“Brain dead” man in coma raised back to full life!
by Scott Levesque
This testimony is very similar to my own father’s story, however Russell’s story has a miraculous ending worth posting. My prayer is that it will strengthen your faith and bring you hope.
I was so inspired to hear of how a man named Russell was stricken with a massive heart attack (the type typically terminal) during service at VCC in Albany last year, only to stand in front of us Sunday night, walking full of life after dying in church and being pronounced “Brain dead” in a coma!
In late 2011, Russell dropped dead in church with massive heart failure. A couple of people tried awaken and resuscitate Russell for some time but eventually he was taken out of the church as paramedics continued to attempt to resuscitate him, and much time passed for Russell without a pulse, causing severe brain damage.
This story brings back haunting memories of my own father’s heart attack, where he dropped dead shortly before arriving at his home. He was already blue in complexion, and similar to Russell, I performed CPR on him for over 30 minutes before the paramedics arrived. Much time passed without a pulse or response from my father (Ed). The paramedics took my father out the door of the house, with his lifeless body functioning only through the compression of his chest by paramedics. As with my dad his heart eventually began beating in the ER at the hospital, but it took so long to get Russell’s heart going again that he was left in a vegetative state, with minimal brain-stem activity allowing for life support to keep him alive.
As both were left in a deep coma with extensive brain damage, later that evening, the attending Doctors said that both Russell & my dad would: 1) either die within a couple of days from the heart attack and trauma, or 2) they would both suffer life in a permanent vegetative state, never to function normal, and perhaps never to awaken.
With no hope, they pronounced Russell & my dad “brain-dead”. That first night, is when they asked my family back in 1982 if they could “pull the plug” on my dad. We were not Christians at the time but something deep in our souls just could not agree to end his life this in manner so we said “no way”.
Similarly with no family to contact, they asked the small team from Victory Christian Church including Pastor Charlie, Patty, and Marti, to “pull the plug” for Russell. Pastor Charlie also said “no way”, but this is where these two similar stories begin to part.
One story ends with the typical expected results from a world filled with hopelessness, death and sorrow; I’m sad to say my dad passed away two nights later at 2AM at the young age of 57.
The other story ends with a life clinging onto faith described in Hebrews 11:1 “the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen”. It is this kind of Hope itself that is the very fuel at the core of our Christian faith.
With hope and faith, this story ended very differently than my dad’s. This story is filled with evidence of Life abundant, and evidence of the power in the name of Jesus to heal, which is the very reward God offers us through faith in His son Jesus. Steeped in that deep faith, the team fervently prayed for complete healing as Russell lay lifeless beside them.
Expecting a miracle and filled with hope, they left later that evening even while Russell’s condition appeared the same, they walked out by faith (not by sight) that God would restore this man’s life.
The next morning thanks to answered prayers by our merciful God, a supernatural miracle happened which completely stumped the doctors, and Russell awoke! But that’s not all!! If merely coming back from the coma hadn’t stumped the Doctors enough, what happened next was even more amazing. During the next several days, Russell quickly healed, and was taken off life support and then released from the hospital only a couple weeks after being pronounced brain-dead as a lifeless body on life support!!!! Oh my gosh!!!!! …..how good is our God????
I personally wasn’t there when Russell dropped dead, but my good friend Lou and many other eye witnesses can attest to the truth of this story and I have to admit that for me to actually see Russell one Sunday evening, walking quite normal and full of life while giving his testimony, built my own faith to new proportions! Oh what a treat it was to hear such a testimony and to witness the power (and love) of our wonderful savior Jesus. I honestly believe that when we hear testimonies like this, it builds our faith because the bible says, “faith comes by hearing the word of God”, and if you think about it, testimonies are all about God’s word revealed through our lives! Amen!
Oh how I wish 31 years ago that I had been saved, and had such great faith that I could have prayed with this kind of belief and fervor for my dad back in 1982. It’s true, we are all developing our faith in different degree’s, and we may not see every miracle answered yet, but I believe we’ve entered into a new era and it’s coming during this generation. I do know that today, such miracles are on the rise and I sure would have enjoyed a chance to try to exercise such faith for my own dad.
So here we have two similar stories, yet from different generations with very different circumstances….. One started and ended hopeless, without understanding and without God, the other started AND ended full of hope and full of life, standing as a powerful testimony to the power of prayer, in the name of Jesus.
It’s my greatest prayer and hope, that we all grow deeper in our faith from such awesome testimonies, and learn to carry (and release) that deep, life changing faith, in the name of the Son of the only Living God, Jesus Christ! Thanks Patty for sharing this amazing story on Sunday, and thanks to Pastor Charlie and his team for carrying a faith that moves heaven on earth!!All glory to God above and His Son Jesus Christ –