My Dear Fried Debi has such an amazing testimony from the last 16 months of her life, God has truly been amazing and shown his miracles all over Debi’s life, which she has agreed to share with all of us the first two chapters of the book she is now writing called From Amputation to Celebration!
Warning: this is very detailed, she told me I could take out any part to make it fit my blog but I do not want to change any part of it!
amputation part of my experience, I need to take you back to Tuesday, May 31,
2011. Charlie and I were thrilled to have our grand angels, Payne and Addi,
spending a week with us. We were all looking forward to the day that school was
out in Kerrville so we could have them come and spend a week with Golfpa and
week of school vacation. One of the things that was on our schedule was to go to
the Y and swim and play in the splash pad area. I swim for 2 hours every day at
our YMCA. I spend one hour of swimming on my own and then another hour in a
water aerobics class. Our neighborhood Y is like a family. I feel like the
lifeguards are my children. They are all college age young people who are
exceptionally friendly and fun to be with. There are several people that come
early and swim before class starts. We have fun visiting while we swim. Everyone
in the water aerobics class has become friends and we not only get a good
workout, but we have lots of fun doing it.
to meeting our grandchildren, and of course, I was looking forward to showing
them off! We made plans to go swimming
several times while Payne and Addi were with us.
Tuesday, May 31st. We approached this day with great excitement. We
bought Payne and Addi new swimsuits, new swim goggles, diving rings, and new
beach towels. They were decked out and ready to GO.
swimming and playing in the splash pad. Golfpa had to go to work, but I had my
camera, so he would be able to enjoy our adventure through the photos when he
got home from work. I got quite a few great pictures of our grand angels as
they played. I was in the shallow beach end of the pool and decided to put my
camera up and do some real swimming. As I turned to exit the pool, my left foot
stepped on a very slippery spot on the bottom of the pool and my left foot
twisted in a way that a foot should not twist and I fell. I was in pain and
could not get up. The lifeguard on duty saw it happen and he called for another
lifeguard to come and help me out of the pool. Lynsey assisted me and managed
to help me out of the pool and on to one of the lounge chairs by the pool. My
left foot and ankle were already quite swollen and the initial numbness had
turned into a great deal of pain. A young boy about Payne’s age had just
arrived at the pool and he and Payne started swimming together. They were right
in front of me where I could keep an eye on him and the lifeguards were helping
me keep an eye on him, also. Addi came and sat by me on the adjacent lounge
chair. She found the container of crackers that I had in my tote bag and she
was quite happy eating crackers and watching the lifeguards tend to Grammy’s
details on this part of the story, I will just say that I fractured my tibia
and 4 metatarsals and I also had damage to a ligament. I am 57 years old and I
have never broken a bone in my entire life. Now, I have 5 fractured bones! I called Jennifer Thoma who is our friend’s
daughter because she lives nearby and she came over with her baby very late at
night and stayed with Payne and Addi while Charlie took me to the emergency
room. Jennifer was an angel through this
whole experience. I had surgery to place
screws in my metatarsals to stabilize them while my foot healed.
of my foot with my left foot elevated above my heart. The only times that I was
up were when I had to go to the restroom or when I bathed. I even had my meals
in a recliner with my foot elevated. My orthopedic surgeon told me to expect to
be off of that foot for approximately 10 weeks.
restroom visits and my bath, my doctor ordered a knee scooter for me. I had
never heard of a knee scooter before. It looks similar to the scooters that are
so popular with children now. It has tall handlebars with a brake. It has 4
wheels. There is a long padded area that is made for supporting one leg from
the knee almost to the ankle. I would put my injured leg on this padded area
and use my right leg to scoot around. It was very easy to use and stable on
carpet, but when I had to use it on our hardwood floors or our tile floors, it
was not quite as stable. The scooter did not have any way to control the speed.
It only had a brake to totally stop it. This was my method of motion from May
31st until July 10th.
on Sunday, July 10, 2011.
