My Journey with God through an Aneurysm

back left to right : Tek Chong, Eugene Chow Front Left to Right : Telly Chow, Goldie Chong

back left to right : Tek Chong, Eugene Chow
Front Left to Right : Telly Chow, Goldie Chong

While in Hongkong last month Tek and I had dinner with Eugene Chow my cousin who is a prominent immigration lawyer. His wife Telly had recently had an amazing aneurysm operation so I encouraged her to write her experience.  Telly is a lady of many talents. She was the Honorary Consul and the Director of Trade for Berlize  from 1993 to 2008. She helped Eugene write a daily newspaper column in the Chinese newspapers answering questions regarding immigration. Being musical, she has also been band manager and singer with different performing bands.

By Telly Chow

One year ago due to the feelings of pins and needles on my left arm, I went to see a cardiologist. After adjusting my high blood pressure pills, had an ultrasound echogram, and a CT scan, Dr. Chin said I am well – probably there is a pinched nerve on the neck area which may have caused the tingles. Five months later, after an MRI he saw a shadow in the brain area.  Alarmed he asked me to do a MRI/MRA for the brain.

Divine appointment

Our good friend from US Yvonne and her friend Randy passed through Hong Kong so Eugene and I had dinner with them. After I described my symptoms, Randy who’s a top brain specialist suspected there was an aneurysm or tumour in the brain.

Sure enough, Dr. Chin said from the scans there seemed to be 3 growths in the brain and recommended me to see a top neurologist, Dr Fung who operates more than 70% of all Hong Kong cases. Dr. Fung said that 2 out of the 3 growths were benign and no need to do anything but the bigger one needed to be operated. When I mentioned Randy’s name, he exclaimed, “Twenty years ago, Dr Randy came to Hong Kong as visiting professor and taught me and other brain surgeons about a new kind of brain surgery as he is the pioneer of the endovascular technique.  You will be in the best of hands if you can be operated by him.”

Diagnoses

Dr. Randy reviewed the MRA disc with a team of brain specialists and concluded, “ Because of the size, position, and pressing on the nerve, it is quite a challenging operation. You need to do a further Cerebral Angiogram.”

The next day, Eugene’s friend, who is the administrator and head of Hong Kong Sanatorium, managed to make a special appointment for me to go in right away to do the test. A hole was punctured at my groin, and a tube was inserted all the way to the brain to make radiology images. Dr Au Yeung the radiologist told me he is a Christian so we recited Psalm 23 together, he in Chinese and I in English. Comforting me he said, “the Lord will bless you and be with you.”  The three hour procedure went well.

His mercy and grace

Several things assured me that God was taking really good care of me e.g. after the procedure, I wanted to throw up. The male nurse exclaimed, “there is no plastic bag around!”  But as soon as he said it, he found a plastic bag in his bag! Another example: the admission department told me, “we had not a single bed available at such short notice, but somehow suddenly we found a bed in the corner room for you. It is on the 31st floor and even has a beautiful view.” A third example: I was told not to move my right side at all, to prevent bleeding from the hole. Amazingly I was able to sleep soundly in one position throughout the night. The next day when Dr Au Yeung came to check me, he said, “the wound has healed beautifully. You can be discharged.”

My friend Sharon who brought me to Christ in 1987 visited me at home after fasting and praying for me over one day. After we worshiped for 45 minutes, I was filled with joy and laughter, enveloped in God’s presence. The pins and needles and numbness were gone.

The next day I went to my church International Christian Assembly’s healing room and received healing prayer for about 30 minutes. I felt the power of the Holy Spirit again and burst into laughter and tears. I felt the Lord touching my head – my body was swaying and shaking but I felt very calm and comfortable.  I believe God had already started the healing process.

At church Pastor Edmound Teo laid hands and prayed for me and rebuked the spirit of intimidation of ailment. Maggie also prayed for me and I felt the fire of the Holy Spirit touch my body with power going through me like fire burning through. Laughter and tears came again – the third time in three days that I experienced this.  Many in my church ministry group, my bible study and support groups prayed and some even fasted throughout.

God Himself comforted me with words such as:

Everything that happens fit into a pattern for good, to those who love Me. (Rom 8:28)

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him (Jer 17:7)

He sent His word and healed them (Ps. 107:20)

If anyone says to this mountain, go, throw yourself into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.  (Mark 11:23-24)

At this point in time I didn’t know what would happen next. 

I only knew Who holds my tomorrow.

I was confident that God is at work and the evil one cannot rob me of my joy.

I will testify of God’s goodness and love.

