Ray S Johnson and a Blessing From the Lord
Monday, May 9, 1977
We were told that Ray was in the west Millard Hospital with pneumonia. We were not too concerned because Ray would receive proper medical attention and be out in three or four days.
Tuesday, May 10
Karla called saying the Ray was being brougt to the Utah Valley Hospital by an ambulance. He was to get there about 5:45 pm and if I would be there to meet him. I was at the emergency room about 5:00 pm. No one there was aware that he was coming. About five minutes before he got there the driver of the ambulance called in and said that they were on their way and would be there in about five minutes.
Ray arrived within a short time. He was hooked up to the oxygen and breathing in very rapid short breaths. MaryAnne was in tears which was understandable. Karla and Jim were waiting in the parking lot. thee came in just as soon as the ambulance arrived.
Ray appeared sicker than I thought. As soon as he was in a room and placed on a hospital bed I became light headed and felt that I might faint. I had to sit down.
It could have turned into a tragedy because there was no one ready for him or ready to begin giving him any emergency treatment. A doctor was finally located. He did not get there before Ray was placed in a regular hospital bed and room. It was hard to keep track of the time, but in seemed like more than an hour.
The doctor looked at his x-rays and said that his condition was serious. He then went in and looked at Ray. He then reported that Ray was in super critical condition. Ray was then taken to intensive care on the second floor. Dr. Bateman, the doctor that was called in, told us that there was lung by pass machine that had been used in Salt Lake City on an experimental basis for people whose lungs had completely failed them. He said that he just heard about it and then began trying to locate the doctors that operated it. It took him a couple of hours to find them. However, he wanted to know about the success of it before he would send anyone up there.
MaryAnne was trying to call her parents, but was unable to get a hold of them. She had tried to call her in Delta and no one was home so she then called Paul. Paul told them where Ray was. MaryAnne never did get a hold of them by the phone. They just arrived.
Several times during the three hours I was there, I called Carol reporting Ray's condition. I was unable to talk clearly because of tears and the extreme sadness and emotional stress of the situation.
I then came home. Just after I got home Ray's Father-in-law called and said that they were sending Ray to the LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City. An ambulance and a team of doctors and nurses were coming down from Salt Lake City to pick him up. Ray's Father-in-law reported that it would take about two hours to get Ray ready for the ride to Salt Lake City. A tube was inserted into Ray's trachea where he was given 100% oxygen under pressure. The doctor that came to get him said that 40 out of 100 people with the same condition had survived.
We had got word from mother saying that she would arrive in Salt Lake City at 12:45 am from Tulsa, Oklahoma. We would go and pick her up. About 9:30 Paul and Marilyn came. At 10:30 we left for the Salt Lake City Airport to pick up mother. We were an hour early, but we wanted to be there in case she got there sooner. she was on time so we had to wait for little over an hour. Mother was upset when she go there. We picked up her luggage and went to the hospital.
At the hospital the person at the desk had no indication that Ray was there or was coming. I went to the telephone and was trying to call the Utah Valley Hospital. It took me a little while to get the number and place the call in the pay phone. I got the call through and the operater had just asked me to deposit the $1.25 for the call. MaryAnn came in as I was about to place the money into the phone. I told the operator to cancel the call and I hung up the phone.
MaryAnn's father told us the room that they would have Ray in. It was here when her father told about the amount of time it took to get Ray ready to move to Salt Lake City. We went up to the respiratory intensive care room. The nurse told us that Ray was not there yet, but would soon be there. She told us a little about what we should do and they would do.
Ray got to the hospital about 1:30 am Wednesday morning. He was brought in on the ambulance bed hooked up to life supporting tubes and wires. The doctor and nurses both told us that he was very sick and it would take a couple of hours to have him ready to begin treatment, or they called therapy.
Mother asked the doctor if we could give him a blessing. The doctor said that we could give him the blessing after they had him ready which would take at least two hours. Mother felt that if we could not administer to him for over two hours, we should have family prayer At that time a nurse came in saying that the doctor was not LDS and did not know what we were talking about. She said that it would be all right for us to go in and administer to him. Paul, Maryann, and myself washed up and put on gowns so we could go in. It was hard to get close to the bed because of all the equipment, wires, and tubes. We were however, able to get to the head of the bed. Paul anointed and I sealed the anointing and gave Ray a blessing.
I have given blessings to many other people and some who were very close (my father and a day old son). The words did not come to me very easily at those times. The blessings were more general and did not contain any phrases that said that they would be spared from death. At this time as I gave Ray the blessing the words came I promised Ray that he would make a complete recovery and as an after thought added if it was heavenly father's will. I then went on to tell him that his mission on this earth was not completed, that he had responsibilities of a small family and wife. They needed to be cared for. I asked a blessing on the doctors and nurses that they might have good judgement and do those things necessary to help in his recovery. As I finished the blessing, mother came in and I deeply regretted that I had not waited for her.
The nurses said that Ray could hear. I told him what I was doing and he nodded his approval. We then went into the waiting room to wait. It was a long wait. Paul and Marilyn went home. He had to be back to milk.
As I waited the rest of the morning I felt that Ray was going to recover and regain his full health and strength. Even though the promise that he was going to recover that given in his blessing there were a number of times in the next 24 hours when our anxiety got pretty high.
After the blessing the family knelt in prayer in a small room to the side. Paul led the family in prayer and mentioned Ray's responsibilities as head of his family.
Wednesday, May 11, 1977
After a restless and hectic time, Kim came and got us and took us back home. It was about 7:30. I stayed there until about 1:30. I then went back to the hospital. The other doctor was talking to the family. He said that Ray had a 50-50 chance. His condition was listed the same, but there were a few improvements. His color looked better, and the oxygen content of the blood had increased. I came home about 8:00. No one in the family stayed with him that night. We asked the nurses to have the elders administer to him.
Thursday, May 12, 1977
I went to school and called in about 8:30. His condition was the same, but there were more small improvements. When Ray was awake he was writing a few notes to MaryAnn. I called two more times that day. Paul and Jim administered to him again.
Friday, May 13, 1977
Ray was continuing to improve and the doctors said that his improvement was much more rapid than was expected. By evening they were considering taking out the tube from his trachea. That night I took Richard, Robert and Eric to a father and son aaronic Priesthood outing.
Saturday, May 14, 1977
Carol and I went up to see Ray, His condition was still improving. He wrote us a note and thanked us for our prayers. He looked much better. The gave him a test to determine if they could take out the tube. he was not ready. We came home. The doctors were talking about three and six month check up.
Sunday, May 15, 1977
At 6:30 am mother called and wanted us to fast to help Ray in his recovery. I called Karla and Jim. All our family fasted except Elizabeth. Carol and I drove up to see Ray. He waved at us when we came in. They had taken the tube out, and were giving him therapy so we were unable to see him.
Monday, May 16,1977
Ray's recovery is continuing. When I called MaryAnn, she said that Ray ate breakfast that morning. The doctors were considering taking him out of intensive care tomorrow.
Ray was taken out of intensive care in a few days. He was placed in a private room. I called several time each day for the next couple of days. Ray reported that he was weak, but was slowly getting his strength back. By the end of the week, Ray was able to go back home. He had to return to the hospital several different times for check ups.
I know that Ray would not have recovered if it were not for the administrations that he had been given and the faith and prayers of his family and many friends. Finally if it were not for the honoring of the many prayers to our Heavenly Father.