In what was certainly one of the most incredible things that happened in our first year as a church was the sudden heart attack, surgery, multiple pulmonary embolism, coma, and then miraculous recovery...
So many people prayed and so Larry decided to write a letter to all who were praying or are interested in reading what Larry thinks about all of this. His letter is below as well as an audio recording of what he shared at our "One Year Strong" service.
A Letter From Larry Hebb:
Greetings to you, my brothers and sisters in Christ. I am sorry to be so delinquent in writing to you all, but with all my rehab and doctor visits it has been a very busy three months.
The Lord has continued to bless me with improving health each day. I am now able to climb stairs and get around without a cane, except when I am walking on uneven ground. I believe in another month I will not even need a cane at all. In addition, I recently had a series of complete heart and lung tests and the doctors were very happy to advise us that my heart went through all this trauma with no damage whatsoever. My lungs are completely clear of clots and my daily oxygen tests are always between 98 and 100%. My vision needs a little more work and my kidneys are improving, but not enough to discontinue dialysis three times per week.
My biggest job now is still rebuilding my muscles that had shriveled away during my 6 week coma. This is a long slow process which requires a lot of physical training, which I am able to do most days. The various doctors continue to call me the "miracle man", but we know Who it was that performed this Miracle of bringing me back to a useful life. Our Heavenly Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit reacted to the hundreds of prayers that were flooding the air waves on my behalf by you, my fellow believers, here on earth. His Word assures us that He hears all prayers and I am living proof that He heard each and every one of you. I understand also that His will isn't always that we receive more time on earth, but for some reason, I know not why, He granted me more time and I yearn to serve Him with the precious time I have left here.
Other miracles took place in addition to my recovery. Just a few weeks before my initial heart attack I was over in Africa. Thankfully. I was home and I was able to receive the best medical care one can expect in the U.S.
The morning after my heart attack I was scheduled to be on the the operating table in Portsmouth having a knee replacement. You can imagine what would have happened if my attack came during this surgery, And last but not the least, I was blessed to have one particular doctor, who calls himself, "just an instrument of God" who wouldn't give up on me and was able to use the newest technology that our Lord has provided for us through His mercy and grace.
The determination of this heart surgeon who "pulled everything he had out of his bag" while being so humble about it truly touched our hearts. His determination and his sacrificial attitude blessed us all, including my family who nicknamed him, "Doctor Hope."
During the last days of my coma it had begun to look like there was no hope left. My heart was giving out and already I had been on a heart lung machine much too long. The hundreds of clots in my lungs hadn't dissolved even though numerous procedures were done. The pulmonary team had already given up and it was suggested that my loving wife, Janet, start grievance counseling in preparation for her pending loss.
This is when I truly believe that our Heavenly Father stepped in and said, "enough of this! My will is that this man should live and continue to serve Me for his remaining years on earth". In the meantime your prayers were flooding in non-stop and in answer to this our Lord God either directly, or through the Holy Spirit gave an inspiration to my heart surgeon (a believer) on one last procedure that could possibly save my life. Therefore, one late evening my wife received a phone call from my heart surgeon (the one who never gave up) who told Janet that even though the end was near, he recently had an idea, and wanted Janet's permission to do one more surgery on me with no guarantee that it would work. Hours later, when all were gathered at the hospital, the doctor came and told my family I was now stabilized, my heart lung machine was gone, a heart pump was installed in my aorta and the immediate danger was over.
Less than a week later, they took me off all the meds that were causing my comatose condition. Then a few more days and I was moved from intensive care to a rehab floor. When I finally could realize what was going on I was shocked to hear I had been down for six weeks and concerned that my muscles were in such poor condition. I was so weak I could not even lift my hand. Then the miracles continued..... When I left the ICU, there was a big discussion about my future. All agreed that I needed extensive physical therapy. Catholic Med offers rehab, but only on a very aggressive program that some doctors felt would be too aggressive for me. One side of my team thought I should stay at CMC and they would do their best to fix me. The other side of the medical team wanted me to be transferred to an intensive care rehab facility in Mass. In the end because of my recurring eye problem the decision was made. I would remain at CMC until it was shown that I could not keep up with their program.
Needless to say, with the help of Jesus and your prayers, I not only stayed at CMC but, four weeks later (read Miracle here) I was ready to come home with a walker and complete my rehab with the help of the Visiting Nurse program in Carroll County.
It has now been 3 months since I came home and I am still moving towards a normal life again. This is not happening through my efforts. The real worker here is the Mighty Jesus and the caring Holy Spirit, Who makes it petty clear to me that God had more work for me here on earth than being at home with Him quite yet. For this I give Him my thanks, praise and realize all the glory belongs to Him. He indeed is the Great Physician and as His Word tells us, He hears all our prayers. He heard your prayers for me, whether short or long, often or once. Janet and I value each and every one of you who faithfully prayed for us. Thank you all for heeding the call for prayer.
God is with us. He is alive and He is in control. The Jews called Him, Jehovah Jireh (the provider) and the we know Him as the King of Kings. I now believe my family and I have personally seen His mighty power in action. One miracle after another.
I can only think back to the first part of my life when I did not have a relationship with Jesus. I am so thankful that I wised up one day and asked Him into my heart It was faith in Him that brought me through this trauma and I will spend the rest of my life sharing the joy of Christ and His Gospel with all who will hear.
Thank you for all your cards, Janet read each and every one to me. They were a huge encouragement to her, and even though I couldn't hear, God was listening to the beautiful words along with her. When I was up on the rehabilitation floor we read them together.
May God bless each and every one of you.
Your brother in Christ,