Blog December 12th Chris Wickland

The Triumphal Entry featuring the Mustard Seed Soul Band from the album His Story recorded and produced by Ross Gill

Chris Wickland is the Senior Pastor at The Living Word Church, Fareham. He is also a very good friend and highly talented musician who played guitar in the “Mustard Seed Soul Band” which performed in Mustard Seeds’ first musical- “His Story” at the Kings Theatre, Southsea and Central Hall, Westminster London. Chris wrote the tune to today’s featured song which was originally called “Winter Festival.” I so loved the catchy melody that I asked Chris if I could use it for a song to describe Jesus” entry into Jerusalem which is traditionally called “Palm Sunday” or “The Triumphal Entry”
Anyway the reason for mentioning Chris is because something special happened last week – I will let his wife Tracy take over….
On Friday 29th November it was Chris’ day off. I stayed at home to tidy after the kitchen building work havoc and Chris planned to take the kids to Paultons Park (a local theme park) as they had an annual pass.
When they arrived they found Paultons Park closed. Apparently there was some debate between the cinema and Flipout trampolining centre. Flipout won and they went to Flipout in Eastleigh.
Serenity (age 11) tells me whilst trampolining Chris felt a bit funny and sat on the side. He told her he felt sick and dizzy and was breathing heavily. She thought he fell asleep briefly and she woke him.
He then told her their session was nearly over and he was going to get their stuff from the locker room. She saw him walk through and lie down on his back on a bench in the locker room and be sick.
Chris had had a Sudden Cardiac Arrest.
There was a member of the public standing next to him that was first aid trained and immediately realised something was wrong. She shouted for the staff who jumped the fence, got Chris on his side and started CPR. They also had a defibrillator on site which they used to give him four shocks before his heart began to beat again. An ambulance was on its way.
Paultons Park covers a big area with many pathways. If it had happened on a ride or between rides it’s more than likely no-one would have got to Chris quick enough. If they had decided on the cinema the children could have thought he was sleeping in the dark. By being at Flipout in Eastleigh that day he had instant access to CRP and the defibrillator.
Most SCA. (Sudden cardiac arrests) Over 90% result in death as no-one is around with CPR and a defibrillator. God put Chris in the right place at the right time that day. Somewhere he should not really have been or had planned to be. Worse still it could have happened a little later with Chris in the car with the children on the motorway.
The ambulance arrived quickly and took him to Southampton General Hospital. The heart hospital of the South. Again God speedily delivered Chris to exactly the right place. There was no delay, as there often can be I’m told, transferring him to Intensive Care.
Chris was put into an induced coma for several days. His heart was beating on its own. He had assisted breathing and many IVs, monitors and assistance to keep him stable and cool. The staff of the NHS are absolutely amazing.
Christians from many different churches and parts of the world began to pray, they held prayer meetings, they prayed in their small groups, they prayed in their churches and they prayed throughout the day and night. I prayed as I sat with him and read scripture over Chris right from when I first got to him in A&E. Friends sat and prayed over him in the night when I needed sleep. Even people Chris had offended over the years put aside differences and prayed feverently for him. I don’t think the Devil quite knew what he was starting as the church rallied and rose up.
On the Saturday we had a family meeting with the doctor. It was very bleak. We were told Chris has had 14 minutes down time but that he was fit and young. He was most likely to not die. However he had had some negative neurological responses and there was likely to be some brain damage and the next days would be an assessment of how much. As they began to remove sedation Chris might not wake at all or he might wake with varying degrees of brain damage. I was told the encephalitis Chris had had years before would be a walk in the park in comparison to the options before us. Worst case scenario if he did wake would see him in a nursing home. I was told I couldn’t be there as they reduced the sedation in case they needed to give him emergency treatment.
As I sat beside him on Saturday night his body was yellow and black and blue and swollen. Nothing looked good. I picked up the NIV Gideon’s bible and it opened at Hebrews 11:1 ‘To have faith is to be sure of what we hope for and certain of what we cannot see.’ I needed to take my eyes off of what was right in front of me.
On Sunday morning as churches across the country were praying for Chris they began to lift the sedation. I was with him despite being told earlier I couldn’t be. I read psalm 91, Romans 8:11 and the Hymn ‘ Rise up O Man of God’ over him as he began to move. It was a slow process over several hours and he looked truly awful as he opened his eyes and they rolled as he writhed on the bed. As the doctors gathered to test him I felt a bit embarrassed about praying and reading over him but one of the doctors was a lapsed Christian and told me to keep reading!
Over the course of the day Chris began to respond to the tests, He opened his eyes, he wriggled his toes, he poked his tongue out. Several hours later they removed the breathing tube and later he spoke. I stayed with him that night as he asked questions.
Over the next few days he asked the same questions over and over and I began to worry for his short term memory. I asked the Christians to pray again. Less than 10% of SCA’s return to normal. I’m absolutely convinced Chris is alive and well because the church got on her knees, God heard her and moved the mountain.
Today is day 11 following his SCA. You wouldn’t know. He has a clear and sound mind. As yet they can find nothing wrong with his body. They will most likely fit him with an ICD (a super clever on-board little defibrillator).
God is good and faithful, If Chris had died then God would still be good and faithful but He chose to return him to us and I’m beyond thankful.
Not a lot I can add to that apart from Praise God!