The 700 Club with Pat Robertson


Carla Bailey: Change of Heart

By Gorman Woodfin
The 700 Club

CBN.comCarla Bailey, her husband, Doug, and their children live the good life in the heartland of Ohio. She’s a loving mother who has taken the lead in helping parents with special needs children. Carla has a special needs daughter named Amber. But one day Carla became the one who desperately needed help.

"I had gotten a virus that attacked my heart," she explains. "That happened in 2000. Then from there, I had heart disease as well as lupus. That is not a good combination."

When Carla’s condition worsened, she was rushed to the Ohio State University Medical Center.

"By that time I was in desperate need of a heart transplant," she recalls. "On May 2, I was admitted to OSU hospital and to start my wait. I waited and waited. The fear was real. There were other patients that were waiting for hearts with me, and two died, so there was the reality that I may not make it and the fear that there are so many thousands and thousands of people waiting for organs and I was just this one little number in a multitude of 82,000 people waiting."

After three long months of waiting, Carla got the news she had been waiting for—a suitable donor heart had been found.

But Carla’s "good news" was short lived.

"I was literally on the operating table with the swan life support inserted in me waiting for that heart," Carla remembers. "When the doctor gave us that word—'The heart’s not right. You’re going to have to go back downstairs and be taken off of life support and wait again'—I cried all the way down. As a matter of fact, I cried for three days."

At times Carla felt totally hopeless.

"My children came, and they would cry, and it was time to go and they were tired of Mommy being in the hospital. I couldn’t answer any of their questions, like, 'When are you coming home, Mommy? It’s been enough time. When you coming home?' I couldn’t answer their questions any more. I thought, 'I can’t do this any more. I’m tired of the suffering. I’m tired of the pain,'" she says.

Then her condition got even worse. Carla was placed on a 1-A status. Doctors thought she was not going to make it without a transplant.

"People who are status 1-A have become ill to the point that we’re concerned that they may not survive more than a couple of weeks or at most a month. And at one point, her condition had deteriorated to the point that she was classified as a 1-A," says Carla's transplant cardiac surgeon, Dr. Binkley.

But even in Carla’s darkest hour, the entire community reached out to help this woman that had helped others so much. When her church decided to have a special program in her honor, something truly miraculous happened.

"That Saturday evening, when that program was being done for me, and when all the saints were getting together and praying, as they say, 'When praises go up, blessings come down,'" she says.

When her friends and family were praying, Carla felt something unexplainable happen to her heart.

"At 7 p.m. that night I felt it," she says. "I felt a change in my heart, a change that was so great I had to call the nurse in. She came in and she said, 'What is it, Carla? Do you need more morphine?' I was on morphine at that time. I said, 'No, it doesn’t hurt. It feels different.' I couldn’t explain what the difference was. Was it pressure? Still to this day I can’t explain it."

Medical tests soon confirmed what Carla’s faith told her was true: her heart was totally healed.

They said, 'Mrs. Bailey, we have something to tell you, but we don’t know how to tell you," says Carla. "It seems that your heart is healed. It was measured seven days ago at 16 percent. It is now at a level of 51 percent. It is total healed.' All I could do was say, 'Do you think it was a miracle?' They said, 'Yes.'"

Not only did her recovery amaze the medical professionals, but Carla says the Ohio State University hospital staff was a strong spiritual support.

"OSU Medical Center, I can’t say enough about them," says Carla. "The doctors, the staff, the nurses, the housekeepers, the dieticians all lifted me up in the prayer. When they came in my room, they were positive. There was no negativity. They prayed for me."

Doug and Carla say they’ve learned some valuable lessons from her unbelievable ordeal.

"I think the thing that I learned the most is patience and purpose—just being patient and just understanding what our purpose is, what my purpose is, what Carla’s purpose is, and understanding that the Lord works in His time. If we’re patient and believe, things will be all right," says Carla's husband, Doug.

Adds Carla, " In my mind’s eye, I see God as the father figure. He will bring His loving arms around me and keep me secure and give me a peace of mind and a spirit that will say, 'It’s going to be all right.'"

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