The 700 Club with Pat Robertson


Return From Death's Door: How God Brought Connie Davis Back to Life

By Ken Hulme and Kristi Watts
The 700 Club"I looked down on her and her eyes were open and looking at me, but they were not looking. Quite frankly, I was looking at a dead person," relates Joyce Langston, an intensive care nurse.

Paramedics had brought Connie Davis to the emergency room at the River Regional Medical Center about two hours earlier. There, doctors discovered that she had suffered a pulmonary embolism, a blood clot that hit her lung. The trauma from that clot left Connie without blood pressure or pulse, causing her to code.

"A code is just a term that we use to try to bring someone back, try to revive them," Joyce says.

Dr J.R. "Bob" Ford, Connie's attending physician, recalls the details of that day.

"They got her to the emergency room and instituted CPR," he recalls. "For two hours they continued that CPR. We had a heart doctor, a lung doctor, and different doctors coming in and different people doing the code as we went along. Basically, we never were able to get back a blood pressure, pulse, or any objective evidence that she was breathing or alive."

That’s when Joyce got the call to bring one of the strongest blood pressure medicines to the ER—a medicine of last resort.

Dr. Ford and Joyce Langston"They had not been able to get any pulses, any significant pulses. They had not gotten any blood pressure. She wasn’t responding to any of the medicines," Joyce explains.

"I think Connie had the best medical care that you could possibly get," says Dr. Ford. "We went to extreme measures on everything."

Their last official step, in medical terms, was to call the code, or call the time of death.

"She was clinically dead," says Dr. Ford. "They had called the code and pronounced her dead."

What hospital officials didn’t realize was that on that Sunday morning, Connie’s friends, family, and church had begun to storm heaven on her behalf.

"I just stopped the service and told the church what was going on and said, 'We’re going to take awhile and intercede for Connie,' " Rev. Mike Fields told his congregation. "We were interceding that God would spare her life. We were praying against death and praying for life."

Meanwhile, the ER doctor came to the waiting room to tell the family the bad news. Still full of faith, Connie's husband, Tommy, made a request.

"I asked him, 'Could we come in and pray before they call it?' He said yes, we could come in and pray," Tommy recalls.

Thelma Russell, Connie's spiritual mom, recalls praying over Connie.

"When I laid my hand on her," says Thelma, "she was cold. I said, 'Lord, with long life you promised to satisfy her. Lord, you said you would do her good and not evil, that you would give her an expected end, that your will for her is to live and not die.' When I saw her gripping Tommy’s hand, and mine started shivering like that, I knew that life was coming back into her."

Suddenly, Connie Davis was breathing and her blood pressure was climbing! Doctors and nurses were stunned—including one nurse who had helped with CPR.

"She said, 'Joyce, I have been doing this 28 years, and I have never seen anything like it. After those people prayed, she got a pulse!"

Adds Dr. Ford, "All I know is the family went in, and when they came out, the nurses went back in there and she was spontaneously starting to breathe again and began feeling blood pressure and a pulse again."

But Dr. Ford knew that Connie still faced an uphill battle. Besides all of her major organs shutting down, Connie showed no signs of brain activity.

"We knew that she was brain dead when she started back," he says. "She had no spontaneous activity. She was on a ventilator. We had to be assisted in her ventilation. She had an aspiration pneumonia, which means she aspirated her stomach contents during CPR. We broke her ribs. Her kidneys went into failure from not enough oxygen. Her GI tract went into bleeding from not enough oxygen. She just had every complication that you can have from a cardiac arrest."

But God wasn’t finished working. As the doctors expressed concerns about her complications, family and friends continued to pray—intensely. And God began to do other miracles that very day.

"It was probably 4 o’clock in the afternoon," Joyce recalls. "The respiratory therapist was on the other side of the bed from me and she said, 'Joyce, I think she’s sticking her tongue out at me.' I said, 'Donna, she’s brain dead, she’s not sticking her tongue out at you.' About that time Connie went (shakes head). I went around to the other side of the bed and said, 'Are you awake?' She went (shakes head). I thought, This just can’t be. This is a mistake. But at the time, when she came over, her body temperature was 89.9 degrees. I mean, she was already headed out. Her body was starting to cool off. So I’m just thinking, This just can’t be. This kind of stuff doesn’t happen. She could move her legs and everything. No neurological deficits."

