The Lord for many years has given me responsibility for cattle and land. When I was a young man, I married my high school sweetheart, Judy, and quickly settled into a rancher’s life. After the birth of our first child, we committed our lives to Christ. We eventually had four children, so it was difficult at times to make ends meet and we never had much money for health insurance.
In 1995 I was 43 and extremely busy with duties of irrigation, haying, feeding cattle, and a 70-cow dairy operation. Stress took its toll. One day my heart started beating out of control. I had severe pain in my chest and left arm.
After waiting to see if the issue would resolve on its own, Judy insisted I go to the doctor and get checked out. When testing ruled out heart problems, I was told I might have experienced a panic attack. However, the attacks recurred about once per month for many years.
In 2013 the “panic attack” frequency increased to twice a week, with each lasting three to four hours. I felt like I was running a marathon for which I hadn’t trained. Meanwhile, I somehow had contracted a bad infection in my elbow while working on an old roof.
As I went to an urgent care center to receive an antibiotic, I experienced yet another attack. The doctor sent me to the emergency room, where I was admitted to the hospital and received IV therapy.
The doctor discovered my heartbeat had doubled because a blood vessel had caused an abnormal circuit. A heart specialist diagnosed me with tachycardia and told me I needed surgery that would cost about $60,000. The other option was to try medication.
We’d just set up a payment plan for my emergency room bills and more medical debt was out of the question, so I tried the medication. Unfortunately, it made me either too tired to work or too wakeful to sleep—and it didn’t stop the attacks.
Starting to feel desperate, we looked into health insurance options and the best we could find was a $1,200 per month policy with a $10,000 deductible. In a word, unaffordable.
Thankfully, a friend told us about Christian Healthcare Ministries. We looked into it right away and signed up in May 2014. We were relieved when CHM staff members told us that there were programs for pre-existing conditions were available and to seek the treatment I needed.*
After pre-negotiating some discounts, I had surgery that July. The results were life-changing: I felt 20 years younger within just a few weeks. I now wake each morning feeling rested and ready to take on the day’s challenges!
However, there was still $49,215 in outstanding medical bills. We knew that my surgery bills would be listed in the CHM newsletter’s Prayer Page so that readers could voluntarily contribute to our need. We’d read other members’ testimonies about how their Prayer Page needs were met and we had no doubt that God would take care of us, too.
We set up monthly payments with the hospital and received a generous check from CHM reflecting its members’ donations just before our first hospital payment was due. Subsequent checks have been enough to pay our monthly bill from the hospital.
After receiving the first check, we were so excited that we committed to sending money each month toward Prayer Page needs as our mission for 2015! We also had postcards printed so that we could send a special “thank you” to every CHM member who donated toward our bills.
In a world where it can be difficult to find integrity, even sometimes among people who say they’re Christians, the Prayer Page is a beacon of Christians caring and helping meet each other’s needs. We’re so thankful to be part of such a wonderful ministry. God bless CHM! *Editor’s note: Please see Guidelines Z and AA or chministries.org/preexistingconditions for CHM’s pre-existing conditions policy.