I'm going to warn you right now - This is going to be a blog about how I know Jesus is real, and is ALIVE today! That is what today is - The Celebration of the Resurrection of the Son of God.
Some of you will stop reading after that sentence - and its OK! It's your loss. This isn't my story of Salvation, this is an excerpt from the "Melissa: Book of Life". So, go head and stop reading - but you're gonna miss your chance to stroll down memory lane and witness one of the most horrific yet beautiful experiences of my life.
If you have five minutes, I invite you to stay. (I tried to keep it short...but...go grab your coffee and settle in!)
For those brave enough, come with me back to July 4th, 2002.
I was counting down the four weeks until my 21st birthday, Jake & Abby were 20months and 2months old respectively. I had been married for a nearly a year as well, and Wil (the hubby) had the holiday off. My parents had kept Jakob overnight, while Abby stayed home with Wil. I was working the front desk with two very dear friends at a busy Airport hotel until 3pm. Easy Peasy. We were going to a cookout at my parents and then going to my hometown fireworks. I was excited. It was going to be great.
Work flew by - it always did. I loved working with those girls. We had received our "Official CPR Certified" badge and card in the mail that day. We joked about how we could officially save someone's life, and that was scary because well...it was us...and hellloooo, that IS a little scary.
(Backtrack - two weeks earlier we had gone to a work sponsored CPR class. I was not supposed to attend; Only one of us could go. My darling Elaina friend convinced my boss to let me come, because well...she didn't wanna go alone and we were Friends. My boss agreed, and worked the desk so I could go.)
I get off work - Wilo picks me up and we head to the cook out! Everyone is there. Mom, Dad, all 3 siblings, Grandma and Grandpa, the whole family deal. I was happy to see Jakob - he was having great time! Everyone was excited to see the baby Abby. We swam a bit ( my parents have a pool) and were getting ready to eat. Jake had come up on the patio to see the grill and give his baby sister's feet some kisses.
In a split second he vanished. Where did Jakob go, I asked? We couldn't find him.
We all started looking.
Wil found him.
In the pool.
My twenty month old son had climbed the ten stair ladder to the pool and had jumped in. I hear a frantic commotion of "He was in the pool!" thru the windows (I had gone inside to look for him) and I rushed outside. I come around the corner of the house, and there was my son, in his fathers arms, limp and blue. And Lifeless.
My heart was literally ripped out of my chest.
I screamed in a tone that I had never had, and have not ever had since. This was NOT happening. It was a second. We were watching him. No one was drinking. He was RIGHT THERE. This is my baby! My love. I wasn't done loving him yet.
The whole world seemed to stop. Everything was in slow motion yet so chaotic at the same time. My dad took Jakob from Wil's arms. He was trying to do some kind of CPR on him, while I prayed at the top of my lungs. "Come now, God. Come Now, Jesus and touch my baby. I believe in your love and your faithfulness! Save my baby, Lord!" Those are word I remember screaming. At that time, I noticed my dad trying his best to do CPR on Jakob, and I realized that he was doing it incorrectly and I knew how to do it....I had just taken a class.
"Dad, Dad, I can do this, Let me do this, I just learned, Put him down Dad, Let me do it"...I pleaded.
My Dad looked me straight in the eyes and said, "Then DO IT, Melissa".
I did it. I laid him flat and tilted his beautiful head back. I put my mouth over my lifeless baby's nose and mouth and breathed air into his little lungs. I compressed my hands on his chest five times and gave him another breath. And five more compressions. And another breath. He started to regain some color and started to spit up water. He started moaning unconsciously. The local EMT's had arrived at this point and whisked him away to the hospital.
It was determined - after several hours - that Jakob was stable. He had been underwater for about 4 minutes. He was not breathing on his own and needed to be on a respirator. The doctors acknowledged it looked encouraging but no promises could be made. He was to be on the respirator for the next 72 hours in the best case scenario, all the while being monitored for infection and brain damage.
We were sent home that night (early morning) despite not wanting to leave. It was an exhausting day, and it was going to be a very long road ahead of us. We begrudgingly fell asleep that night.
At 7:15 the next morning the phone rang. It was Children's. My heart stopped again. "Mrs. Hunkier?" "We need you to come in right away..... Jakob is awake and asking for you. He is off of the respirator and breathing on his own. He asked for Chocolate Milk and his Mommy."
I could not believe my ears. We flew to that hospital.
Sure enough, there was my baby.... My sweet, precious, beautiful little boy....smiling and happy to see me. My miracle, staring back at me.
He stayed in the hospital for 3 days and went thru a variety of tests. Every one came back normal. Everything was fine - no infection, no brain damage, no evidence of what his little body had been through. He was discharged with....swimmers ear. He has had no complications since.
The doctors, specialists and EMTs all attributed Jakob's recovery to a quick response with CPR. It is scientifically what made the difference, there is no denying that. Its been proven to...save lives.
However, I attribute the CPR to God himself. He equipped me with the skills and ability to respond in that manner. Two weeks prior I wouldn't have known what to do. He orchestrated that class. He led my friend to convince my boss to let me go. He moved my boss to say yes. He gave me the focus in a time of chaos to administer it. He saved my son. I make this realization every single day, every time I look at Jakob's face and see him run and play and learn. I refuse to accept it as coincidence. I am forever, eternally grateful.
I am not a church going gal, and have not been. I'm not a preacher or an expert. I know this, without a shadow of a doubt. Jesus is real. God is real. He loves us like no other. He listens when we pray. He forgives every sin. I am forgiven every day. He wants to know you personally. He answers prayer when we truly believe. He is Alive today.
Thank you for sticking this out longgg entry with me, and hearing my story. Thank you for letting me share a bit of myself with you. This was emotional to write. Let's hug and go eat some chocolate bunny ears and smile at our families around us.