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Without a Heartbeat for 28 Minutes

Argyle, TX

It was a hot summer afternoon in Argyle, Texas when Gerald Gustin got an unusual message from his wife Kim.

“I don’t like the way I feel, I’m gonna go home,” says Kim.

She never made it there.

“I kept calling her over and over again and-and finally somebody answered the phone,” says Gerald. “‘Your wife’s been in an accident. Right now CPR is being administered to her.’” “Is it bad?” asks Gerald. “Yes, sir, it’s-it’s-it’s bad,” she responds.

Kim had passed out at the wheel and brushed the highway barrier. The woman who’d answered was a nurse who had stopped to help. Gerald stayed on the phone as she and a police officer performed CPR, trying to get a pulse.

“Reality sank in, I’m like—’she's-she's dead’” says Gerald. “’Lord, just let me get to her. Let me get to her. Let me see her. Don’t let this happen.’”

Kim was taken to Medical City Denton where she was intubated and treated for cardiac arrest. It was estimated she had been without a heartbeat for 28 minutes. Gerald remembers talking to the doctor soon after he arrived.

“Her body, her liver and her organs are shutting down,” says the doctor. “One thing we need to do is to control the bleeding in her lungs and get the lungs stabilized. We’re not sure she’s gonna make it through the night.”

Already, Gerald was trying to come to terms with losing his wife.

“To say, ‘I release you, or I let you go,’” says Gerald. “If God really wants you, this is the ultimate. You can’t choose between this place and Heaven.”

Even then, Gerald and their friends and family put their hope in God.

“God of the impossible,” says Gerald. “I remember saying, ‘Your Word says in II Corinthians that Your grace is sufficient and that Your power is made perfect in our weakness.’ And I said, ‘I’m begging You for a miracle.’”

Although Kim survived the night, she was still in critical condition. As Gerald prayed in the coming days, he says God spoke to him.

“’I’m doing a miracle. I’m answering your prayer,’” says Gerald. “If He tells me this is what’s gonna happen, it doesn’t matter what man says. This is what’s gonna happen. You just hold on to it.”

Kim began to stabilize, and doctors ordered an MRI. The results proved worrisome.

“’She’s had a stroke on the left side of her brain. It’s scattered over to the right side. It’s highly likely that she’s gonna be a vegetable,’” says the doctor. “And I kinda broke down after he left. This can’t be acceptable for me, please,” pleads Gerald.

Though her heart and lungs had improved, there was no way to gauge Kim’s mental state until they took her off the ventilator and brought her out of the coma. That day soon came. Gerald held on to God’s promise of a miracle.

“Remember what He’s told you, and cling to what he’s told you and know that His promises are ‘Yes and Amen,’” says Gerald. “His Word says that, ‘He-He has begun a good work and will bring it to completion.’ And when God speaks, even if He says, ‘No’, you’ve heard the voice of God.”

After being extubated the next day, Kim was awake. She couldn’t talk, but her family knew she was well on her way to healing.

“24 to 36 hours she was up in her bed and looking at her phone,” says Gerald. “And I thought this is remarkable. Me and my son would stand over her and she would follow our voice and our face and we’re like, ‘This is awesome.’ I mean, I was just like, man, let’s just go. Let’s-let’s-let’s bring her home.”

“Hello,” says Kim. “What do you really wanna tell him?” says the nurse. “Feed the dogs,” replies Kim.

On August 4th, three-and-a-half weeks after her accident, Kim left the hospital to continue her journey to healing through prayer and rehab.

“Literally the day that I left the hospital, and I was transported there, I remember that whole day,” says Kim. “And I realized that it wasn’t gonna be a quick fix. You know, it was gonna be a journey, and it was gonna be something that with God I would have to do.”

Kim would spend several weeks in rehab before finally coming home with most of her functionality returned. And though she nearly died that afternoon in July, today Kim enjoys time with her family, as they give thanks for the life she’s been given back.

“And I’m thankful that they were able to see God work and see the miracles that a lot of people don’t get to see,” says Kim.

“Kim is living proof of a resurrection,” says Gerald. “We see it every day. She lives a resurrected body.”

“A special thank you to Crossroads Tabernacle, nurses Courtney Lynch and Crystal Wright, and police officer Cody Long. Their support and role in Kim’s testimony and recovery are invaluable.”

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