Last week, I told you that Dr. Maike Hickson, who has contributed so much to our work here, was faced with the unexpected heart attack of her husband, Dr. Robert Hickson. In the time following the first heart attack, he suffered three additional episodes of cardiac arrest, having to be revived each time. It was very touch and go for a week, and there were times, to be honest, when I feared the worst.
But last night, Maike sent a new update with much brighter news:
Today was a day of great gratitude and joy for our little Hickson Family. Unexpectedly, the startlingly deteriorating health situation of my husband, Robert Hickson, made a sudden turn after we arrived at the other and more advanced hospital in Fairfax, Virginia, on 9 December. A certain medication was immediately removed that seems to have contributed to the terribly shocking events of three cardiac arrests. Within three days (on the 8th of December and then on the 10th), my husband died three times, each time being revived without great damage. That was when I called out for help. And help we received. So many Masses, prayer crusades, novenas, and private prayers were said that our little family was deeply touched. More importantly, that is when we moved to another hospital and my husband recovered fairly well and quickly. Already on 12 December, his doctors told him his health was better than expected.
We owe it to your generous response and to Steve Skojec who so graciously posted a prayer request on 9 Decemberthat within one week we were able to return home, with my husband having received now a defibrillator which will help prevent future cardiac arrests. He is on certain medications and has good chances for recovery.
These last two weeks were some of the hardest weeks in our lives. My husband went to the Emergency Room on First of Advent, and on the Third of Advent, we all four were reunited again. We had several priests who were at our side at crucial moments where we saw God’s Presence and Love. We will never forget that. Nor will we forget all the expressions of support, love, and prayer from all of you.
We assure you all of our prayers. In those dark moments, we prayed and made our suffering an offering to God for the healing of the wounds on our own extended families, as well as for the healing of our beloved Church. May God have been able to make use of our little offering for some greater good that we do not yet see or understand.
We have had many chances of growing closer to the Holy Family in these days. Hard beds, or couches, sleeplessness, hunger and thirst, yes, suffocation and anguish, a sense of sudden hopelessness, the yearning for a human word or touch, being refused a room in a hotel, all these things must have been in the life of the Holy Family on their way to Bethlehem and afterwards. Just to think of Our Lord’s own suffocation at the Cross made my husband bear his own breathing problems better. My sleeping on reclining chairs was eased by the thought of Mary and Joseph sleeping somewhere in the cave. Our beloved children, thanks be to God, were cradled in the arms of a loving Catholic family who sheltered them from most of the anguish, except that they kept saying Ave Marias throughout the day for my husband. Without this dear family, we could not have gone through this, nor without the help of my husband’s older twin daughters, one of whom is a Emergency Room nurse. To lead someone through the process of weaning of a breathing tube is something one will never forget. Nor will I forget how God put Father L. at my side just the very moment when we both, standing outside my husband’s room, saw the red lights come up and the nurses run into my husband’s room to revive him. At that moment, sitting down in the waiting room and saying the Rosary, this priest’s hand on my shoulder was such a consolation.
Maike wanted to also offer her gratitude for
the indispensable help of two medical doctors who stood at our side: one being a boyhood friend of my husband’s and a physician, the other being the husband of a former student of my husband at Christendom College and a cardiologist (Advanced Heart Failure Specialist) at a distinguished hospital in the U.S. Both helped us along the way and helped us to make several important decisions that have helped, yes, that my husband survived.
We owe them so much. May God reward and bless them and their families!
For all of you who offered prayers and Masses for the Hickson family, she sends this message:
Our little family wishes all of you, once more in deep gratitude, a grace-filled and blessed Christmas.
I echo her thanks. Your response to the request for prayers was so gracious, heartfelt, and kind. Moments like these really help us to recognize the blessing of the larger 1P5 community.
Steve Skojec is the Founding Publisher and Executive Director of OnePeterFive.com. He received his BA in Communications and Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2001. His commentary has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Crisis Magazine, EWTN, Huffington Post Live, The Fox News Channel, Foreign Policy, and the BBC. Steve and his wife Jamie have seven children.