It Is Not His Time To Go

By Jeanna Kish
The Story of Freddie Kish – September 26, 2000 thru Dec 10, 2000
The start of our day was the usual, get up, go to work for Freddie, for Jeanna, is was get up, get the kids to school and off to work.  But this day was packed with adventure for Jeanna as today was a great day for an afternoon Photography workshop that was being held in Temple….so Jeanna got to leave work early today and learn her love of photography and hang out with some of her photo buddies.
As the events turned, the photo workshop got cut off short as Freddie called and said, “I’m not feeling too good, do you mind coming home early so I can go home”.  So feeling a bit cheated from my fun day, I left the workshop early and raced back shop so Freddie could go home early.  This was also Monday and my daughter had High School marching band practice from 7-9pm.  So after racing home to close the shop, running home to grab the kids for practice, I did not take time to eat dinner but somehow I acquired a bag of peanuts and ate them while I watched the marchers practice.  When the kids and I arrived home that night, Freddie was already in bed asleep.  So being that I did not eat supper and ate peanuts for dinner somehow took a toll on my digestive system and about 2:30am I awoke with a sick stomach and actually got sick at my stomach.  When I got back into bed, I noticed Freddie got up and got sick as well….I thought how bizarre is that for both of us to get sick…had we caught a virus at work??   I was still a bit mad for him making me leave my workshop early and relieve him, so I didn’t have much sympathy for his whining and such after all I too was sick.  After lying in bed for 20 min or so, it dawned on me that something was truly wrong with my husband.  So I rushed to the closet, got dressed, and tried to wake him up.  Now he is curled up like a baby in the fetal position, crying and moaning, but not really conscious about what he is doing.  He really didn’t want to bother me and he had no idea that he was really hurting.  I convinced him that we must go to the hospital to see what is wrong with you.  He said, I will be ok, just leave me alone and let me be.  But I said, no, you are going to get up and get dressed.  I have to get you to the hospital.  So we got into my truck and off we go to Hillcrest Hospital.  I woke my daughter and told her we were off to the hospital and that I would be home in time to get her and her brother to school.  This was about 3 am.  I would have called 911, but living as far out in the boonies as we did, I knew we would have a much better chance of me getting him to hospital in record breaking time if I drove him….so I did, and I can make Hillcrest in almost 15-18 min from our home, which for the normal person would take a good 30 minutes.  I knew someday my driving skills would come in handy…I just didn’t know I would be flat tracking my dying husband to the hospital….but fortunately for him…I did.
As we entered into the emergency room admittance, we were bypassed by the usual fill out the paperwork and wait game, as they rushed him into a room and quickly began to evaluate the situation at hand.   I then returned to give the admittance clerk all the information needed as you know you don’t get far without your insurance paperwork these days!  
Initially the doctors had several scenarios as to what was wrong with him.  We had no idea.  We thought it could have been his gallbladder or his heart….but never in our wildest dreams thought about it being his pancreas.  I didn’t even know what a pancreas was before that time.  We did know that if it was his gallbladder that it probably would have to come out quick before it burst.  The doctors did the usual testing and ran a cat scan to see what was the culprit of this pain that was shooting through his body.  And was he ever in pain!  Freddie was not one to ever bow down to a little pain…but this pain was the worst pain any person could bear.  The doctors gave him morphine, dose after dose, and the highest of doses could not make this pain go away.  This angered him as he thought nobody cared about much he was hurting, but after a little wifely comforting and settling him down, he was able to manage and try to bear the pain.  
As morning was fast approaching, the doctors told me to go ahead and leave as I had two children to tend to and get ready for school, not to mention a business to run, that had nobody to open up or run the place because only Freddie and I were the key holders.  So trying not to worry about Freddie, I went home to care for the kids, take a shower and get ready for a very long day.  It was around 5 am when I arrived home only to have the emergency room doctor call me and tell me the results of the cat scan were back and that I had a very sick husband and that he might not make it.  Hysterical was an understatement as to how I took the news.  I said,”What?? My husband is not going to make it?? What do you mean??  What could possibly be wrong with him that he’s not going to make it?”
The Doctor reported that the cat scan showed spots on his liver that seemed to be cancerous, however, they would not know until they took a sample, his pancreas was pretty much blown up in his chest cavity and his blood levels were far from being normal.  They said, “Your husband has been sick for a very long time”.  I was simply flabbergasted and blind struck…How could this be happening to us?  We were basically newlyweds and had actually just opened our auto repair business almost one year ago.  We actually became business partners before we married, as I had no intentions of remarrying again. I thought to myself been there done that and felt as though I failed in my first marriage, so why would I want to do it again, but Freddie and I were with each other 24/7 and I do mean 24/7!  So on February 4th 1999 (a Thursday) at 6pm and after a full days work, Freddie and I tied the knot.  We married in our church office with just the pastor and the two children.  We went to dinner with the kids and celebrated our marriage and went home that night to get up and go to work the following day.  
