Darrin Godin slept in a hospital bed with a machine breathing for him.
A healthcare executive in Orange County, California, Darrin used to work at Providence St. Joseph, the hospital he now battled for his life in. He never thought he’d face death at his former place of employment.
What began as a headache had turned into dizziness, fever, a cough, a rattle-y chest and a prolonged hospital stay. Darrin had COVID-19, and he had it bad.
Coming Up For Air
After nine days on ventilator in a medically-induced coma, his lungs were finally strong enough to breathe on their own again. As he came out of the coma, groggy as ever, Darrin saw hospital employees looking at him.
“The caregivers kept walking back and forth, and every time they would, they’d wave and smile. Sometimes they’d pull down their mask and smile at me, and put their mask back on,” Darrin said in an interview with Dr. Ed Stetzer on “Ed Stetzer Live.” “I was still in a bit of a daze … but I didn’t understand why they kept doing that. I thought it was odd.”
He said he felt like he was living in a fishbowl.
One woman in particular walked past Darrin’s room a lot — she’d look in on him several times a day. He thought it was because he knew her from the church he grew up in.
“I kept thinking, ‘It’s Kelly, it’s Kelly. I didn’t know she was a nurse!’” Darrin said.
They couldn’t really speak to each other, since he was still so groggy. But the next time his nurse came into his room, fully covered in protective gear, Darrin asked her about Kelly, the nurse he kept seeing.
She said that they didn’t have a nurse named Kelly.
“I thought it was so odd because I was certain I was seeing Kelly walk by my room,” Darrin said. “I kind of chalked it up to — maybe I was having a hallucination from the medication.”
Smiles All Around
As Darrin recovered, they moved him to a different area of the hospital, and he found out why everyone was so friendly as they walked by his room. He had the first COVID-19 case the hospital had seen, and it had been a severe one.
Nine days is a long time to be on a ventilator, and most everyone at the hospital had heard about him. Many were worried he wouldn’t make it, and it was big news when he began recovering.
“They were very excited that I’d made it through,” Darrin said.
When he was sent home to recover under tight quarantine, Darrin decided to reach out to Kelly on social media. He wasn’t sure he’d seen her, but he wasn’t sure he hadn’t, either.
He told her the whole story, and shortly after she replied.
“My message made her break down and cry,” Darrin said. “She said, ‘Darrin, I was praying for you.’”
Darrin’s wife kept friends updated on Darrin’s condition via social media. Kelly had been following his story all along.
Kelly told Darrin she remembered all the things that happen in an ICU because her father was in the ICU years earlier. She’d sat with him as nurses kept a tight watch in critical care, and she understood time in the ICU was quite an ordeal.
“So I just felt compelled. In the middle of the night, I would wake up,” Kelly told Darrin. “I prayed for every aspect I could remember about being in crucial care in the ICU. I prayed for every caregiver, every piece of equipment they would use, every drug they would give you. I would just pray from every angle possible.… When you wrote me this note, what that means to me was God was honoring those prayers.”
And then she told him one last thing.
“I certainly wasn’t in your hospital,” Kelly said.
Darrin was blown away.
A Prayer and a Glimpse
“I’m not one of those people to be crazy and say all sorts of things or visions and stuff,” Darrin told Dr. Stetzer. “But … I truly believe that God was giving me a glimpse of what was happening on the other side … that He was listening and responding to the prayers of His people.”
He absolutely believes in the power of prayer.
“(When we pray) we’re not just throwing hopes up in the air,” Darrin said. “We’re actually talking to a living God who interacts with us, who is concerned about those details, who hears it, and He responds.”
No, Kelly really wasn’t at the hospital as Darrin recovered.
But — call it a miracle or a vision or even just plain crazy — Darrin saw Kelly because of the power of prayer.