, when he has tried us we will come forth as gold.

After Wayne was finally recovered from the surgeries and the many days in the hospital, he was instructed by his doctor, that he was not to drive for several months. However, one evening I had left Wayne at home and went to church.

When I got out of the meeting at church, I went to the TABY for a frozen yogurt. I had just come out of the store when Pastor Dwiggins and his wife drove up. Mrs. Dwiggins said, "Pat, we need to take you to get Wayne, but first you need to go to your house and get him some clothes."
"Why?"
" We will tell you on the way to get Wayne."
It seemed my rebellious grown man, had done what he was not supposed to be doing. He had taken our small pick-up truck for a drive. He drove on a road going north of our city. Along the way was a railroad crossing. According to a man who was following, Wayne didn't follow the roadway as well as he should have and hit the rails at a bad angle and it caused a problem to the alignment of the wheels. The driver behind Wayne continued to follow and said Wayne was having a difficult time steering the truck and was weaving all over the road so much so the man though he was drunk.

Mile after mile as the man followed, he was worried my husband would have an accident some where along the way. About 19 miles later, sure enough there was an accident. Wayne lost control of the truck, and ran off the road and plunged into the big irrigation canal.

The truck did hang up a bit on the edge of the canal. The man stopped his car, got out and climbed across the bed of the truck and helped Wayne out through the open window. Wayne was soaking wet and the water was quite cold. The man took Wayne across the road to a home and the people who owned the home took him in, allowed him to shower and gave him a robe to wear.

When Wayne came back out after his shower, then said, "She is gonna kill me, I just know she is gonna kill me."
He gave the people the number of the church where I had been. It just happened, Pastor had not left the church and was there to take the call. I had also mentioned I was going to TCBY, so Pastor and his wife knew where to find me.
I didn't kill him, but I made sure he no longer had keys to drive. At this point he willingly gave up his driver's license.



This was a thorn experience in my life as well as in Wayne's life.
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