Me talking to my grandma after the accident on Tuesday, Sept. 30th.

A Real-Life Miracle

Have you ever met a person who has been through the Great Depression and World War II? How about someone who has been through both of those things and has lived 25 years without their spouse? Well if you put all of those things together plus the obstacles of surviving cancer, a broken arm, and a bruised hip, then you have someone that is very near and dear to my heart: My grandma.

Marianne Pieczynski, a 91-year-old mother of three, grandmother or six, and great-grandmother of two, stills live on her own in a two-bedroom house back in my hometown of Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Last Sunday, I got a call from my mom who seemed very distressed. I could barely understand anything she was saying. I did however understand the most important message that she was trying to get across, that my grandma was on her way to the emergency room in the back of an ambulance.

As I quickly gathered a few of my belongings and headed on the road back to Wisconsin, I found out some of the details of what had happened. My mom and dad had went into town to do a few errands on Sunday afternoon and on their way home they decided to stop by my grandma’s house. As they entered her house, they found my grandma lying on the ground in the middle of the hallway struggling to breathe. They immediately called 911 and followed the ambulance to the hospital.

By the time I arrived, the doctors had injected my grandma with drugs and an IV to keep her hydrated and to help ease her pain. As they answered some of my family’s questions, the verdict of what happened seemed clear to them: She had suffered a stroke and struggled around her house trying to signal for help. While she was doing that, she fell numerous times as she could barely stand. The stress of both of those things combined resulted in a massive amount of stress causing a heart attack. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room when we heard the news.

Our beloved grandma, who was 91 years of age and who had been through so many hardships in her life was about to exit ours. The woman who cooked all of our holiday meals, changed all of our diapers, and taught all of us our manners was about to be taken away from us.

The next day started at 5 a.m. with a call from my sister who had stayed at the hospital with my grandma through the night. She told me and my parents that we needed to come to the hospital as soon as possible because the doctors concluded that my grandma’s heart was failing and that she wouldn’t last too much longer. As we got to her room in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the hospital, we found a priest in her room who asked for permission to give my grandma her last rights. The priest said the ‘Prayer for the Dying’ as me and the rest of my family members surrounded my grandma’s weak, sleeping body. The doctors then came in a said that they could run a few more tests to be sure of what her prognosis was. We discussed it as a family and agreed that that was what we wanted.

The hours passed as we waited for the test results. It seemed as if an entire week’s time had passed. The doctors entered my grandma’s room oozing with optimism. They informed us that the tests came back negative for a stroke and a heart attack. They told us that they thought that she must’ve suffered a severe anxiety attack and as she struggled to get help, she fell and bumped her head, causing her speech to be a slightly distorted due to the lack a blood circulation to that area of her body.

A few nurses then entered the room and checked to see if she could swallow water and some food with little consistency. Luckily, she was able to do both, although she did with some struggle. My family and I were told to give her a few more hours to rest and so we did. When we came back and she woke up, we were amazed with the results.

My grandma opened her eyes with every ounce of effort that she could and recognized everyone’s face in the room. The room was filled with eight people and out of those eight people, she saw me first. When she saw my face, she began to smile the most beautiful and amazing smile that I’ve ever seen. And then she managed to say my name. I don’t think I’ve ever been as happy and elated as a I was at that moment. After me, she continued to name off the rest of the people in the room including my aunts, uncles, and cousins. We were all in shock, she once again overcame a life-threatening obstacle.

So while most kids my age go out and have a good time and watch football on the weekend, I was busy witnessing a real-life miracle involving the little, old lady that I love so much. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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