Decision

The next day I had a call from Dr. Randy.  He had received my reports and had discussed with a team of 5 other brain specialists.  After many hours they concluded: neither the less invasive Endovascular nor the open brain approach seems to be workable. The most conservative method of doing nothing is also not advisable because of the size and the pressing on the nerve system, any rupture can cause danger. However, there is a new technology of reconstruction of part of the artery but it’s very new and has risks and side effects which are still undergoing studies.

The Saturday before when I was being prayed for at ICA healing room, I felt the fire of the Holy Spirit touching me followed by laughter and tears bursting forth. Then I saw a picture in my mind’s eye – 2 thin lines of wires were inserted into my artery and formed a new wall. The excess swellings of blood tissues dried up and were blown and sucked away. I described this vision to Dr. Randy and amazingly, he exclaimed, “ Well, Telly, this picture you described basically sums up this new technology procedure which I am considering suggesting!”
This relatively new device, which received US FDA approval only in 2/2011, called the Pipeline Flow Diverter is a “pipeline device” placed inside the blood vessel, to divert flow through the aneurysm and into the normal blood vessel.  I was glad to hear from him and confirm that both the medical specialists and God are doing something together to bring healing to me.

aneurysm-01

ruptured artery in brain

Dr Randy summed up, “ There is risk of higher complication rates involved in the “pipeline flow diverter” treatment for your rare and difficult case of “large fusiform aneurysm”. But if this is not treated, it may rupture anytime and the risk of stroke and death is even higher. However, the reported complication rates are also higher due to both the “learning curve” for new devices, as well as it is more difficult to use.   In addition, the US FDA has only approved this device for large fusiform aneurysms of the carotid artery and not yet for the vertebral and basilar artery like yours.”

To go for surgery or not, God gave me the peace that it will be well with me.  He is in control – He has led me thus far, He will bring me through it all.  Dr. Randy himself will not handle this particular surgery, he recommended that I go to Phoenix, Arizona to undergo this operationcial surgery by Dr. Cameron McDougall who studied under Dr. Randy before and now is Chief of Endovascular Neurosurgery at the world renowned Barrows Neurological Institute in Arizona.

Confirmation-01-02My first confirmation to have the pipeline flow diverter procedure was the vision in the ICA healing room. Like Gideon in the bible, I asked God for a second confirmation. He gave me Isa. 54:10; 40:3-5  1)Isa. 54:10  Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you. Isa. 40:3-5 A voice of one calling: “In the desert prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.  Every valley shall be raised up,  every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.  When my sister in-law Esther texted me that “God will smooth out the process and clear the way”, and the “mountains” in the verses gave me as confirmation as what my friend Sharon gave me in Mark 11:23-24 2)Mk. 11:23,24 Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

Provision

Eugene’s niece Caitlin who lives in Beijing emailed me to say some of her close Christian friends have parents who live in Phoenix Arizona and they will pray and support me if I go to Arizona.  When we told Pastor Leroy Cloud, our spiritual father for 10 years when he pastored in ICA that I will be going to Arizona for brain aneurysm surgery, he said, “ My son and daughter in law Gary and Cindy live near the Barrow Institute of Neurology. I will contact them.”

As I prepared all the logistics, doctor, hospital, insurance, airplane schedules, lodging, etc.  I was sure I could expect Him to open doors.

Confirmation-03I went to my church’s School of Spirit for the final class.  Guess what, the lesson was about “The Gift of Faith” – exactly what I needed at such a time as this. Prophet Rusty read Mark 11:22,23, again, the same passage Sharon gave me! Right away I knew this is the Lord’s third confirmation. God gave me the gift of faith that He will heal me completely, no matter how complex or difficult the case might be.

As to the expense of the operation, God in His goodness already prepared it also. Two years ago our friend Arielle referred me to Bupa IHI, which has a pre-approved medical clause, and it would cover 100% of the estimated cost of US$100,000. So with minimum expenses payable by ourselves, God provided for me through the insurance company.

The big day

The operation took place on 22 May and again God showed me His goodness by providing caring family like my supportive husband, children and friends who I didn’t even know before, like Cindy, Gary, Kathy, etc. My stay in Arizona away from home was made so much easier because of their kindness. There were about 100 people all over the world praying for my surgery during this time.

The Chows

Today

Six months after the operation, on 4 Dec. 2014 I went back to Arizona to do a cerebral angiogram checkup. Dr. McDougall showed me the photos of the aneurysm before and after the operation. The big balloon- like aneurysm is now no longer visible. He announced, “your next checkup will be 3 years from now.” I think God wants me to stay on earth a bit longer.  end48

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References   [ + ]

1. Isa. 54:10  Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you. Isa. 40:3-5 A voice of one calling: “In the desert prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.  Every valley shall be raised up,  every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
2. Mk. 11:23,24 Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

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