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No More Setbacks

Bothell, WA

“I came home, and the house was empty,” Monica Henriksen recalls, “Things were rearranged. Things in the hallway were pushed aside.”

The only thing missing from Monica’s home that March 13th, 2020, was her husband, Martin.

Earlier that day Martin says, “I remember talking to my friend Carl and him telling me to call 911. And I did. And the last thing I remember is hitting 911. That's it.”

The week before, Martin went to his doctor with flu-like symptoms and having trouble breathing. With Covid-19 just hitting the U.S., there was no reason to suspect he had the deadly virus.

His symptoms had worsened, and now he was at the medical center in Bellevue, Washington, where Monica spoke with a doctor.

She recalls, "He said, ‘Well, he has COVID. He's very, very, very sick.’ We didn't know what we were dealing with as far as COVID was concerned.” 

Over the next two weeks, with her husband sedated, on a ventilator and in quarantine, Monica posted updates on a CaringBridge page, asking for prayer. Martin’s blood oxygen levels were low, but manageable. He also had a short bout with pneumonia.  

However, by March 29th, he went from needing only 55% oxygen, to 100%. Monica remembers, “I was devastated. And I'm like, ‘Don't go on me, Martin. Don't go on me. Hang in there. Uh just hang in there’."

Five days later, Monica was allowed to see her husband. She wasn’t prepared for the solution doctors offered.

She recalls, “They wanted to morph him up and end his life. That's, you know, they didn't see anything else that they could do. And I just, I was stunned. And I told the doctor, I said, ‘Well, we have people praying. People are praying.’ And he said, ‘That's great, that's great. But the reality is, is that he's just not getting better.'" 

Monica refused the doctor's advice. Instead she continued calling on family and friends for prayer and drawing on her own faith in God to give her the strength to fight for her husband.

She says, “I had asked God at times, ‘If I need to stop, just let me know. I know, God, you are more than able to stop me in my tracks.’ But I just didn't have it in me to stop hoping. At one time I knelt down at Martin's, the chair that he liked to sit in and just put my face in the chair and just cried. And just cried out to God.”

By mid-April, a month into his stay, Martin had suffered through another bout with pneumonia. Now breathing through a trach tube, his blood oxygen levels were still dangerously low.

About that time, Monica got an encouraging message from a friend on Facebook. She recalls, “The Lord told him there would be no more setbacks. And I said, ‘Okay, I'm taking that.'" 

Then another friend called with some exciting news. Monica recalls that her friend said, “They prayed for Martin on The 700 Club. And I said, ‘You're kidding.'"

Terry Meeusen had a word from God about Martin, “There is someone named Martin. I don’t know what you are praying for…but the Lord does, and he is in the process of answering and responding to your prayer.”

Monica says, “Of course, we were all excited, because it just seemed, again, you know, you think there's no hope, and then "boom" something like that comes uh through and God just shows that He is in charge. And from then on, I mean, God did just amazing, amazing things.” 

Within two days, Martin was starting to breath on his own and doctors were able to decrease Martin’s oxygen supply from 100% to 60%. A little over two weeks later on May 3rd, people lined the hallways as he was wheeled from isolation to a regular ICU room. Monica says, “It was nothing short of a miracle. Nothing short of a miracle.”

On May 13th, Martin’s 54th birthday, he was released from the hospital to go to rehab and another parade was thrown to celebrate his recovery. That day Martin said, “I just want to thank everyone who works here. They literally saved my life.”

Monica recalls, “I was so excited to see him and so blown away that God had done this to this little couple from Bothell.” And Martin says, “It just made me very thankful that God saved my life.” 

Three weeks later, on June 10, almost three months after going into the hospital, Martin finally came home. Still recovering, he learned how close to death he came and about all the people who were praying for him.

Martin believes, “I knew that it was only God that I survived. Having guys from work praying for me, that was pretty cool. It was touching, just to have that many people praying. And 700 Club and all that. It's pretty cool.”

Today, Martin and Monica know it was the power of prayer that brought both of them through.

Martin says, “God answered the prayers. And that's the only thing that saved my life. I was really, really close to being dead. And there's no way I should be here. It's only because of God.”

Monica says, “It’s just like, wow, God, how much do you love us? That you would heal my husband, that you would give us this story to be part of. I'll tell anybody that'll listen. Because people need to hear this good news. They need to know that there is a God out there that cares about us and loves us.”

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