When death comes knocking at the door and the hope of living just becomes a faint fantasy; the pain, the agony, the complications that come from heart problems carry a heavy payload that cries out “please let me die, please help me, or please just let me go.” It is a sad ordeal for a lot of us with family members who absolutely try their best to keep their loved ones alive.
In Vietnam, cardiac issues can be very expensive, a single stent (a metal or plastic tube inserted into the lumen of an anatomic vessel or duct to keep the passageway open inside a heart) can easily cost thousands of dollars. With having to pay first and given the answer, “we’ll let you know when it arrives, but cannot guarantee that the procedure will work,” can be very daunting to the ears; some gamble the risk, but for most, they simply just choose the route to live in pain and just take death when it comes.
This year for the first time, I accompanied an extraordinary Cardiologist from Fountain Valley Regional Hospital who joined Project Vietnam Foundation for the Spring 2018 mission. Carrying $400,000 worth of stents donated to help the people in Quang Tri, Vietnam who suffer from cardiac complications. I’ve witness a few cases who before the stent procedure laid in bed with no care in the world, their skin dark and unhealthy, blue ring discoloration in their eyes due to a blockage in the carotid artery, sadness, pain and just the look of hopelessness.
Within hours after the operations, these patients slowly woke up and it was unbelievable. For me it was such a spiritual impact, it was like God came down and just blew a breath of life into their soul. All I can say is it was AMAZING!!! I have never experienced someone who came hoping for death and now all of sudden given that chance of life to live a little longer and continue to experience family, the taste of food, the energy to walk and to once again feel like there is something to hope for.
Miracles do happen and sometimes it all starts with answering that little call or little whisper in your ear to reach out and help someone who is in need.