Life After Facing Death
By Michelle Wilson
The 700 Club
CBN.com -“When I arrived to the hospital, my husband was in a coma. Surgery had to be done.”
Pastor Medina Pullings made that journal entry May 18th, 2011 sitting in a hospital waiting room. Her husband, Bishop Orrin Pullings, had suffered a brain hemorrhage and was fighting for his life.
“Surgery had to be done and there was great risk.”
Orrin and Medina started pastoring in 1996 in Hollis Queens, NY. In just 14 years, United Nations Church International had grown to four churches in four states. They worked non-stop pastoring the churches and were also parents to five children. Orrin functioned on as little as four hours of sleep.
Orrin shares, “As a young man, sleep wasn’t very important to me. It was about getting the job done. I always felt like I was running out of time.”
Then in 2007, Orrin started getting headaches and seeing black spots in his vision. Even though a doctor found nothing wrong, Orrin had to take up to 12 pain pills a day. By now, he felt invincible.
Orrin says, “The subtitle for my first book was Unstoppable Faith: Discovering the Indestructible You. I’m totally unstoppable. So what could happen to Orrin Pullings?”
For the next four years Orrin continued his grueling ministry schedule. The headaches came and went until May 18th, 2011. He was preaching at his church in Charlotte, North Carolina when he had a severe head pain.
“And I remember right in the middle of the message, major pains went through my head like pow! pow! pow!” says Orrin.
Orrin managed to finish his message. Moments later, he collapsed. When Medina spoke to her husband on the phone she knew something was wrong.
Medina remembers, “It was like a ‘errrrr. errrrr. errrrr.’ When I heard the sound that came from my husband, my first thought was, ‘Jesus.’”
Bishop Orrin was rushed to Wake Forest Baptist Hospital where they began emergency surgery to relieve the swelling and drain the fluid from his brain. Dr. Don Yeates, the Pullings’ family doctor, explains just how serious his condition was.
“Bishop Pullings had a very serious bleed in his brain, called an intraventricular hemorrhage. So many people don’t even survive the bleed. But of those that do survive, there’s a fairly low percentage of people who recover fully. Most have long-term neurologic deficits and problems with thinking and doing normal activity after the condition has occurred.”
The doctors spoke to Medina about her husband’s condition.
Medina says, “The fastest, quickest prayer I knew: ‘Jesus.’ When you can’t get all the words out, everything that you need to say, it was summed up in that one word.”
By now, church members and Orrin’s parents had come to pray with Medina.
Medina shares, “And the posture in that waiting room was spiritual warfare, prayer, and praise the entire time of the surgery.”
After surgery, Orrin was still in critical condition. When he woke up he couldn’t remember anything.
Medina recalls Orrin asking, “’So you’re my wife?’ Then I realized, ‘he doesn’t know who I am.’ ‘You’re my wife?’ And I said, ‘Yes. I’m your wife.’ So now in this moment I got to get over myself, not fall to pieces, because if I hit this floor, this is going to mess him up now.”
Over the next two weeks, his condition worsened. Medina watched online recordings of Orrin preaching and journaled her thoughts and prayers.
“I miss my husband so much. I won’t give up. I will continue to declare His total restoration, healing, etc. The miraculous. He’s a miracle. Haven’t had any sleep, but I’m up. I’m up. I’m up watching videos of my husband.”
Then on May 26th Medina says, God gave her a promise.
“And He said I’m going to give him rapid recovery. God says ‘10 days, I’m going to raise him up.’ And then the Lord had given me this song: Up above my head is a miracle. And in my husband’s room over the bed where his head sat there, on the wall, only in his room at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital, was the word ‘Miracle’.”
Within a week, doctors were able to remove the drain from Orrin’s head and he was moved from ICU to a regular room. Towards the end of his stay he remembered his wife and kids. On June 6th, 2011, 10 days after Pastor Medina heard from God, Orrin was released from the hospital, with no residual effects and no need for rehabilitation.
Medina shares, “And God worked that thing out. When He said ‘miracle,’ He meant ‘miracle.’ Because my husband walked out of that hospital on his own two feet, in his right mind, no rehabilitation. He went straight home and that was God working another miracle for me.”
Dr. Yeates says, “To see him today walking, talking, thinking normally and having no problems with his normal activities. And that’s definitely a miracle. God has definitely been a part of this.”
Two weeks later, Bishop Orrin returned to the pulpit. He says God has given him a new perspective on being a pastor, husband, and father.
Orrin says, “I spend more time enjoying my life. I spend more time not being worried and stressed out about the success of the ministry. God is a god of multiple changes. And He’s given me another chance to live this life the way He promised me, the way He ordained for me to live it – the abundant life, good health, good wealth, a good family life, and being happy and enjoying things.”
Medina says, “Have faith in God. Have faith in God. Have faith in God. He will work a miracle just for you.”
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