I have been a resident of Clark County (Las Vegas, Nevada) since November 1952.
I guess I started doing booze gambling and all the wrong things a long time ago.
I have had four marriages and four divorces. I will not blame myself for the failures but I was a big part of the unhappiness that caused all the problems.
I had a good wonderful life and God was very good to me financially. I took everything for granted. I started having problems in 1988 with the Internal Revenue. They did not leave me alone until 1990. I kept working and finally resigned from a casino hotel and country club. I had been a bartender there almost 15 years from 1978 to 1990; I did not receive a paycheck. I had thousands of dollars in paid credit. The next thing I did was file Bankruptcy. But before I got sick, I was working across the street at a nearby hotel part time. It got to the point that I was so filled with hate and anger for the IRS, that I stopped everything. I moved from my girlfriend's house in Las Vegas, even though we had been together for thirteen years. I moved into a mobile home. I continued to drink once in a while, and work at the hotel.
During the month of April in 1990 I guess I had been sober. About April 17 in 1990 I began to have severe pains in my left arm, the center of my back, and also in my chest. A friend of mine told me I should go to the hospital. I told him it was probably gas. Well, on April 20, 1990 by 3 P.M. I was in the kitchen washing the dishes. All of a sudden my eyes felt like they were blowing out of my head then the pain in my chest was very bad. My phone was sitting on the counter. I called 911, when they responded all I could say was "I'm dead". Down I went. I must not have been lying there too long because the next thing I heard was the EMTs saying, "Let's roll". To my understanding, I was taken to University Medical Center. The physicians opened me up to operate on me immediately, so I have been told, from 3:30 until 11 P.M.
A priest was called and gave me the Last Rites - The doctor said to my family the only way I'd come out of this was by a miracle.
When they put my heart back in my body, it stopped. The physicians were hitting me with the paddles. It seems that maybe I just rose straight up from a lying position and was looking down at the team of medical personnel with the paddles. Suddenly I started to turn, I am sure I was not afraid. I just didn't know what was going on. Suddenly I was inside a tunnel. Next I was lying flat on my back, it was very bright. I was going at a great rate of speed. When I stopped, I was standing in an upright position at the end. There were palm trees and gold railings and God was standing there. He was dressed in a white robe with a gold band around his waist. He had brown hair, a beard and piercing blue eyes. He said to me, "Go back Joe, it's not your time."
The doctors said my heart starting beating with great strength. They have no idea during my travel why they did not stop hitting me with the paddles. They said I had massive strength and I wanted off the table. I remember there was a cold tie rod in my throat, which I pulled out. I guess they put me in restraints before placing me in the Intensive Care Unit for one month. For two and a half weeks I was in critical condition.
When I finally was put in my room I looked out on Charleston Blvd and looked at my self - I was so thin and sick I had all these stitches and marks on my body, like being packed with gauze, And as I looked at myself, I said, "God, I know you saved me, and I will never drink or smoke or put anything into me to destroy or ruin what you fixed to give me this new life."
I have been faithful to God with my promise to him. I call this the miracle on the 3rd floor at UMC Cardiac. I truly love those folks and the doctors from the Heart Institute. All I can say is I was told my lungs, liver and kidneys were like someone who never smoked or drank booze or did drugs.
I love the staff at UMC 3rd floor, the cardiac floor. I am grateful to them for all they did to and for me in my road to recovery. And God is first and most of all, my Jehovah Rappha The Great Physician, thank you.
After my release from the hospital, I had to live in the streets for 18 months until I received my S.S. disability and pension. It seems that God said it's up to you, lets see if your promise to me was honest, and it was.