My friend, Carol Carillo, came in to visit me yesterday. She wanted to let me know why I had not heard from her in a number of months...and she brought me a Christmas card.
Her story was a story of several miracles. She told me she died this past Sept. 7.
I looked at her, astonished. Afterall, she isn't dead if she is sitting, talking with me and telling me this story.
Carol continued with her story, stating she woke up one morning while having a heart attack. It was what her doctors referred to as a "Black Widow" heart attack.
She was rushed to Yakima Regional Hospital and a stent was put in place. After a stay in the hospital, Carol was able to return to Sunnyside and the doctors told her that her arteries were clear, with no blockages.
But, she began experiencing further health issues and was visiting the heart center in November when the medical staff determined she needed to be rushed back to the hospital.
I was mesmerized by this point.
It turned out Carol needed heart surgery again. Thirty percent of her heart was no longer functioning.
It gets more shocking at this point because she informed me she went in for a second surgery and a defibrillator. Carol died again, while in surgery.
She said to me, "Jennie, it is a miracle I am alive!"
Another miracle occurred yesterday morning. Carol, burdened with all the concerns that come with unpaid medical bills, received a call from the hospital.
"Someone paid my bills," she said. In full!
The hospital would not divulge who paid all her medical expenses, but she considers whoever it was to be quite the saint.
In addition to all of these miraculous blessings, another (or maybe the same) anonymous donor has paid for two years of her continued studies in nursing.
"It's not like I am anyone special," she modestly exclaims. But, Carol is a woman with the soul of an angel...she is special to me and others because she is caring, kind and selfless.
And, one more miracle has resulted from her death...her daughter, whom I know she had been very worried about over the years, has become her best friend.
Carol also told me she has been very blessed by Sandy Bos and the staff at Prudential Real Estate. She told me that they have been providing every meal for her since her heart attack, including Thanksgiving dinner.
Now, just more than a week after her second death, Carol is getting about town as best she can...for the sole purpose of letting her friends know she wants them to have a Merry Christmas!
She told me her Christmas wish list is very short. She just wants anyone suffering from a severe illness to have hope.
Because, you see, Christmas miracles really do occur.