I would like to introduce you to my friend, Kim. Kim and I worked together for many years until one day his life took an unexpected turn. Kim was at home alone preparing to leave for an appointment. He was at his computer, when he was stuck with a huge pain in his chest. He fell to the floor and miraculously was able to crawl to the phone and call for help before losing consciousness.
Arriving at the hospital emergency room, doctors quickly diagnosed Kim’s problem. He had ruptured his aorta. For those of you unfamiliar, very few patients ever make it to the hospital alive, and those that do…the vast majority of them die in the first couple of hours. You might remember John Ritter, the famous television actor as dying from the same thing that struck Kim.
Kim was in the hospital for months, and he lost a leg as a result of his heart not being able to pump blood to his lower extremities. Kim spends his days confined at home for the most part because he tires very easily. He keeps active and his mind alert by staying connected with his friends via the Internet. I am lucky to be one of Kim’s friends.
A couple weeks ago, Kim sent me a newspaper story on a car accident near his home where two people were killed. He had the following commentary…
“After what happened to me I have firsthand knowledge just how quickly life can totally change in the blink of an eye. But I am lucky, because I still have life. Here are two people, riding along a busy major interstate, probably talking, listening to music perhaps, thinking about when they will arrive wherever it is they are headed, planning for tonight, or the next day, or forever, and in a second, because of some dopey truck driver not paying attention, they are gone, burned alive. Amazingly sudden, and sad, and there is no changing it. It all happened through no fault of their own. Wrong place, wrong time. Life is precious. Soak it in. Enjoy all of it. It is special.
I wrote back to Kim and told Kim the following…
"Seriously, Kim…write a book. Even if it never gets published, it will mean the world to your wife and kids for them to know how you feel. It will be the most productive thing you will ever do. God allowed you to live for a purpose and that is to tell others the value of life. I can tell by what you write that there is a story in you and you have the ability to tell it.”
“Thanks for your words, your encouragement, and your friendship. I guess you can tell what happened to me, what I have gone through, has had a profound effect on me. When you come so close to death, yet somehow through the grace of God you are spared, it has an impact on how you view anything, and everything. My aorta specialist told me a few weeks ago to dwell not on what I have lost, but what I still have. She said, you have life, and medically speaking, you really shouldn't have that. Kim”
Wouldn’t be nice if each one of us could have an appreciation for life at the level Kim has?