On December 24th, 2001, while working as a home health aide, my head exploded. This is my journey. This is how I survived the black hole I fell into on that fateful night. This is how the Lord, by His great power and out stretched arm, allowed me to survive the most cataclysmic of traumas. This is my story.
One Day in December…
The morning of December 24th, 2001, was like any other day. It was an exciting day in the Horvath household. Christmas Eve, the one day in the year I did not look forward to working. I noticed something odd this day. My head was cold, very cold. Cold enough to warrant wearing my blue wool cap indoors. My baby daughter Kristi had just turned eleven years old a few days before. Kristi was the self-appointed keeper of Christmas tradition. The day before, Kristi began the annual holiday interrogation. She asked everyone in the house what their favorite day of the year was. Of course, there was only one right answer. The family looked forward with anticipation to the events of the evening which included the playful performing of the Christmas story. Unfortunately, I would not be able to be with them because I was finishing out my work shift. Little did I know, that I would not be able to come home at all for the next twenty one days.
All Dressed in Black
When I arrived at work, I did so with a funny feeling in my spirit. I kept sensing and feeling things. I kept feeling death. In fact, this sense had stalked me for the previous two weeks. Really, I did not connect the dots. My only brother Jason had tragically passed away in July right before his fortieth birthday. A stray bullet from a drug inspired gun battle found him as he lay asleep in his bed in New Jersey. I carried the overwhelming pain of that loss every waking day. So I dismissively thought, “You are still grieving girl. Get over it already.” But the sense was there. I could not shake off the grip of death. It encased me to such an extent that when Emery and the children would end any conversation with me during those days, I would say to them, “Don’t say goodbye to me when your hanging up the phone.” I couldn’t take it. It all seemed so final to me.
During those two weeks, I wrote all of the children letters expressing my love for them. I found myself scribbling phrases like, “Keep your grades up even if I am not with you.” The progression was such that I said to my best friend at the time, “If anything happens to me, please help Emery with the kids.” Clueless as a flying bat in the daytime, I wore black continually in those days. At one point, I urged Emery to remarry because the kids have to have a mother. Emery just laughed. I understood why he laughed. A forty two year old woman has no business making such plans.
What the Lord Said
As, I write about these events today, I can see how plain the signs were. I was acting on the outside what I was sensing on the inside. But this is December the 24th now, the happiest day of the year, right? My head is cold. I can’t wait for this shift to be over so I can go home. My patient was acting more difficult than usual. Like there wasn’t enough stress already. I gave her some medicine to help her rest. I had some medicine of my own and I thought about taking it to help me get through the remaining hours. Suddenly, the Spirit of God rose in me and said. “Don’t take it.”
My Head Explodes
I am so glad that I listened to the Spirit of God this time. Like all of us, I have had those moments where I didn’t listen. I had those rationalizing times where it seemed as if what I had in my heart was not so important. If I had not listened to the Spirit of God, and instead overrode the prompting in my heart, the story would have ended here with my death. Thirty minutes after the Spirit’s directive, my head exploded. My neck drew up like I was being sucked up an air chute. With so much experience in the medical profession, I knew this was no ordinary headache.
The Blood of Jesus
You must understand, at this point, that I knew the Lord Jesus Christ since childhood. My parents ministered the gospel and won lost souls to Jesus. I grew up with Jesus all around me. When you come to the crossroads of life, you will react according to your training. As the pain intensified and squeezed me like a vise, I called on the Blood of Jesus. I plead the Blood. I drew a figurative blood circle around myself, binding the hand of the enemy. Jesus said…
Matthew 16:19 (KJV)
19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Jesus also stated…
Matthew 18:18 (KJV)
18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
The Call Home
The time on the clock said 11:45 PM. I made the call home. Jessica, my oldest daughter, was up reading and immediately she knew something was wrong. “Your kidding, you want me to do what, wake Daddy up?” You have to understand, nobody wakes Daddy up. The suicide request was how she knew this was no ordinary problem. “Please, please go and wake him up, my head, my head, I can’t take it.” I walked around the entire time while I waited on my husband. With every step, the words “I plead the Blood of Jesus over my life” continued to resonate throughout the midnight air. Unable to stand any longer, I completely collapsed on the couch, when Emery arrived.
“You Just Have a Migraine”
Christmas day rose to meet us as we made the trip to the hospitals ER. The doctor on call said, “You are just having a migraine.” Medicine is the cure for the explosion in my head, really? I wish it would have been that easy. The doctor said he would be back to check on me in ten minutes. “Ten minutes? I’ll be dead in ten minutes.” Literally the life was leaving my body. Within moments, my body went into convulsions. I am told I flopped like a carp on dry ground. I didn’t remember much after this. In fact, almost an entire month was never input into my memory banks. For the rest of this story, I have to depend on Emery to supply the details. I have tried to remember but I cannot. I am a curious and intrusive person by nature. I have tried and tried to meddle into my brain and pull out the details of the rest of story. I can’t access it. It is maddening to me.
What I Don’t Remember
My husband tells me the doctor x-rayed my head.
My husband tells me they Life Lined me by helicopter to another hospital.
My husband tells me the surgeon drilled a hole in my head at 10:30 AM Christmas morning to relive the pressure on my brain.
My husband tells me, I had a second surgery that lasted almost six hours.
My husband tells me the surgeon opened my head; took out my brain; laid it to the side; clipped the aneurysm; put my brain back; and sowed me up.
My husband tells me I spent twenty one total days in the hospital, nineteen of them in intensive care.
My husband tells me that I almost died four times during those twenty one days.
There is no memory of any of these major moments.
But there was one thing I do remember, the pain.
The Man with the Light
The pain of post surgery was excruciating. It rose to such a level that one night a man came to me with a bright light. The man said, “Come with me and you will be out of pain. You won’t hurt anymore.” I started to follow the man and suddenly I said, ‘No wait, I have to talk to Angel first.” I don’t remember asking the nurses to call Emery, but they told him that I was insistent. I had to talk to him. Hallucination, was Emery’s diagnosis as he heard the story of the Man with the Light. Unknowingly, this was the turning point. What happens after this is Emery’s side of the story and you can find that here. “The Man with The Light.”
Where I Am Today
I have just achieved senior citizen status. In my fifty fifth year, my youngest daughter, the keeper of Christmas, turned twenty four. I lived to see all my children grow up and two of them graduate college. I just became a proud grandmother two weeks ago. This is number two for Emery and I. I am having such a great time sneaking off to my sons house to hold precious little Lanha in my arms. I just gave her a bath! How I am enjoying everyday of my life. It’s all because of Jesus. It’s all because one Christmas Eve, thirteen years ago, the Spirit of God said to me, “Don’t take that medicine.” It doesn’t cost to obey God. It pays.