2011 on Facebook to let my family and friends know what was going on. Some of
these events will be expanded upon in the pages immediately following. It covers several days in one post. )
On Sunday, I started to fall over while on my knee scooter and in trying to
protect my broken leg, both bones in my right leg – which was my “good leg” at
the time – snapped in two and ripped through my leg.
stomach, you may not want to read this….
both my tibia and my fibula snapped in two about 4 inches above my ankle and
amputated my right foot. The only thing holding my foot on to my leg was a tiny
little piece of flesh on the outside just above my ankle. Somehow, the knee
scooter ended up in an upright position and my left knee and calf were still on
it. My right foot was off to the side of my leg and sort of flipped over.
while to process this type of scene. When I realized that my foot was not
attached, I also realized that I was standing on the broken ends of my bones in
my calf. The other ends of those bones were with my detached foot! When the injury first occurred, there was a
burning sensation that I could not even being to explain. It was excruciatingly
painful yet somehow numb at the same time. That didn’t last long. Almost
immediately I was in the most severe pain that you could ever imagine.
and over how I ended up in an upright “standing” position when this injury
occurred. I can’t explain that to you. I remember desperately trying to stay
upright as the scooter started tilting over to the right, but I don’t know how
I went from falling over to being upright. The only explanation that I can give
is that the hand of God did it for me.
unbelievable. As I “stood” there with one leg on the knee scooter and one leg
ripped in two, the pool of blood finally caused the bone that I was “standing”
on to slip and I fell to our bathroom floor. Praise God, no additional injuries
occurred when I fell on that hard tile floor. I was in our master bath when I
fell. Charlie was on his way home from church. There was blood everywhere. I
knew I had to get to a phone.
bedroom to try to get a phone off of our dresser. I was able to get the cord,
but only the charger fell to the floor. The phone stayed on top of the chest. I
laid in the floor begging God to keep me from fainting because I knew if I
passed out, I would probably lay there and bleed to death. I prayed my heart
out for God to give me strength and HE DID. I asked him for a clear mind and he
DID THAT. I begged God to let me know that He was there with me. As soon as I said
those words to Him, it felt as if someone was lying on the floor with me and it
felt as if they had their arms wrapped around me and holding me tightly. God
didn’t just give me a sense that he was there, I FELT his physical presence.
kept “hearing” the word “crawl”. I was lying on our floor with one leg still
non weight bearing and in a cast from a recent surgery and my other foot was
amputated and dangling by a small piece of skin! CRAWL???
I even looked up toward Heaven and said, “CRAWL???” But… I know that was what He was telling me
to do. I knew that if I didn’t get help, I would bleed to death quickly at the
rate that I was losing blood. I begged God to keep me conscious and to get me
to a phone. I was able to drag myself (with my amputated foot dragging behind
me) to our office where I knew my cell phone was on our desk. I had to crawl
through our bathroom where the injury occurred, through our master bedroom,
down a hall and into our home office to get to a phone.
thinking, “I have to get help! If I
bleed to death, Charlie will come home and find me on the floor in a pool of
blood with my foot cut off. How would he ever know how I died? How could this horrific scene be explained
without me being able tell him what happened?
And our whole home group is coming over for lunch! I don’t want them to find me dead!” I pictured my precious daughter, Beth, being
told about her mother’s death and I couldn’t stand the look on her face as I
imagined this scenario. How would she tell our son in law, Chad, and our grand
angels, Payne and Addi? It’s amazing to
realize how much can go through your mind in just a few seconds of time.
cell phone that was on my desk in the office and call 911. I will never forget
what my amputated foot felt like as I crawled through our home. It was dragging
behind me and it would bounce up and down on the carpet each time I moved my
leg to crawl. Every movement felt like the skin was tearing more and more. I
wondered if I would get to the office with my foot still attached to my leg.
The jagged ends of the exposed bones were catching in the fibers of our carpet
as I dragged myself down the hall. It seemed as if it took hours to get to the
front door to unlock it so EMS could get in, but the 911 operator said that
every movement made me lose more blood. So, I waited for them to break the door
down. She asked me who to call and I gave her Charlie’s cell phone number.
After she got all of my info and the details of the injury, she called told him
what had happened to me and then connected me to him so Charlie, the 911
operator and I were on a 3 way call until he drove up in front of our house. I
remember the 911 operator giving us ETAs periodically throughout the time that
Charlie and I were on the phone with her. Our conversation consisted mostly of
Charlie saying things like, “What? What
happened? How did this happen? Are you OK?
I’ll be there soon. Hold on, Sweetheart. I’m praying for you. I’m almost
there.” He was trying so hard just to
process the news that the 911 operator had just given him and he was trying his
best to get information from me and reassuring me that he would be with me
soon. I cannot even begin to imagine how he felt and what he must have been
thinking. My end of the conversation consisted mostly of things like, “My foot
is cut off! I’m bleeding all over the
house! Please hurry home! Please get here, Sweetheart! HURRY!
