The wife of a North Carolina pastor who was told her husband was “clinically deceased” and pronounced dead has been given a glimmer of hope after hospital staff called with a truly unexpected update.
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Megan Marlow told WXII-TV her family’s harrowing story intensified Saturday, when she was told her husband, Ryan, pastor of Grace Baptist Church in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, had died.
“He was clinically deceased. He had passed away,” Marlow said. “[A nurse] said, ‘Your husband has passed.’ Those were the words that were used.”
But then something stunning happened.
The hospital called back to tell the family her husband was alive but had suffered traumatic brain damage and was still essentially brain dead. His time of death was to be moved from Saturday to Tuesday when his organs would be donated.
But before the hospital started the organ donation process, Ryan’s family — who had gathered to say goodbye to him — noticed something: his feet were moving, according to WXII-TV.
Doctors were already forced to remove his time of death, which was reportedly already written down. And church members, who had already begun writing obituaries and tributes, were surely shocked.
His own wife and family had spent two days mourning him — but, alas, he was still living.
Marlow had already told her son his father had died, and the change led her to explain that perhaps doctors had been wrong.
“I told him this morning, ‘God can do miracles, and doctors may have been wrong about your daddy being in Heaven with Jesus, so let’s just pray and let God do a miracle,'” Marlow said Thursday. “I had to be very careful how I worded it, but at the same time, he was so devastated and hurt.”
She continued, “But if there’s a chance he can witness a miracle here at just five years old, that stuff will be with him for the rest of his life.”
The loving wife said she’s fighting for her husband and called the events that have already occurred “miraculous.” Thursday — the day she spoke to the media — would have been Ryan’s funeral.
“I can’t make this up, I cannot make this up,” she said earlier this week. “My family was just completely dumbfounded.”
Ryan was expected to be moved to Duke University Hospital in Durham, but the hospital decided not to take him, citing his dire condition and current care regime.
Marlow explained in a Facebook video Thursday night doctors believe Ryan’s prognosis is “bleak.” She’s remaining hopeful, though, as the family navigates the unthinkable.
“Ryan would say to fight for him because I know Ryan would fight for me,” Marlow recounted telling doctors. “This is in the Lord’s hands. … This is beyond what the natural can do.”
She continued, “Prayer moves the hands of God.”
A church biography explains Ryan became a Christian at age 13 and felt God calling him to preach; he followed that anointing.
“He is very passionate about reaching the lost with the Gospel, supporting local and international missions, preaching God’s Word, and discipling new converts in the foundations of the faith,” the bio reads. “His life verse is Proverbs 17:22, which says, ‘A merry heart doeth good like a medicine, but a broken spirit drieth the bones.'”
What an appropriate verse for difficult times. Continue to pray for the pastor’s recovery and for the family as they face such a difficult time.
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