So how could something so bad happen to someone who was so good?
Why Lord…why us???  What did we do to deserve this torture?  Was this a test of our faith?? Or were you just using us to set an example for others?  We were very obedient in our church attendance and hardly ever missed a Sunday; we both were on committees as we were both key members of the church and wanted to see our church get its own building.  Everyone knew us at church and we had a great family there.  On the day of the illness, September 26th, I called the church office to ask to talk to the preacher.  I remember the day well….it was a Tuesday and I knew that the preacher was there as they always had a men’s prayer meeting on Tuesday mornings at 7am.  My call was right at 7am and I told them I needed to talk to somebody now.  The associate pastor, Dick, not knowing my emergency told me that someone would call me back after they had their meeting.  I said, “NO, this can not wait and I need someone to pray for me right now!”  
This got his attention.  I told him the story and what the emergency room doctor had said and that Freddie was very sick and might not make it and I needed their help.  They quickly took the reins and went to the hospital to see that Freddie was cared for while I got the kids to school and opened the shop.  I will never forget it….our pastor, Ken, the associate pastor, Dick and one of the founding elders, Frank.  I called them the three musketeers….or I could have said the “Three Wise Men”, but nonetheless, they dropped everything on their schedules and came to my rescue, not knowing what was to come of this tragic moment.  
They got to the emergency room just in time to watched Freddie rip out tubes and IV’s as he told the doctors he had to go to work.   Now keep in mind that Freddie was still in incredible pain, but knew that he had to go to work, as nobody could do what Freddie did.  Well after getting the kids to school and going to the shop to open up, I finally arrived at the hospital around 8:30am and convinced Freddie that he had to stay and see if they could find out what was wrong with him and see if the doctors could run some additional tests to find out what they were going to do with him.   He was not very receptive to this, but I was insistent that he stay and get some medical attention and he was clearly in no position to go to work.  They did run another cat scan that morning and found that those liver spots that were supposedly cancer…were actually dust spots on the film!  What a relief I thought…but why is he in so much pain.  Isn’t there anything you can do for him??  
The doctors reply was “No, we can only administer so much pain medicine, and over time, the pain will diminish.”  They had never seen a man receive so much pain medicine and still be feeling anything….his pain level was about 10 times that of what a woman in labor would experience…and knowing that first hand…..that is some kind of pain!
Around 10am that Tuesday morning Freddie was finally admitted to a room in ICU to the 5th floor.  A place that nobody wants to go to!  The Critical Illness Floor…or the Doom Floor….the floor where you go to die!  Freddie stayed on this floor and in his room for 4 weeks!  This was four of the longest weeks of my life.  We watched many patients come and go on that floor and death was all around us.  Freddie had at one time 7 or 8 Doctors who ranged in their fields from the family physician to the general surgeon and everything in between.  All the doctors had to correspond with each other every time they did something or if one administered medicine, the others had to know about it too as everyone’s decisions affected the others.  The main doctor and the one that I will testify actually saved his life was Dr. Wilson, his kidney doctor.  Dr. Wilson told me after about a week or two of Freddie being in the hospital, that he was not getting any better and that he would probably code that night.  Dr. Wilson asked me if I thought they should resuscitate Freddie or just let him go peacefully.  I looked at him and said, “Of course I want you to resuscitate him and you will do so until I say to stop, but Dr. Wilson,” I said, “he’s not going to code tonight.  Freddie is going to be okay.”
 Dr Wilson said, “How do you know that? Your husband is a very sick man and he’s an alcoholic whose pancreas is in pieces all over his body, his blood levels are jumping all over the page and we cannot seem to stabilize him, so why do you think he’s going to live?”  
I told him, “First off, God has a plan for Freddie, and it is not his time to go.  Secondly, Freddie is NOT an alcoholic. Don’t get me wrong, he does drink occasionally, but I know an alcoholic when I see one and I am with him 24/7.  Freddie does not drink excessively or to the point of drunkenness, so I personally know that he is not an alcoholic.  He’s a workaholic,” I said, “but not an alcoholic!”  Besides that, we were working ourselves silly trying to make our business successful and doing all that we could do to merely get by and pay our bills. We didn’t have time to drink or the money to buy the booze.  So with that said Dr. Wilson said he was going to put him on his prayer list and pray for him nightly and that he was also going to call the nurses station every 4 hours around the clock and monitor his blood levels very closely so that he could help Freddie get better if he could.  
