Professor's Trip to Death's Door in China
By Randy Rudder
The 700 Club
In the summer of 2007, Lee University business professor Hermilo Jasso accompanied 30 students to China as part of a cultural exchange program. A few days after he arrived, Jasso began experiencing unbearable abdominal pain.
“Originally, I felt like my stomach was upset, like there was something wrong with my stomach; but I didn’t know what it was. As the day progressed, it became more painful,” Hermilo said. “And it got to the point where I was concerned. So, I asked one of the professors, ‘I need to go to the emergency room.’ So at that point, they took me to the hospital.”
The first doctor thought it was merely a digestive upset and sent Hermilo back to his hotel with some laxatives. Later that night, the pain returned.
“I had such pain that I was not even able to walk. I had cramps in my stomach and my legs. So we called the emergency room, and an ambulance came and picked me up,” Hermilo said. “It was kind of funny because the ambulance was actually a motorcycle with three wheels. So they put me in the back of this motorcycle and they took me to the Sias University Health Clinic.”
The doctor ran several tests, but didn’t tell Hermilo that his appendix had ruptured and poisons were already coursing through his body.
“This doctor came to me and said, ‘I can only say one thing. I’m going to give you some advice. And the advice is to make peace with your family.’ And I was not able to understand the translation,” Hermilo said. “I said ‘What do you mean - make peace with your family’? And he said, ‘Yes, you are going to die.’”
“I really didn’t believe what they were saying. I thought this doctor maybe just didn’t know what he was doing or what he was talking about,” Hermilo said.
“He said, ‘There is nothing I can do because my medical personnel are not here. It’s already 10:00 p.m. They are already gone for the night, so there is nothing I can do. If you want to, I can give you some pain medication to put you to sLeep.’ I said ‘What do you mean, ‘put me to sLeep?’” Hermilo said. “And he said, ‘I can give you some sLeeping pills, so that way, when you die you will not feel it.’”
The Lee University students in China began praying for their professor. Meanwhile, the Jassos asked the doctor if there were any other hospitals in the area.
“At that point, the doctor said ‘There is a Medical University here. Some of the medical students or somebody there will be able to help you,’” Hermilo said.
Hermilo’s wife and son transported him to the Zhengzhou University Hospital. There the doctors again told the family to prepare for the worst.
“I went into convulsions and I literally felt my stomach growing,” Hermilo said. “At that point I was thinking it would be better to die. I was not afraid of dying, but it was not something I wanted to do.”
Jessica Jasso stayed at her husband’s side while their friends continued to pray. Then, an amazing thing happened.
“Four hours later, a doctor comes. And to my surprise, this doctor for the first time actually speaks to me in English,” Hermilo said. “And he said, ‘Hello my name is Professor Liu and I am professor of internal medicine here at the University.’”
Dr. Liu immediately operated on Hermilo. After the operation, Dr. Liu visited him in his room.
This is the conversation they had:
Dr. Liu: Who are you?
Hermilo: Why do you ask me this?
Dr. Liu: Do you know who I am?
Hermilo: No, I don’t know who you are.
Dr. Liu: I am the best doctor in China. I’m so good, as a matter of fact, that when President Clinton came here, they assigned me as his personal doctor in case something were to happen to him.
Dr. Liu then told Professor Jasso of a mysterious encounter he had with two strangers earlier that day.
“He said, ‘two people came to my office and told me that I had to take care of Jasso,’” Hermilo said.
Hermilo tried to tell Dr. Liu that he didn’t know anybody in China, that he’d just been there for seven days.
“And he [Dr. Liu] said, ‘Well, two men just came to my office just 30 minutes ago and they told me that I have to take care of you because you are a very important person,’” Hermilo said. “And when he told me that, I realized that there was something bigger going on; that probably God was involved in that situation. The doctor stayed with me for 15 days. And he never saw the men again.”
Dr. Liu explained to Hermilo why he had not died from the infection.
“He told me, ‘I have never in my life seen this. He said, ‘I saw your lower intestine actually wrapping around your appendix to stop the fluid from coming into your abdomen. He said, ‘It was very hard for me to take out that knot,” Hermilo said.
“Given that he had operated on thousands of patients over the past, I believe it was, 20 years, he said he had never seen this in his life. This was a miracle in itself to know that that normally doesn’t happen, but it happened,” Hermilo said.
Hermilo got a surprise call from his father, a pastor in North Carolina.
“He said, ‘An hour ago, I was in the service and I was ready to preach and something came over me and I told the congregation, ‘I’m sorry. I cannot preach. Let’s all get together and kneel down. I need to pray for my son. There is something wrong with my son. I don’t know what is wrong with my son, but we need to pray for my son.’ It was interesting. Here, my father was in the United States 7,000 miles away, in a different time zone and he was specifically praying with the whole church at the moment I went into surgery,” Hermilo said.
During the two weeks that Hermilo was there, he shared his faith with his physician and a number of the patients at the hospital.
“And I started going to all the rooms where the Chinese people were,” Hermilo said. “And I always asked them, ‘would you allow me to pray to God with you?’ And they were surprised that this foreigner would come and pray with them. And to my surprise, all of them—all of them, said yes.”
“I believe because this situation happened in China, that it did plant a lot of seeds for people in sharing the gospel, and to be able to share our experience with them and tell them that we believe it was someone higher than us that helped us get through at that point,” Hermilo said.
Hermilo told Dr. Liu, “I don’t know if you know this, but I believe in God.”
Dr. Liu responded that he didn’t believe in God.
“I said, ‘I do believe in God and I believe that God actually brought you at the right moment for you to do this surgery,’” Hermilo said. “And he [Dr. Liu] said, ‘Well, if that’s what you believe, I guess I have to agree with you.’”Can God change your life?
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