The yellow rosary was given to me by a nun at St. Joseph Hospital in Wichita, Kansas when I had a stroke in July of 2002.
I had just given birth to our daughter, Hannah Gabrielle by cesarean section. She was beautiful and healthy. Sean and I were so happy to welcome our first daughter together and to our growing family, everything seemed just perfect. Little did I know that the scariest and most challenging thing I was ever to endure was getting ready to happen a few days after Hannah’s birth.
The first few days right after surgery I could just tell something was off. I had previously many cesarean sections, five to be exact. Hannah was my sixth cesarean delivery, so I had been through this before. I just didn’t feel well and had a dull headache that just wouldn’t go away.
I had visited the emergency room a few times because I wasn’t feeling well, and they told me it was the residual effects from the spinal block I had received for surgery and the headache would just wear off. Well, the headache didn’t wear off and it continued to worsen, within a few days I was experiencing the worst pain I had ever felt. Needless to say, I ended up in the emergency room a third time. They ended up taking me to labor and delivery and decided collectively to give me an epidural blood patch. The doctors figured that this procedure would end my incapacitating headache within minutes.
After the procedure, they had left me in the room by myself. I was relieved knowing that within minutes I would have some type of relief, so I decided to watch the clock. One, two, three minutes had passed and no relief. I was praying. I was at nine minutes counting and things went black. I couldn’t see. Just like that, I was blind.
It was so dark, and I was scared. I was thinking, is this really happening? I started yelling for the doctors and nurses; everyone seemed to rush in and started asking me questions. Examining me. I had never been more terrified in my life. Things were happening so quickly. I was admitted to the hospital and the next thing I remember was having an MRI and CT scan. The doctor told my sister, who was with me at the time, I had a stroke and it caused my blindness. I just bawled. I was devastated.
That first night in the hospital, I was told that you could hear me screaming all the way down the hallway. I was in so much pain and scared. I felt like I was in hell. I couldn’t understand what was happening to me. I thought what did I do to deserve this.
The next few days were kind of a blur. I had no concept of time, everything was dark.
I had asked for a rosary. I was in a Catholic hospital. I just knew I needed one. I felt that the only thing I needed to get me through this ordeal was prayer and a whole lot of faith. Even though it was very scary, I could feel God’s graces and presence upon me and it gave me peace.
Sean read to me for those few days. He read the only thing he found in my hospital room… a bible He read many stories, it was so wonderful to hear his deep voice. I felt some comfort. He was reading the story about Paul on his way to Damascus to persecute the Christians and God had struck him down and blinded him for three days. I told Sean, “Wouldn’t that be awesome if that is what God is doing to me?” Sean was skeptical and said, “I wouldn’t count on it”. But my childlike faith had kicked in at this point, which could only be God’s amazing graces and I just believed for a miracle.
I could feel God’s graces and presence upon me and it gave me peace.
When I would sleep, I could see visions. Visions of color and light, I feel that God was slowly repairing the damage caused by the stroke. I could feel things moving, hear noises and wondered what was happening inside my brain. I just knew it had to be God.
God does work miracles and not only was my faith changed forever during this time in my life, my eyesight was completely restored after three dark days and nights. God is so amazing if you just believe.
I have always favored this yellow rosary. When I pray with it I always remember the trials I went through and the unwavering FAITH I had at that time in my life. Not to mention all of the many prayers that have been answered through praying a rosary, this yellow rosary.
Mary has always been very special to me. I always pray a protective mantel and blessings to cover my family, children, and grandchildren. Padre Pio the stigmatic priest said, “The Rosary is the weapon” and I truly believe this without a doubt.