Duane Andrews: A Time for Believing
By Audra Smith
The 700 Club
On February 2nd, 2008, Duane Andrews was relaxing at home when he suddenly began having severe stomach cramps.
Duane remembers, “They were very painful; to the point where I yelled up to Sharon who was upstairs and said, ‘We need to go to the emergency room, something is really, seriously wrong.”
Sharon says, “I drove him to the hospital. They got him right in and within 30 minutes they had him diagnosed. They said he had severe acute pancreatitis.”
Duane and Sharon thought they would be home from the hospital within days. However, on the fifth day of his stay, a rapid response team rushed into Duane’s room.
Sharon describes the scene, “Immediately they said, ‘You are going to have to leave. Rapid Response, Rapid Response.’ I was left feeling very confused. ‘What’s wrong with him?’”
Duane shares, “The last thing I remember is they said, ‘You need to swallow this tube.’ By the time they gave me the drugs, that is the last thing I remember.”
Duane had developed acute respiratory distress syndrome on top of his existing condition. His lungs were failing because of a blood clot. He had stopped responding to treatment and all of his internal organs began to fail. Duane was in a coma for a month and a half.
Sharon received discouraging messages. “The doctors said that there was zero percent chance of survival because of the fact that his heart was failing. His lungs were failing. His kidneys were failing. His pancreas was failing. They started telling me the stages of grief and saying, ‘You need to be prepared for this.’”
However, despite all of the grim reports, Sharon felt an urgency to pray for Duane and to believe God for a total healing.
Sharon was on assignment. “I felt like my job was to rally the troops, and that is what I did. It really helped my faith to think, ‘I need to continue in warfare for my husband. I don’t need to sit and cry about this. I need to be in prayer for him.’”
“But I know people were praying for me," he says, "because during this whole time I had that peace that passes understanding.”
Sharon also read Scriptures from the Bible over Duane while he was in the coma.
“I had huge piles of cards and letters and I would go back, and I would read the scripture to him believing that his spirit man was taking it in. It encouraged my faith. It is easy to listen to everything. And when every single doctor is telling you, ‘He is going to die…you need to get ready for this.’ And every nurse is saying that, it is hard to hang onto God’s promises.”
However, on February 16th, doctors told Sharon to call in family members. They were certain Duane would not survive through the night.
Sharon could hardly resist the doctors’ messages. “I really started listening to what they were saying. I was a crying and I was a mess. I just slid down on the ground and all the sudden some friends of mine got off of the elevator and they knelt down with me and they started praying with me. And then our pastor came and said, ‘Sharon, this is not the time for grieving. This is a time for believing.’ And so, everybody showed up. All of our church showed up. We prayed for probably three hours or more, praying and singing praises to God. And, I almost feel like God was just going, ‘That’s what I was waiting for. Now, let’s see what I can do.’"
To the doctors’ amazement, Duane survived that night and stabilized. On February 23rd, Sharon saw another miracle.
“We had not seen any signs of life. I was in his room praying scripture over him and a friend of mine was in there praying as well. I said, ‘I SAW HIS MOUTH MOVE!’ And the nurse said, ‘That’s impossible. He can’t move. He’s very sedated.’ My friend said, ‘He did. I saw it, too.’ So the nurse went right up to Duane and said, ‘If you can hear me, open your mouth.’ And he opened his mouth.”
Duane tells what happened next. “So, Sharon came up to me and said that a lot of people were praying for me, and that God was going to heal me, and that she loved me. And that’s the first thing I remember.
Duane came out of his coma on March 15th and gradually regained strength. But, Duane still had major obstacles to overcome.
Sharon was given more bad news. “They said that if he came out of the coma, life was going to be very bleak. They said he would need a heart transplant. He would be on dialysis the rest of his life. He would be diabetic. He would need insulin.”
Duane’s once strong body was frail. He needed to relearn how to swallow, eat and walk.
He says, “I begged him to raise me from this bed. ‘If you will, I promise I will glorify You. I will tell everybody I come in contact with about what You did.’”
Less than one month later, Duane was back at work and was completely healed. Today he is living an active lifestyle, which doctors said would be impossible.
His doctor wrote, “I would say that this process of recovery was certainly not normal or predictable. I have never seen anyone as ill as Mr. Andrews recover.”
Duane explains, “God just totally restored everything! He restored my pancreas. He restored my liver, my kidneys. My heart is like it was before it ever happened. My lungs are perfect. There is nothing wrong with them at all. He completely restored me.
Sharon has a fresh perspective. “I would tell people what my pastor told me, ‘This is not a time for grieving. It is a time for believing. It’s when things look the most bleak is when God wants to step in because that is when He gets the most glory.’”
Duane knows what God did for him. “I am here and by all medical standards, I shouldn’t be. It is just a testimony to God’s people. It’s the reason I’m here. It’s because of the power of prayer.”
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