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Meeting the Miraculous at Death's Door

Tea with her sisters turned into a fight for life when a brain bleed landed Vanessa in the hospital. She would have died, but a supernatural vision assured her it wasn't her time. Read Transcript


MELISSA: She all of a sudden grabs her head,

and then falls to the ground and says, ow!

Ow, my head.

NARRATOR: In February 2016, while having tea

with her sisters, Vanessa Lancellotti

collapsed onto the floor in pain.

She said she had a bad headache, extreme pressure.

NARRATOR: Her sister Melissa, a CAT scan technician,

tried to rule out a stroke or brain bleed.

She couldn't stand up, nauseated.

So I started running them over, thinking,

was it just the migraine?

Was it just a cluster headache?

Just hoping for the smallest thing,

by preparing for the worst.

NARRATOR: For a couple years, Vanessa

had complained of a sharp pain in her head.

She was planning on making an appointment with her doctor,

then this happened.

VANESSA LANCELLOTTI: I couldn't open my eyes,

and when I did open my eyes, I couldn't see.

And that's when I knew something was very wrong.

MELISSA: God help her.

Just started praying.

And just, again, I just knew it was going to be OK.

I knew God was going to take care of her.

Vanessa's younger sister Amanda rushed her

to Evangelical Hospital in Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania.

VANESSA LANCELLOTTI: And that whole time I

was just throwing up.

I knew.

I knew that I was dying.

NARRATOR: Her husband James arrived

at the hospital just in time to see Vanessa

before she was given an MRI.

He had prayed all the way there.

Still, he wasn't prepared for the report.

Vanessa had a brain bleed.

JAMES LANCELLOTTI: I said, Lord, your will's going to be done,

it is, regardless of how this turns out.

So I'm asking you to heal my wife.

I'm asking this to go well.

I'm asking for odds to be beaten here.

NARRATOR: The staff at Evangelical Hospital

determined they didn't have the specialized care needed

to treat the brain bleed, so Vanessa

was loaded into an ambulance to begin the 40 minute transport

to Geisinger Trauma Center in Danville, Pennsylvania.

Her sister Melissa was at home calling friends, family,

and the 700 Club for prayer.

We command this brain bleed to stop.

MELISSA: A man I had spoken with started taking words

that I couldn't even get out.

I remember him saying, we command this brain bleed

to stop, in the name of Jesus.

And when he said that, something just clicked inside of me,

and like I didn't even think to pray that.

You know, in a stressful situation

I didn't command it to stop bleeding.

When he said, I was just like [GASPS] that's it.

It's going to stop bleeding.

NARRATOR: Meanwhile, en route to the trauma center,

Vanessa continued seizing and vomiting from the severe pain.

VANESSA LANCELLOTTI: I was completely helpless.

There was nothing that I could do.

I needed a miracle.

I needed Jesus.

NARRATOR: Instantly, Vanessa was no longer in the ambulance.

VANESSA LANCELLOTTI: Everything was pure, pure white.

I didn't have any pain.

I felt like a little girl.

There was nothing wrong in the world.

I didn't have to fear anything.

I can't describe the peace that I felt.

I was in the Lord's presence.

I just felt his love.

I did see Jesus.

He hugged me, and he said it was not yet my time.

NARRATOR: In a moment, Vanessa was back in the ambulance,

and in pain.

At Geisinger Trauma Center, she was taken to surgery.

Melissa had just arrived, and asked

to talk to the radiologist about the scans.

Without trying to scare me, I said, what do you think?

He said, if the bleed were to come down any further,

towards the brainstem, they were worried about vegetable state,

and death.

NARRATOR: The surgery stopped the bleeding,

but doctors were unsure that Vanessa would fully recover.

But within a week, she was beginning

to remember the names of her family.

Even though I was confused about other things,

and was having a very difficult time speaking-- and, of course,

after brain surgery I was recovering from that--

I did remember very clearly that he touched me,

that the Lord saved my life and that he loved me.

That week's time in the hospital,

not being able to say her name or identify basic objects to--

by the time she was discharged that Friday, she walked--

I wheeled her downstairs, but she walked out.

VANESSA LANCELLOTTI: When I got out of the hospital,

I was so grateful.

I was alive.

I felt like I was walking on air.

NARRATOR: Vanessa spent a year in therapy.

Her recovery has exceeded doctor's expectations.

So I prayed a lot for patience,

just a lot for strength, and of course for healing,

like for furthered healing.

Just gratefulness too, just to remember what he did for me,

and how amazing that is.

NARRATOR: Today, she's a student at Regent University working

on her master's degree in divinity.

I finished my final project and got an A.

And I give that all to God.

It is a miracle that I am here and able to do very well.

And going from not even able to say my name

to have this conversation and be doing this interview

is a miracle.

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