When a Cough Turns Deadly
By Shannon Woodland
The 700 Club
CBN.com -Tim Engstrom had always considered himself healthy.
So when he developed a cough in the fall of 2007, he thought nothing of it, even when family members noticed it during Thanksgiving.
“I don’t know because I feel great!” exclaimed Tim.
But the cough got progressively worse, and Tim started having trouble breathing.
“That’s when I noticed something was wrong. Diane brought it up.”
“It was (coughs) like this (coughs) and I told him to check it out,” said Tim’s wife, Diane.
The Engstrom’s family physician, Tom Flaming, examined Tim’s lungs.
Dr. Flaming explained, “He was having some cough and congestion at that time and he was complaining of some head stuffiness. And said it had been going on for a little while. Kind of an indistinct history it wasn’t very clear. And at that point in January 2008 we decided to do a routine chest x-ray.”
“I was not worried at all. I had no thought at all. No suspicion at all that anything could be wrong with my health,” said Tom.
The radiology report proved otherwise.
“It showed some lesions in the chest,” reported Dr. Flaming. “When you see something like that it’s never good. It could be pneumonia, cancer, TB, to some unusual lesion or growth in there.”
Dr. Flaming ordered a CAT scan and referred Tim to a lung specialist. Tim and Diane were shocked when they saw the scan results.
“I was looking at all the circles and arrows and counting,” Tim said.
“Tim’s counting up he’s saying one, two, three, he gets up to 20, I go flop on the chair. This man is not going to walk out of here alive,” said Diane.
“And all I remember I got up to 22,” recalled Tim. “And then Dr. Schultz came in and I said ‘what are all these circles and arrows?’ He said they identified the tumors. And I said, ‘this is my heart. The big one on the bottom left.’ ‘No,’ he said, ‘that’s a tumor.’”
The reality started to sink in.
“This man is a walking dead man,” said Diane.
Doctors didn’t know what was in Tim’s lungs.
“There is no treatment because it’s not like a fungal infection, it’s not a bacterial infection, it doesn’t indicate any cancer, so we had this lesion, we didn’t know what caused it, how long it had been there or where it was going,” said Dr. Flaming.
Doctors performed a biopsy but it was inconclusive. One thing was clear; the tumors were taking over his lungs. In recovery Tim asked the lung specialist to be honest.
“I want it straight doc, tell me what’s going on,” said Tim. “Tell me straight. He said ‘from what I’ve seen, six months will be a long time for you to live.’ Those were his exact words.”
“Oh, I knew I was going to be a widow,” remembered Diane.
Tim was now experiencing severe pain and taking powerful drugs. Although his health was deteriorating his faith was growing.
“I started to have a very strong feeling that I’m not ready to die,” said Tim.
“I had great moments of faith and knowing the Lord’s going to heal me. The Lord is speaking to me in a new way and I know He’s going to heal me. I would read the word and God would give me promises.”
There were times of doubting too. Tim and Diane flew to Redding, California to attend Bethel Church where they had healing services. But when the pain didn’t go away Tim grew frustrated.
“I said ‘Lord what’s going on? Why did we come all the way here and you’re not going to heal me? What do you have in mind?’ And I heard the Lord’s voice. I heard the Lord say ‘just rest.’ And I thought about that for a minute and I thought, I’m not here to rest.”
“And then the Lord said again, ‘just rest.’ It was emphatic.”
When Tim came home he did what God told him to do. Friends and family prayed constantly for him.
Diane remembers, “I said ‘God, here’s my husband, I give him to you. You said we’re to ask. And God I’m going to ask. I’m going to ask that you take my husband and give him life.’”
One night, over 200 people gathered at the Engstroms’ church in Salem, Oregon to pray for Tim. He says it was an experience he’ll never forget.
“And as the prayer grew, a heat started, and I got hot, and I don’t like to be hot so I started moving people’s hands off, like this, but they came back on. That was beginning of I am being healed.”
Within a few days, Tim noticed that the pain in his chest was gone. His next routine CAT scan revealed six tumors had disappeared. Six months after that, he had another CAT scan.
“It was revealed there are no tumors. They’re gone. The Lord completely healed me. And the doctor’s words to me were exactly this, ‘the miracle here is that there’s no scaring in your lungs.’”
Diane added, “This is to let people know that there is a miracle working God!”
Dr. Flaming was also pleased after he read the report.
“Having seen it from the other side from a scientific approach it’s fairly unusual. It’s a pleasant surprise because that usually doesn’t happen.”
Today Tim’s back to the active lifestyle he’s always loved. He and Diane are still amazed at what God has done in their lives.
“That's why I say there's no getting better with this, this is a dead man, now he's alive. Explain!” exclaimed Diane.
Tim concluded, “I feel extremely honored and overwhelmed sometimes. In prayer alone I thank the Lord for touching me. And that’s when I break down and am emotional before the Lord. He reached down and touched my life. I’m so thankful for it. I’m so thankful to be alive.”
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