In October, 2011, Catherine Blandford was sitting on her front porch, enjoying a hot cup of coffee in the evening. She complained to her husband about a slight headache, but didn’t think much about it. She went to bed early, telling her husband Ed that she needed a good night’s sleep.
What Catherine didn’t know what that her headache was caused by an aneurysm that was about to rupture, changing her life forever. When her husband came into bed a few hours later, Catherine was mumbling incoherently. Her husband Ed tried asking her what was wrong, but she wasn’t making any sense.
Catherine began vomiting and Ed knew that something was seriously wrong with his wife of 28 years. He called 911, and help arrived within minutes.
As Ed watched EMTs working on his wife, he looked up and began praying. Both Catherine and Ed are Episcopalians, with a strong faith in God and his love for everyone. Ed prayed silently that his wife would be ok, no matter what was going on right now.
EMTs prepared Catherine for transport to the hospital. During this time, she had a seizure, and then went unconscious. Ed packed up a small bag, preparing for a long night at the hospital.
What Ed and Catherine later learned is that the headache she had was from an aneurysm that was getting ready to burst. When it did, her symptoms became more severe. While Ed prayed, Catherine said that she could feel an incredible feeling of love all around her. She described a feeling of lightness and a vastness that is difficult to explain.
Catherine knew that she was going to be ok, even when she heard doctors describe her condition to Ed as dire. In a coma, Catherine states that she could hear what was going on around her. She talked to God during this time, and she was told that she was not going to die and would be able to see her grandchildren grow up.
At the time of her aneurysm, Catherine and Ed had five grandchildren, ranging from age 2 through 7. Catherine loved being a doting grandmother, and Ed couldn’t imagine a life without Catherine as the head of their family.
Catherine remained in a coma for three months as her brain recovered from the aneurysm.
Members from Ed and Catherine’s church held a 24-hour prayer vigil, when after three months, doctors were no longer confident Catherine would ever recover.
Catherine says that she could feel the love. She wanted to tell everyone she was going to be alright, but she had no way to tell anyone her message.
Doctors continued to give Catherine the best care while she recovered, and her faith never faltered.
Catherine began to show signs of waking up from the coma a few days after the prayer vigil was held by her church. She slowly began making sounds, and opened her eyes to see Ed sitting next to her bedside.
The next few months Catherine went through a grueling recovery process. Once she was able to speak more clearly, she told everyone that it was God who saved her. She stated that she talked with God and he wasn’t going to let her die at this time. While she knew it was the skilled hands of her doctors that made her survival possible, she was never afraid because God was with her.
Six years later, and Catherine is still recovering from the aneurysm that nearly took her life. She walks with a cane, and has some trouble using her right hand. She continues to enjoy her grandchildren and is supported with the love of her husband Ed, who never left her side.
The two are planning a 35th wedding anniversary to celebrate their love next year, knowing that it was God that brought the two of them together in the first place.
With the faith Ed and Catherine have shown during this difficult time, it’s impossible not to believe that God played a role in Catherine’s recovery and healing. Through the power of prayer, the members of their church showed their support of this family, knowing that God would save Catherine if it was possible.
~ 1776 Christian