I delayed calling my physician as long as I could, because Hart to Hart was on, and there was no way I was missing an episode. Soon it became almost impossible to draw a breath, and being five months pregnant, I decided to make the call.
Instead of his service, I reached the doctor directly. It took almost three minutes for me to say my name because of delays caused by a constricted airway. Unbeknown to the doctor or myself, I was having an allergic reaction to Erythromycin.
The doctor told me to call an ambulance, which I relayed to my drowsy husband. He became belligerent. His mother had died from aspirating perfume not two months earlier, and he felt that I was seeking attention from him. “Drive yourself if you have to,” he said, slamming the door in my face.
All my life I’ve had asthma, but I never knew that you could die from it. Somehow, it always seemed to go away or a breathing treatment would work. On the way to the hospital, driving about 40 mph, I felt my airway close and couldn’t get a breath. I remember looking at the street sign which read Hill Street, and to the best of my knowledge I had another half hour before reaching Lankenau Hospital near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The worst section of the trip was the turn onto the hospital road itself. It was a three-way intersection with a yellow blinking light that easily caused a ten to twenty minute delay to get through. One section was the traffic leaving Philadelphia, another was a railroad crossing which was always busy, and the third part was the road I was on.
I wasn’t aware of any of this, however. Instead, I experienced the pure bliss of floating, like I was rising higher and higher. It felt so free, light, and pleasant. Next thing I knew I was standing in the presence of the most intense love I’d ever felt. It enveloped me and I knew at that moment I never wanted to leave that presence and definitely was not going back.
Communicating mentally, I heard the thought that I had to go back, and I argued. There was no way I was going back—I was where I wanted to be.
Then my eyes opened, and my vehicle was parked crooked in front of the emergency room doors. There was no one else around. I got out and walked in, and being pregnant I quickly looked for a bathroom because I was nervous.
I remember people rushing at me and surrounding me. I couldn’t talk so I made signs for a bathroom, and they followed me. There had to be close to ten people and I remember thinking, “What is their problem?”
I knew why I had attracted attention when I saw myself in the bathroom mirror. My face was a mottled shade of black. I backed out of the bathroom and let them put me on the stretcher.
For seven days I received intensive care treatment, but absolutely no one believed that I stopped breathing at Hill Street. They said the time frame would have been too long and I would not have been able to drive for over 20 minutes while not breathing.
I don’t know who drove the car; I can only suspect that it was an angel. I don’t know how or why I survived, except that it did change me.
That lasted for about three weeks, and then life returned to as close to normal for someone with two small children and a troubled marriage. I will never forget that feeling of intense love. That was the third time an angel came to me directly. Someday I will share the other two visits.
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