sunriseSarah Catarino, Aglow Portugal National President, knows what it means to live ‘heaven to earth’ in a critical situation.

Sarah’s daughter Marta writes,

Recently, my dad went in for surgery and within four days he was back at home.  It seemed like things were going well, when he unexpectedly started developing a fever.  A week later he had to be admitted back into the hospital. They did two more surgeries due to some infection in the intestines where they done the first procedure.  After the surgeries, he stabilized and was allowed to return home.

However, last Saturday (April 26, 2014), my mom called in a panic telling me that my dad was laying lifeless on the bathroom floor. The paramedics were trying to revive him, but he was not responding, so they rushed him to the hospital.  When my husband and I arrived at the hospital we found my mom and some family members all waiting for news from the doctors. My niece was inside with my dad since she is studying to become a nurse, and knew how to explain his clinical history. Because my husband Eddie is a minister, he was also allowed to go into the emergency room to be with him.

After a while, Eddie and my niece came out to tell us that my father had a stroke.  In fact, the stroke was so severe, and in the worst part of the brain, the doctors did not think he would live.  They felt that even if he did survive he would be in a vegetative state.  I cannot explain the feeling.  My mom was in shock, and everyone was crying and reacting in disbelief.  After the initial shock, we came together in one accord praying and asking God for a miracle, surrendering my dad’s life to His perfect will. Then the nurse told us we could go in two at a time to see him.

When it was my turn to go in I didn't know what to say to him, or even if he would even be able to understand, so I decided to sing over him the worship song ‘There is None Like You’.  My mother who went in with me, joined me singing an old hymn that he likes.  My dad reacted to our song by holding both our hands to his heart. He even opened his eyes and looked at me as I spoke. At that moment I felt peace that we had seen him, and that he had seen us. Then the doctor came in and asked us to leave.

Meanwhile, we started to tell the rest of the family and began getting people to pray. At 2 AM the doctor told us that my dad was much better, and was showing signs of recovery.  The decision had been made to start a treatment to destroy the blood clot. We went home thankful and hopeful that a miracle was in the making.

The next morning we went back to find my dad talking and sitting up in bed.  He asked why my husband, Eddie, was there if it was Sunday, as he should be in church preaching.  Eddie talked to him about what happened and inquired what he remembered.  The improvement from the night before was amazing. Family members were allowed short visits with him, and we all so thankful and happy to see my dad talkative and moving his arms and legs like nothing major had happened.  During the evening visit my mom found him eating his soup by himself and asking about his soccer team game that night, regretting there was no TV in the ER.  In 24 hours our God performed a mighty miracle in front of our eyes.

Today my mom visited him again in the ER, and the doctor talked to her and my brother.  She told them that this was a wonderful outcome, since they thought it he would not survive when they first saw him. The stroke was so severe that the initial exams showed signs of brain death.  She was really amazed with this case. Of course my mom gave thanks to God for the incredible turn of events.

This afternoon, only 48 hours after the stroke, my dad has been moved out of the ER into a normal room, and will continue to get better. They have done lots of neurological and psychological tests to find he is well. The only thing wrong is some damage in the vision of his left eye, but even that can fully recover.  He is well and at peace.

Please join us in thanking God, giving Him all the glory for this miracle. Join us in praying for strength and health for both my dad and mom. Her life has been on hold for over a month during the time Dad has been in the hospital and of course she is tired. May God strengthen her for the months ahead as she walks faithfully besides the man who is the love of her life.