A short portion of one couple’s story in my latest co-authored book, “Canterbury, Connecticut Characters iin the 20th Century,” which, with great help from the Lord, just finished on Monday night and sent off to the printers. Should have some copies in hand in a week. The cover is pictured here
Rene and Val married in 1971 and Valerie got pregnant on their honeymoon. However, she had multiple hospitalizations during her pregnancy, and then lost the baby, a little boy, at 18 weeks.
Because she was weak, they couldn’t do a cesarean, so she went through 72 hours of labor, and in the end lost so much blood that she clinically died (flat lined). This seemingly horrible experience would change the rest of her life.
She said that after she died, she was outside of her body, looking down on herself lying on the table with the doctor and nurses around her. She was aware of a light shining on her from behind and watched the doctor pull off his mask and say sadly, “We lost her!”
Just then another doctor came in and said, “We aren’t going to give up!” Valerie said that at that point she seemed to have a choice to go or stay. The second doctor put the paddles on her two times and then the next thing she knew was waking up in the hospital.
That whole experience made her very aware of God’s presence, and it was at this point that she gave her life to the LORD, having a new reality of God in her life.
In 1975 the one ovary she had left ruptured. Not knowing how serious her condition was, she drove herself to a lab in Norwich Town for tests, but felt so bad that she went Into Friendly’s to get something to eat. There she collapsed, but God was looking after her. A lineman who was at the register was trained in CPR and immediately went to work on her, continuing his work in the ambulance ride to the hospital, and saving her life. She was unconscious for two days but recovered. This was followed by 3 more surgeries on ovarian parts, with large tumors for a few more years.
When the tumor returned for a fourth time, Valerie heard of a priest who had healing services. When she went to see him, the priest prayed over her and she was healed. This was confirmed when her surgeon examined her and was amazed to find that the tumor was gone!
This event was so earth shaking that Rene, the skeptical, mocking, anti-religious Rene, bowed his knee to God and accepted Christ as his Savior. Rene and Val prayed together at home, using the prayer from the back of a “chic tract.” Rene said, “That the Lord would let my wife be sick for so many years just to get my attention so I would surrender to him is amazing.”