Stephanie Jacobson, a consultant with MODG, shared with us her recent experience of navigating a medical emergency with her husband and witnessing the unmistakable presence of God throughout.
MRS. JACOBSON: “I was doing a consultation one Saturday, and my husband Dan was working in the yard a lot, doing lots of hard yard work. He was unusually tired and hadn’t done that much work in a while. That night he felt a heaviness that didn’t seem normal. He also had a funny feeling in both arms, but because it was both arms and not just the left one, we thought it must not be a heart attack. We thought he was just sore. On Sunday morning he still felt funny and mentioned that he read that it’s possible to have a heart attack for longer than one day. I thought to myself that if he has a heart attack it would be during Mass.
“About halfway through the homily, Dan had to leave. Our priest later joked that his homily must have been that bad! My daughter Erin shared with me that the homily was about putting your spiritual life and concerns ahead of your physical life, so that resonated with her when reflecting on this.
“After Dan walked out, trying to find a place to sit down, a woman came up to him and, asking if she could help, said that she was a nurse.”
The nurse had been out walking with her son, who had been getting agitated. This allowed her to hear that someone was in trouble. On finding that she was a former cardiologist nurse, Mrs. Jacobson knew that God had sent her to Dan.
MRS. JACOBSON: “The nurse asked him to lie down, since his color was not good. Dan then heard her say that she couldn’t hear his pulse.
“This is the second time someone has said that to Dan. The first was on an airplane on Ash Wednesday. He was fasting, and almost lost his life. There was a doctor on that flight and they almost had to divert the plane because they were losing him. They couldn’t feel his pulse then either. This time, the nurse had us call 911 right away.
“Once the paramedics came, he was going down really fast and couldn’t breathe. Once I got to the hospital, the paramedics came out to ask me about his medication, and my priest was already there after Mass.
“I asked the paramedics what their names were so I could thank them. The first one said his name was Frank. The other one paused, like she really wanted me to hear what she was going to say. She said her name was Alex. I started crying.”
The Jacobson family shared that they named their children alphabetically, from their son Austin down to their daughter Erin. In addition to these five children, they also had two miscarriages - one before Austin and one after Erin. The last one would have had a name starting with an 'F'. The first one they decided long ago would have been named Alex.
MRS. JACOBSON: “So I feel like we have a boy and a girl up there!"
Mrs. Jacobson notes the overwhelming power of prayer that surrounded them during this time.
MRS. JACOBSON: “Because it happened during Mass, people were praying there. Sunday night rosaries were organized, and thousands of people were praying for Dan. I feel like it was network of all of these prayers.”
With Mr. Jacobson recovering, Mrs. Jacobson was able to talk to the cardiologist nurse who had first attended to her husband in the church. Good news was found there as well - the nurse’s son calmed down right away when the ambulance came because his favorite things are lights and trucks!