Please help me!!” I knew that if
I could just see his face and have him hold me and pray for me that I would be
OK. Charlie drove up in front of our home just as the EMTs got their axe out to
break down our door. Thank God he got there before they had to break the door
down. I wanted them to get to me quickly – no matter what! But I didn’t want our home open and
unattended while Charlie was with me at the hospital.
the 911 operator asked me to do was to tie off the stump of my leg to prevent
further blood loss if possible. I was in our office, so there were no belts or
neckties or anything like that to use. As I was recovering from my surgery that
happened 6 weeks ago, my husband set up a place for me in our home office that
had one of our leather recliners from the family room, a little table by the
chair and he put just about anything I could possibly need on the bookshelves
next to the recliner. It was a great little setup. We have a small TV in our
office, so I had a TV, my computer, my cell phone, snacks, a wall of
bookshelves with lots of books and the recliner enabled me to keep my left foot
elevated to prevent swelling. Because this was during a hot Texas summer, the
leather on the recliner would get uncomfortable, so I usually sat on a large
beach towel that we put over the recliner. That was cooler than having my skin
on the leather. I thought that I may be able to use that towel to tie off the
stump. I tried numerous times, but I couldn’t get the towel to tie around that
area, so I just used the towel to cover up the site of the amputation because
it was so difficult to see.
opened our front door, he and one of the EMTs walked in together and walked
into our office side by side. There is one image that will probably never leave
my mind. As they walked in together, the
EMT immediately reached down and removed the towel that I had used to cover up
my injury. The look on Charlie’s face is something that I will never forget.
There is no way to describe it to you. What was my precious husband thinking
when he got the call from the 911 operator that this had happened? He was on his way home from church. We were
having friends over for the afternoon. How can our whole world change with one
phone call? How can a husband process an
image where his wife is on the floor in a huge pool of blood with her foot cut
been, he immediately went near my head and just started loving me and praying.
There were no words that he could say to me that could change anything, but the
power of a Godly husband’s prayers can change anything! And when Charlie and Debi Mogab or ANY two
people agree TOGETHER in prayer……
well….. you’ll see what God does as you read more!
things to me to stabilize my leg and took me to Memorial Hermann Medical Center
which has the best trauma center for this type of injury. My sweet husband
never left my side unless they made him leave the ER during one of their
terrible but necessary procedures. I don’t think he ever stopped praying. As he
stood at the head of the stretcher in the emergency room, we held on to each
other and we both declared that we would give God the glory for what he was
doing in this situation. God is sovereign. He either initiates it or he allows
it. And if it’s bad and he allows it, it’s ALWAYS for my benefit and for his glory! We held on to that truth like never
before! We didn’t understand this. It
was a terrible experience. But, we knew if God allowed it that he would use it.
techs arrived at our home, God has placed the most wonderful people in my life
to care for me during this difficult time. Most of them were awesome Christians
who not only cared for me, but prayed for me as they performed their duties. We
found out after talking to the EMTs that every unit in our area was busy and
they had to send outside of our service area for an available unit. That’s why
it felt like an eternity before they arrived.
foot in something that looked like a box with a bottom and 2 sides. I’ll never
forget the words that I heard in the EMS unit as the EMT called the trauma
center to give them my information. “She’s a total amputation with minimal skin
attachment.” I saw this happen in my
home. I watched them work on my detached foot as I lay on our office floor. I
already knew what happened and I saw it all with my own eyes, but it was so
hard to believe that the EMT was talking about ME! Those are not words that you ever expect to
hear when someone is describing you.
home group was on their way to our home for lunch and for an afternoon of
fellowship. Charlie got a piece of paper in our office and wrote a note that
said “Debi had an accident. EMS is taking her to the hospital.” As we talked to those precious friends later,
they told us about arriving at our home one by one and reading the note. They
didn’t know what had happened. They didn’t know anything except that I was in
an EMS on the way to the hospital. If you knew this group of people, you would
know that these are the people you want praying when something happens! They all stood on our front porch praying for
me as we were on our way to the hospital. In God’s awesome plan, he had a whole
band of prayer warriors standing on our porch praying Heaven down right when we
needed it the most.
the way to the hospital, the turn was so sharp that my foot flipped out of the
box. I could feel the pull of it happening and I looked down and saw my foot
and about 4 inches of my leg dangling off the side of the stretcher. That small
piece of skin that stayed attached kept it from falling to the floor. The EMT
was working on my IV, so he didn’t see it when it happened. I told him that my
foot had fallen out of the box and he almost jumped to the end of the stretcher
to put my foot back in the box with the rest of my leg. As the EMT asked me
about the details of the accident, I was telling them how God made his presence
known and how he gave me the courage and strength to do what I did. God had
already done so much that I had to give him glory for it! I was thanking him for all that he and the
other EMTs did for me while they were in our home. There were 4 EMTs that
responded to the call. They were so kind and loving to me. Several times as we
were on our way to the hospital, the EMT looked at me and said, ‘Ma’am, we
don’t ever see people like you!” He
would just shake his head and smile. I reminded him that he wasn’t seeing my
strength. He was seeing God’s strength and courage in me.