Even more amazing, at 3 o’clock the next morning—just 15 hours after she was to be pronounced dead—Connie wrote a note to her husband, asking him to cancel an appointment.

God had done it again! Now, each time Connie would face a medical crisis, Joyce knew exactly where to go.

"At every turn, I would go out there, and there was this sea of people from Connie’s church out in the waiting room. I would have to wade through to find Mike and Tommy. 'You all need to be praying. She’s bleeding, and we can’t get the bleeding stopped,'" Joyce recalls.

At the end of 30 days, Connie Davis left the hospital, and we’d like you to meet her right now—that is Connie playing basketball with her son! God has not only raised her from the dead, in His incredible power and mercy, He restored her—body and mind—to perfect health!

"She’s beautiful. She’s vibrant. She’s full of life and so full of the joy of the Lord," says Joyce. "It is so incredible to contemplate that she is the dead woman that I saw in the emergency room."

"I know that if God can still raise the dead, He can do anything but fail, so it has really, really increased my faith," says Connie's best friend, Toni Ford.

"There’s no way to physiologically explain how someone can go two hours in a code and not get blood supply to the brain like she did to her kidneys and things and come out of it just totally neurologically fine," says Dr. Ford. "I’ve never seen it before. The fact that she came out of that without any damage at all is truly a miracle."

Tommy's faith also grew tremendously. "I heard often that God did a lot of stuff in the Bible back in the days of old," he says, "but now I know that He is a miracle worker and He does raise people from the dead because He raised my wife from the dead. I was there, and I know."

By this time, you might be curious what was going on from Connie’s perspective.

"I didn’t hear them say, 'She’s dead,'" says Connie, "but I did hear them say, 'This looks bad. She’s not going to make it.' When I heard that, I thought, I guess I’m going to die. So I’m lying there and I want to make sure I’m right with the Lord, so I said the sinners prayer. I said, 'The Lord is my Shepherd.' I said, 'Father, if you really don’t need me, I really would like to raise my son.'"

And at several points, Connie began to describe watching the doctors treat her from "outside" her body. Could this have been an "out of body experience?" Connie says she’s not sure.

"I just knew I saw myself shaking really hard back and forth, and how that happened I don’t know, and foam was coming out my mouth," says Connie. "I wanted to make sure that that happened, I just wasn’t thinking of it or dreaming about it. I asked my husband when I got out of the hospital, 'Was I doing that?' and he said, 'Yeah, you did it quite a bit.'"

Connie and Tommy DavisOf course, no one goes through such an ordeal without it changing their life. For Connie, that means telling others about the amazing grace that saved her.

"I try to tell as many people as I can to accept the Lord while they still have breath in their body," Connie explains. "People need to make a choice now for Christ because you’re going to spend eternity somewhere. It could be in hell or in heaven. You’re going to be able to hear. You’re going to be able to have all your personality. So if there is anything I can convey to people, it's accept the Lord today."

In looking back, Connie notes several things. First off, she says, “Your spirit does not die.” She says her personality and her senses were in tact. She was fully aware of her surroundings and all that was being said and done. She heard doctors’ grim words, nurses’ routine remarks and even one doctor correcting another’s procedure. She says she was trying to joke with them as they opened her eyelids to detect any response. She was saying back to them, “Well, I can see you…” She says this experience has convinced her even more of the reality of eternal existence either in heaven or hell.

Connie is also convinced it simply wasn’t her time to go. But the prayers of the saints were a critical part of what brought her back. Her own simple prayer, “Lord, if you don’t need me, I would like to raise my son,” and the faithful prayers of her interceding husband and church family are what allowed her to return to her body.

She now appreciates that her life has been extended. She is more sympathetic toward others, believes God more and takes Him at His word more easily. She says she catches herself ready to complain about mundane things in life like laundry and remembers that she might not have been here now. She says these thoughts stop the complaints. She is also very humble and doesn’t want a spotlight on herself or her experience. She says unequivically that she didn’t “do” this, that she has no great ability to heal or pray as a result of this experience. She loves God and will pray for anyone who needs it because of His love for His people, not because she was resurrected. And if she ever needs to be reminded, her son now 15, will let her know that it’s because of him that she’s still here. God is letting her raise her son.

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