After a terrifying flight for life helicopter ride in April, Pastor Robert Morris of Gateway Church in Texas returned to the pulpit this weekend. Explaining what happened to him and the incredible events and people that aligned to save his life, Morris said the experience taught him three important things.
“I’m here because of prayers and some phenomenal first responders and medical professionals,” Morris began. He then told the story of the events that unfolded nearly two months ago.
The day after Easter Morris had hernia surgery. Originally, he explained, they thought his medical emergency had something to do with this surgery, but now he knows everything with that surgery went as it was supposed to, and what happened to him afterward was virtually unexplainable.
Six days after that surgery, Morris and his wife, Debbie, were at their home located well outside the city of Dallas. Morris said it’s about an hour and a half- to two-hour drive to Dallas from there. When Morris began feeling ill, he tried taking a bath but needed Debbie’s help to get in the tub. As he was getting in, he passed out and stopped breathing for 30 seconds. Debbie called the paramedics, who came and treated Morris for dehydration. They gave him fluid and left.
Later that day, Morris passed out again while trying to stand up. When the paramedics came the second time, they tried taking his pulse. Morris explains his pulse was so low, neither paramedic could feel it. Using humor to break the tension of the story he was recalling, Morris said it was a little bizarre listening to two paramedics ask each other if they could feel a pulse and listen to their whole conversation while lucid. One paramedic, who had experience as a helicopter medic, told Morris his situation was “life or death” and that he needed to be transported by helicopter immediately.
The paramedics told Debbie she should say goodbye to Morris in the event he didn’t survive the helicopter ride. Morris’ voice wavered and his eyes filled with tears as he recalls saying goodbye to Debbie and recording a video saying goodbye to his children and grandchildren.
Morris did make it to the hospital, though, and underwent several tests before the doctors found two torn arteries that were leaking blood into his abdominal cavity. Morris told his congregation that something like that normally takes just minutes to kill someone, yet it had been 45 minutes from the time the paramedics came to his house the second time and he arrived at the hospital. He had lost over 50 percent of his blood—losing just 40 percent can kill someone, Morris pointed out. This is just one of the instances Morris recalled made him think something supernatural was taking place to save his life. He asked Debbie to send updates on his condition out via social media; he was convinced he needed prayer as much as he needed medical attention.
Once the internal bleeding was discovered and he was given a blood transfusion, Morris recovered in the ICU first, then was moved to a regular hospital room. All told, he was in the hospital for eight days.
Even after his blood pressure came back up and recovery had begun, Morris said the doctors were still baffled by the internal bleeding. One doctor, who attends Gateway Church, told Morris there was “no medical reason why you started bleeding in two places.” Even more significant, though, is the doctor’s conclusion about Morris’ ability to recover: “There’s no medical reason why you’re still alive today.”