the dock at the Memorial Hermann Medical Center emergency room, I was taken in
through the large sliding glass doors. God was about to perform another miracle
to bring peace to me during this terrible time. Just as the entry doors were
closing behind us, a lady with a clipboard appeared and said she needed to talk
to me before I saw the ER physicians. I remember lying there thinking, “What on
earth could be important enough to stop me here and talk to me with my foot
hanging off?” I looked around and
thought it was strange that I was in such a life threatening condition, but the
EMTs were gone. We were in a huge trauma center, yet no hospital employees were
anywhere around. It was perfectly quiet except for this lady’s voice.
the stretcher and said that she needed me to sign a form. I asked her what it
was and she told me that it was a form saying that I wouldn’t smoke while I was
in the hospital. WHAT??? I’m laying here
with my foot amputated and you’re worried that I might smoke in your
facility? I took the clipboard from her
and signed the form. Since the moment of the injury, I’m sure that I said the
name of Jesus thousands of times. I know that I was laying there on the
stretcher saying his name over and over as I signed the form on the clipboard. After
I signed my name and gave her the clipboard, she looked down at me and said,
“Honey, if you are going to say a name right now, Jesus is the name to be
saying.” She put the clipboard down on
the stretcher and leaned over and wrapped her arms around me and prayed like
she was bringing Heaven down. I had an incredible peace come over me as she
prayed. She hugged me again and patted me on my head and smiled the most
beautiful smile. As I watched her beautiful smile, she disappeared. As soon as
she disappeared, the EMTs were rushing me down the hall to the next available
room in the ER and there were hospital personnel everywhere! It was as if God suspended time in order to
give me peace! I truly believed that God
sent an angel to minister to me and he did it in a way that defies explanation.
His ways are far beyond our limited abilities to comprehend and explain!
more miraculous. I’m jumping ahead a little bit here, but it’s so important to
show God’s awesome ways of loving his children. Several months later, I called
the hospital and spoke to 2 different people in the emergency room. I asked
them if they had this policy at the hospital and if they had a hospital
employee that waited for patients at the EMS dock doors. They were amused at my
questions and assured me that no one would stop a stretcher to have a
critically injured patient sign a form stating that they would not smoke in the
hospital. I even described her to the people that I talked to. They both told
me that they had worked that same ER for years and no one that fit that
description worked there. God sent an ANGEL to minister to me! She was a physical being that talked to me
and prayed with me and held me and reassured me. He loves us that much!
makes this miraculous is this. One of my precious friends, Shirley Hylton, is
the founder and president of CNO of Houston, which is the Christian Nurses
Organization of Houston. Shirley is now a missionary to Jamaica which is her
birthplace. While I was in rehab, Shirley was in town and came to visit me. I
was telling her about the past experiences and as I told her about the lady
with the clipboard, she started shouting and waving her arms around and
praising God. I thought she was just rejoicing with me in what God had done
through this special angel. It was much more than that! Shirley told me that after the CNO was
organized, she was seeking God about a way to honor the nurses that had
excelled that year. She wanted to create an award to honor them. God led her to
a figurine by the Bradford Exchange. The figurine is called Heaven’s Gentle
Touch. The nurse is carrying a clipboard just like my angel carried! Shirley told me that when God led her to this
figurine as an award that he told her that he had many angels just like this one
going through every hospital doing his work. They have their heavenly
assignments on the clipboard and they take care of the people that God puts in
their paths. Shirley and I rejoiced together as we celebrated another example
of the word that God had given her so many years ago! Once again, I know this part was jumping
ahead, but it is important to know the glory of this angel encounter at this
point in my testimony.
entry…… When I was in ER on Sunday, they
put me to sleep for about 10 minutes using conscious sedation to pull on the
foot and try to get things in some type of order in my foot and leg. The ER
doctor told me what they had to do and he told me that they would give me a
shot that would put me to sleep for about 10 minutes and then I would wake up.
