“I told my husband, if he was in an accident and fighting for his life, I would pull the plug,” came the words of my cousin as we sat in Paul’s room in the brain injury rehab unit. Whilst her words may be confronting to many, I’m sure there are many who would have thought the same thing. Some people have the balls to say it out loud- like my “unable-to-sugar-coat-anything” cousin, while others choose to keep their opinions to themselves. But what my straight-shooting cousin was saying (beneath the blunt-force stab of her words) was that she would not be able to cope with the myriad of decisions and tasks one has to handle when faced with a husband with a severe Traumatic Brain Injury, a full-time job and 2 young children to raise. Why not? Piece of piss right? It is the one thing I love most about my cousin, she will tell me how it is, whether the truth hurts or not and I graciously thank her for that. Her words didn’t shock or offend me. In fact, if I were an outsider to the situation, I would have probably thought the same thing. Nobody really talks about what they would do. How do you make a life or death choice for someone else? Hey, you have no need to. Nothing like this is likely to happen to you, someone in your family or someone you even know. Right? The reality is, until you are in that situation, you have no idea, not a clue, how to make the right decision. Yes, doctors and nurses have their very valuable place in my story. They can guide me, give me the facts, tools and resources to make such decisions. But in the words of an astute neurosurgeon I met in the early days of Paul’s game-changing life event “We are not God.” From that point on, I knew I needed to seek spiritual guidance to get Paul through this ordeal.
Let’s rewind back to a few months prior to Paul’s accident. After much success seeing a ‘spiritual healer’, a lovely relative of mine encouraged me to make an appointment to clear my energy blocks and have a spiritual reading done. It was something I was wanting to do, just never made the time for. It wasn’t until after Paul’s accident that this relative of mine reminded me there was no better time to make an appointment. So I did.
Fiona was amazing. From our first meeting, she was able to describe Paul’s accident as if she was there and had witnessed the whole thing herself. I told her Paul was expected to have a shunt surgically inserted that evening to drain some of the fluid around his brain. But Fiona chimed in and explained that my grandmother (describing a vision of someone stirring a large pot which was my Baba Regina who was an extraordinary cook) was all over it. Mind you, my grandmother had passed 14 years prior. She said there would be no need for the shunt as the spirits surrounding Paul will drain the fluid from his brain. WTF? Is this real? All I wanted to know was if Paul was going to survive this. “Of course he is!” I remember her saying. I know there are a lot of people skeptical about the power of spiritual healers, psychics and mediums. My intuition was telling me I could trust this woman. I don’t know how, I just knew I was meant to meet her. Fiona knew things that nobody could possibly know. She described the truck driver in the accident, how something took his focus off the road. She told me Paul genuinely didn’t see him and he didn’t see Paul. This was an accident. She predicted Paul would be in a coma for around 3 months. She described an arc of spirits around Paul, a mixture of his relatives and my relatives, protecting him and healing him.
The next day, I walked into ICU and noticed a surgeon sitting at the edge of Paul’s bed, intently scrutinising some scans of Paul’s brain. “I was expecting to see a shunt sticking out of his head,” I told him while motioning a tube sticking out of my head.” The nice doctor explained there was no need for the shunt after all. He held up the scans and pointed out the areas where they thought the fluid would be, but, alas, there was not much there so no need for surgery.
Several days later, I sat through the first of many meetings with doctors in the ICU. At that meeting there was pressure on me to make a decision about Paul’s life. I sat in the Chapel for what seemed like hours. I was praying for a miracle, praying that I could find the strength to make the right decision and praying that I would wake up and it was all just a bad dream. A impulsive feeling washed over me and I immediately called Fiona. I explained the pressure the doctors were putting me under and I didn’t know what to do. “Didn’t you watch the movie? That was your homework,” she said. I was supposed to watch a movie, The Choice by Nicholas Sparks. Fiona said this was the movie that would describe my circumstances. Well, I didn’t watch it but I was comforted by Fiona’s next words….”Don’t give up on him. He is there. He is fighting to stay alive. It’s not his time. DO. NOT. GIVE. UP. ON. HIM.” From that moment on, I breathed in a newfound air of confidence. Paul was not only going to survive, he was going to finally start living the life he was destined to live.
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