The following true account is told in a book written by Georgia Cohen, a nurse with a boldness to share her faith in Jesus with her patients. This particular story is reprinted, with her permission, from her book, Nurse Georgee–and she is “Nurse Georgee.” Except for her name, names have been changed to protect privacy. Due to its length, it will be posted in two parts.
P. A. Oltrogge
The following is Part 1.
Big John—I Saw Jesus
Yelling at the top of his lungs, John screamed, “Nurse Georgee, get in here!” All the nursing staff raced with me to John’s room. We all had been involved in his CPR and knew it was a miracle that John was still alive. What solicited John’s screaming? Was he again experiencing chest pain? “John…John…what’s wrong?”
John was a 40 year old man, flown by helicopter to us from West Virginia. His condition was extremely unstable, necessitating transfer to a big city hospital. The life-flight crew remained in charge, barking orders at Ruthie and me as they leaped from the helicopter. “Lead the way. We have to stay with John until he is in CCU. His heart stopped five times during flight. Run as fast as you can.”
Ruthie and I were yelling, “Emergency! Move it! Out of the way!” to everyone in our path, as we raced like marathon runners to the CCU finish line. Ruthie and I literally threw ourselves against the two, large, mahogany doors that led to the entrance to CCU. The noise from the doors hitting the walls as they opened was deafening. All CCU staff immediately came to attention as we raced into John’s new home. Within minutes, John was hooked up to the CCU monitor, had a Swan-Ganz catheter inserted with new IVs hanging, and new CPR patches applied to his chest. John presented as a perfect text book picture. We were ready and able for anything that might happen, or so we thought.
The life-flight crew was now gone. John was resting as comfortable as possible with his blood pressure stabilized at 118/80. His heart rate, at 88, continued to have some extra beats (PVC’s), with intermittent short runs of ventricular tachycardia (VT). The atmosphere in his room was now one of serenity. Formally introducing myself, I oriented John to his new home. While bathing John, I sensed that the Lord was asking me to talk to John about his relationship with God. Okay, Lord, I will do it, you gave me another chance with Joe. Thank you for this opportunity. “John, has anyone ever introduced you to Jesus?”
Scratching his head with a somewhat puzzled look on his face, John slowly responded, “No, I don’t reckon anybody ever has.”
“John, may I introduce you to Jesus?”
Sharing with John for only a minute or two what Jesus did in my life, John interrupted me.
“Now wait a minute, Nurse Georgee. I just don’t know about this Jesus. I have never been to church. In fact, I have never even seen a Bible. I just don’t know about Jesus.”
“John, that’s okay.”
“Nurse Georgee, you don’t know what I have done. Don’t get me wrong. I have been laying here thinking about my life. I want to change. I don’t want to beat my wife up anymore. I have been in terrible fights with the guys. I need to think about some things. I just don’t know about this Jesus.”
“John, that’s fine. If and when you are ready to talk about Jesus, you know where I am.”
John fell asleep for about an hour. Alarms started blaring, and the monitor showed that John was in VT, with a heart rate of 196, which increased rapidly into ventricular fibrillation. All CCU staff responded immediately with the typical CPR. Chest compressions, proper ventilation and shocking John’s heart all seemed to be to no avail. We were losing him, and fast. Even the IV pressors didn’t help raise his blood pressure, which was nearly nonexistent. According to his monitor, John was flat-lining. No heart rate, no blood pressure, and no response to the repeated shocking at even 400 joules of electricity. We refused to give up. I don’t remember how long we worked on John. It seemed like an eternity. The flat-line was ingrained in John’s monitor and was not disappearing. No rhythm was in sight. Just as we were about to call it quits, John’s monitor revealed a rhythm. John was coming back, unconscious, but back and breathing on his own.
Report time was rapidly approaching. Gathering my nurse’s notes, my mind was racing with John’s last words to me. “I just don’t know about this Jesus.” Report went well; however, it was longer than usual. I had a few loose ends to tie up before leaving for home. After getting my purse, I gave John’s monitor one last glance. All seemed well. Breathing a sigh of relief, I was off. Placing my hand on the big doors to CCU, I was stopped dead in my tracks. John’s loud, demanding voice echoed throughout CCU.
“NURSE GEORGEE…E…E…NURSE GEORGEE…E…E, get in here.” Immediately, I turned and ran to John’s room. I heard my name bouncing off the walls surrounding CCU.
“John, I’m here. What’s wrong?”
(Continued in Part 2)