I remember looking at him as he administered the anesthesia and I was thinking,
“Really? I’ll be asleep within…….” The effect was immediate. Thank God for that
miraculous temporary anesthesia! I had my first surgery on Monday. That was to
clean out my foot and my leg because all of the “things” that could
have gotten in there as I crawled through our house. Infection is a main
concern right now. I have rods all over from my calf to my toes to align
things. The small piece of skin that stayed attached is providing enough blood
flow to keep my foot viable. My foot is not the same color as the rest of my
leg, but it is getting some blood. I praise God for that small piece of skin
that stayed attached!
reattached to my leg, but it is somewhat in alignment. God has blessed me with
the head of the orthopedic department as my surgeon. He is the best of the
best. Tomorrow morning, I will be having the surgery to reattach my foot to my
leg. They will be attempting to repair the shattered bones. It will take
anywhere from 2-4 hours.
that I was scheduled to have another procedure like the one on Monday before
they do the reattachment, but that won’t be necessary now. PRAISE GOD. Some of
the tissue was destroyed when the bones ripped the skin open. That will need to
be removed and there isn’t enough skin to close the entire wound. Several days
after the surgery, I’ll have another surgery to graft a flap over the open
wound. I’ll probably be in the hospital for 3-4 days after that. At least
that’s what they are saying today.
surgery tomorrow. I have already told the surgeon that with all of the prayers
that are being said that this will be their best and easiest procedure like
this that they have ever done. God IS IN CONTROL. I also ask you to pray for
God to take away the images that keep flashing up of my foot being detached
from my leg. I cannot even begin to tell what those “flashbacks” are
and Donna Holguin drove here from San Antonio today to spend the day with me.
I’m using Donna’s computer now or I wouldn’t be able to do this. Also, my sweet
cousin, April Manes, came by this evening and brought me a Jack in the Box
chocolate milk shake. I have the BEST family and friends ever.
patient is asked is what kind of medications they are taking. I have Crohn’s
Disease and other gastrointestinal conditions. Crohn’s Disease is usually accompanied
by psoriatic arthritis and I do have psoriatic arthritis. Both are autoimmune
diseases. The medications that are necessary for both diseases lower the
patient’s immune system and make the person more susceptible to disease if
exposed and they also inhibit or prevent healing in many cases. Needless to
say, one of the first things that was done when I was admitted was stopping all
medications related to my autoimmune diseases. I had been taking Celebrex,
Lialda, Methotrexate and Humira injections. This combination had been quite
successful in controlling the diseases, so stopping them was a concern, yet we
knew that I would not heal with these medications in my body. We trusted God to
use them to improve my health in the past and now we continued to trust God,
but now we are trusting him to control and heal those diseases without the use
of medications. If God allowed me to live through the first hours after this
injury, we knew that taking care of me without medication was nothing for
nature of this injury, we are asking that no visitors come right now. I am not
up to it and the next few days will be very difficult. I won’t be on Facebook
again for a while. This is a one-time thing. I love all of you. Please pray for
me and pray for Charlie. He is carrying quite a load right now.
did NOT have a blood transfusion the day of the injury! If you could have seen the blood all over our
home and the huge pool of blood that I was lying in until the EMTs got to me,
you would know that this was nothing short of miraculous! I mentioned that to a friend a few days later
and her response was, “Honey, you didn’t need a transfusion because the blood
of Jesus was flowing through you!” I
think she’s right! There is no other
explanation for losing that much blood and not needing a transfusion until
later in my hospitalization.
wondered what it was like for Charlie when he returned to our home that first
evening. He left me without knowing if I would make it. We didn’t know if they
could save my lower leg and foot. He had to come home to a place where he had
just witnessed the most horrific thing that he had ever seen in his life. Our
home had a trail of blood from our bathroom, through our bedroom, down the hall
and into the office where there was a huge pool of blood. After all that he
went through all day, he had to go home and do what he could to clean up my
blood in all of those rooms.
ours, Mike and Cindy McCreless, own a cleaning company. Mike told Charlie about
a company that specializes in things like the blood in our home. They clean up
crime scenes, etc. They came out the next day (Tuesday) and did a wonderful job
of cleaning up the blood that was in those areas of our home. Even though they
cleaned the large pool of blood in our office, the padding under the carpet was
so saturated with blood that it continued to wick up through the carpet for
several days. Charlie said that the machine that they used was so powerful that
it seemed to be sucking up the concrete foundation. Yet is still could not get
all of the blood out of that area of the carpeting. They told Charlie what to
do to clean it daily until the last of the blood finally rose to the top and
came through the carpet. They did a wonderful job. You would never know that
anything happened in our home.