Over the course of the four long weeks in ICU, Freddie had had many blood samples, many cat scans and was still on morphine for pain.  He was on so much morphine that he went off on crazy trips in his mind and talked out of his head telling some of the most bizarre stories you have ever heard.  This became a great source of entertainment for the kids and me. When I would get home the kids would always ask, “What did Freddie have to say today?” They knew it would be something that could make them laugh and make light of this horrible situation we were all bearing.  
The four weeks of ICU was only the beginning of Freddie’s hospital stay.  He actually stayed in the hospital for ten full weeks.  Freddie was known in the hospital as “Dead Man Walking” as there was no real reason for him to be alive.  I never gave in to the fact that he was so sick that he was going to die.  I told everyone I knew that Freddie was indeed sick, very sick, but there was nothing that God could not do and that God could restore his health and eventually he did.  Over the course of the ten week hospital stay and reviewing the cat scan reports with the surgeon it was a miraculous discovery that Freddie’s pancreas started to mold itself back together.  The surgeon would ring his hands and say, “Well, it looks like we don’t have to do anything just yet.  His body is looking like it’s healing itself.  So let’s give him another few days and see how he looks.”
During the hospital stay for Freddie, I couldn’t help but realize that most people under this kind of stress would merely fold up and have a nervous break down, but knowing that God was in charge made my life livable.  It was a very trying and stressful 10 weeks of my life, and there were times when I felt the whole world was crumbling around me, but knowing that God was in charge helped me get through those tough times.  Our church was under a lot of tension during this time as well.  We were a young church with lots of problems and lost our focus on what was really important in life. Our church through Freddie learned to come together and be there for each other.  The spirituality of the church grew greatly and the little problems didn’t seem so important as did the life of Freddie.  One of our newest members of our church, Dorothy, an elderly lady, got on the 700 Club and had members praying for Freddie all over the world.  Now that is world wide recognition at its best!  
Dorothy would come to me with stories that would actually give me goose bumps over my entire body.  I did not know her before Freddie was in the hospital, but she told me on the day of his illness attack that she was driving down Hwy 84 (which ran parallel to our shop) that about at the time she was even with our shop, she got a message from God that something was wrong with a man in our church and that she was to pray for him.  So she did, she prayed and prayed, but had no idea who this man she was praying for or why, but that he was very sick and needed her prayer.  She then learned during a Wednesday night prayer meeting at the church, that Freddie was in the hospital and was very ill and for everyone to keep him in his prayers.  That was so powerful to me that someone who didn’t even know us, knew through God that there was a need close by and to take it into their hands and show others that God is really in control of our lives and to let him be the one to heal us through their prayers.  
Wow……we are so little….yet God is so Big and so Powerful.  He truly was my salvation during these troubled times and had I not had the power of prayer in my life and the salvation of my savior to help me through those troubled times of uncertainty, I do not know how I could have made it through the day.  It is such a blessing to know that though we can make choices for ourselves, we have God to lean on in the good times and especially during the bad times to get us through and to help us survive in this crazy world.  I am truly grateful for Dr. Wilson for taking the extra time and having the faith that Freddie was not just your typical pancreas victim.  I also cannot thank our church enough for being there day and night during those 10 weeks and ultimately for God for working through the doctors to help them make the right choices to heal Freddie.
Freddie will forever remain a diabetic, but he is not your typical type 1 or type 2 diabetic, as he is just living without a full pancreas and has a pancreas that is not capable of producing the insulin needed to maintain a healthy blood sugar level.  So with every shot of insulin that he takes, he is always reminded that he could have been taken off to Heaven, but instead, God had a plan for him, a plan to help others and show others how truly powerful our God is and that nothing is impossible for God.
Our shop has prospered as well, going from a 6,000 sq foot shop with 3 employees to a 18,000 sq foot shop now employing 20 employees plus Freddie and me. Not bad for a business that will celebrate it’s 10th anniversary this December 2008.  Freddie has not worked on a car since he went into the hospital on Sept 26th, 2000 and now cannot work on cars due to the danger it could have to cutting his hand and the effect that diabetics have with cuts that can lead to loss of limbs.  He now shares his talents and knowledge with his technicians and helps them to become better technicians through his past knowledge of cars and repairs.