I was never supposed to survive to see my 58th Birthday. But even when things looked the bleakest, Ana Tigre refused to believe that my health issues could not be turned around. In 2001 I was in congestive heart failure, needed a transplant and was told I would never get on a donor list. I was given 10-15 years maximum to live then. I did my best to stretch things out but my health started deteriorating and I had constant problems. I was hospitalized a handful of times and two years ago I was given 6 months or less to live.
Ana wasn’t having it. She started to do her own research. Ana took responsibility for my nutrition and we made a plan to manage my stress and workload. While the plan she made accounted for some of the improvements made in my heart health, there were other changes that can’t be explained other than Devine intervention. An answer to a lot of prayer.
A year ago I was given a clean bill of health, in fact much better than that. The list of problems I had were gone and I was told by my cardiologist that I had the veins and heart health of a 20 year old man. I had not used any medication, my choice, and the doctor had no medical explanation for the changes. He just told me to keep on doing whatever I was doing.
Even with that news it was important to celebrate 58 years of life and on my birthday last week Ana and I celebrated quietly together.
Oddly there are many that want to debate the validity of the changes made and how we did it, and of course our faith in God. I really don’t have any spare time to waste debating any of that, nor do I care if anyone is skeptical. I know I’m alive and I know what we did to get here. I’m not trying to sell anything or convince anyone to do anything, I’m just sharing my story about beating death.
I now have a life to live and each day I give thanks for the gift I have been given and I set a goal each day to bring something good to someone else so their day can be better. Spreading that precious gift around.
I wanted to be on the beach for my birthday. It’s our favorite place to be. I had to work so I booked a shoot with my long time and very dear friend Timea Majorova. Ana and Jesse and our two beautiful puppies were there enjoying the day while we worked. Afterwards, we went to my favorite sunset spot and soaked up the breathtaking beauty of a very special day coming to a close. And I did get the cake, a beautiful home baked Angel Food, my favorite and made with love by Ana.
For me now, it’s about living. Really truly living life, not just spending it. I will never forget those hopeless feelings of slowly facing death. Nor will I forget the voices that assured me there was nothing that could be done. What they were saying is there was nothing more they could do. There is a difference.
Ana always had faith, and God was always there. He had more for me to do, my race wasn’t over yet. I just had to believe and do what he put in our hearts to do.
I don’t take a single second for granted and never will. It sure feels good to be 58.
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