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Ed Gibson: How to Heal a Failing Heart

By Richard Santoro with Julie Blim
The 700 Club

CBN.comEd Gibson thought he was headed for a family vacation at Disney World. He had no idea he was actually headed for a heart attack.

"I’m thinking, 'We’re living the American dream... nice marriage, nice house, and gainfully employed," Ed tells The 700 Club.

Ed first noticed he had trouble breathing, as he walked across the parking lot at work. He was later diagnosed with pneumonia and sent home with antibiotics. But the congestion in his lungs got worse, so he went to the emergency room.

"I don’t think that they thought, first off, that a young man could be so severely in heart failure," he says.

By the time they discovered Ed’s heart problem, his other organs were severely strained.

"They brought a cardiologist in and said, ‘Mr. Gibson, you are a very sick man. You have a clot in your heart.’ "

Ed’s heart pumped at only 15 percent of its normal capacity. This news shocked Ed and his wife, Susan.

"This was the first time I’d ever seen him sick. I never thought for an instant it was life threatening," Susan recalls.

Ed was moved into the cardiac intensive care unit. Susan, of course, canceled their Disney vacation and called on their church to pray for Ed’s healing.

"We received a word from one of the deacons in our church. 'Who had sinned? Was it the mother? Was it the father?' In the book of John it says, 'Neither. No one.' It’s so God would be glorified."

Susan then believed that God was going to use Ed’s illness in a way that would glorify Himself.

So she asked Ed, "Are you up to this?"

And he answered, “Yes.” 

Susan responded, “Then that’s what’s going to happen. God’s going to be glorified though this.”

Ed was treated with blood thinners to dissolve the clot in his heart. But his body resisted the medicine. He was on all the appropriate medicines and getting worse. By the time the clot disappeared, Ed’s struggling heart had stressed his other organs, causing serious damage. His kidneys essentially had failed as well as his heart, and his liver was starting to fail as well.

"They told me the blood clot was not there anymore. It was completely gone. Either one of two things was going to happen. Either my heart was going to repair itself, or I'd need a transplant," says Ed.

Ed couldn’t receive a heart transplant. A heart could not be donated to someone whose other organs were failing. There would need to be a higher probability that the transplant would be successful. So doctors decided to place a mechanical pump inside Ed’s chest to help with his failing heart.   

"What that does is takes over the function of the heart and takes over the pumping capability of the heart to improve circulation to the liver and kidneys, and every cell in their body. And our hope was that by restoring good circulation, as time goes by, the patient would improve," says Ed's doctor, Dr. Hoy.

But as doctors prepared Ed for surgery to insert the pump, he suddenly suffered convulsions.

Susan remembers, "Another set of doctors and nurses had already run to his room, and things were happening. I remember standing with another minister of the church. We were standing at the foot of the bed. And I said, 'God’s not going to let him die, and most definitely not in front of me like this.' ” 

As Susan prayed, Ed’s body relaxed and his condition stabilized. Doctors were able to install the heart pump. Within a few months, Ed’s organs began to recover, and soon he found himself at the top of the heart transplant list.

During a routine doctor visit, Ed learned some startling news. His heart was recovering also—something doctors didn’t expect.

"We really expected that he would end up having a transplant. We also don’t know why it recovered," says Dr. Hoy.

After only six months, Ed’s surgeon removed the heart pump, which he had never done before. He discovered that Ed’s heart was back to normal.

"We had to take the pump out, and the heart did very well. And the patient did very well," says Dr. Hoy.

"It was a miracle. They took this thing off in June, and by the first week of September, I went back to work," Ed says.

"He had two open heart surgeries, a pump put in, and a pump taken out. A year later, we went to Disney World and he got on a roller coaster. Within one year God did all of that," says wife, Susan.

Ed Gibson is now fully recovered. The only lingering effect from his heart surgeries is the way it strengthened his faith.

"I understand the science and all that, but this was a true feat. It was a miracle," believes Ed.  

"People don’t believe miracles are for today. They miss it," adds Susan.

"Watch what you actually say when it comes out of your mouth because you want to be sure it’s positive. God can do anything," Ed says.

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