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Pastor’s Wife Says Husband Pronounced Dead Is Actually Alive: ‘I Need Ya’ll To Go to Church and Pray’

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L: Megan Marlow gives an update on her husband's health. R: Friends show their support after singing "God Is So Good." Screenshot from Facebook / @Megan Marlow

A pastor from Wilkesboro, North Carolina, who was pronounced brain dead on Saturday, Aug. 27, is still alive. North Carolina pastor Ryan Marlow’s wife, Megan Marlow, says her family is “dumbfounded,” and while she is praying for a miracle, she is trusting God no matter what. 

“I don’t know, my husband still may go to glory with all of this,” said Megan Marlow in a Facebook Live video Wednesday evening. “He may still be with Jesus at the end of all this…but I have to just trust God’s trying to do something, and whatever it is, I’m just going to trust him and pray.”

North Carolina Pastor Ryan Marlow’s Ordeal

Ryan Marlow is the pastor of Grace Baptist Church in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina. According to a GoFundMe page set up for the Marlows, Ryan began having concerning symptoms on Aug. 13 and “since then he has spent many hours at the emergency department in Davie [County] awaiting for a bed to open up at Baptist Hospital (neurology department). He had lots of labs and two MRIs that revealed that there is ‘something’ on the top of his spine.”

Doctors thought that the North Carolina pastor might have multiple sclerosis, cancer, or a tumor. In a Friday, Aug. 26, Facebook Live video, Megan gave an update that her husband, who was intubated, had just successfully come out of surgery and that the doctor had told her he knew what was wrong with him. Ryan had tested positive for listeria, which is an infection people typically get through food poisoning and is treatable with antibiotics. 

At least part of the impact on Ryan, according to Megan, has been paralysis on the left side of his body and the right side of his face, as well as problems with his vocal chords and eyesight, all due to bacteria attacking his brain. Megan asked people to pray for a full recovery and continued filming as supporters in the hospital waiting room sang, “God Is So Good.”

But in an Aug. 31 Facebook live video, updating people on what had transpired since, Megan shared that on Saturday, Aug. 27, the doctor had pronounced Ryan brain dead.  “He has passed away. He has suffered neurological death,” she said the doctor told her.

Megan said healthcare workers recorded Ryan’s time of death and informed her that since her husband was an organ donor, the process of finding matches would now begin. “He was on life support, and they told me he would remain on life support until they found all of the donors,” she said.

Megan spent Sunday and Monday at home grieving her husband’s passing, which a local news station covered. During that time, she received messages apprising her of test results regarding the condition of Ryan’s organs. Tuesday was to have been the day when he would have been extubated and his organs removed. 

Monday evening, Megan received a call from the doctor who said that an expert panel had discovered there was a mistake and that Ryan was not brain dead. When she asked what that meant, the doctor explained her husband was still essentially brain dead, but the hospital would change the time of death from Saturday to Tuesday when Ryan went to have his organs removed. 

“I was very confused by this,” said Megan.

When Megan and her family arrived at the hospital Tuesday, her niece, who had been with Ryan that morning, had some shocking news. Megan’s niece said she had been playing Ryan videos of his children and he had started moving his feet. 

“I can’t make this up,” said Megan. “I cannot make this up.” She did not want to have “false hope” because she knew that the bodies of people who are brain dead can still have reflexes.