A Glimpse In The Life 
Of Marcelina Lopez Gonzalez

BIRTH: I was born January 8,1974 to Luis & Mary Lopez in San Angelo, TX. I was then diagnosed with what was thought to be a heart murmur and a hole in my heart. The doctor told my parents that in time it would go away. But as time passed, I only got worse. So by now I was one month old and was being rushed to the hospital. The doctor told my parents to wait one more week to see if I got any better, but my mom went to yet another doctor to be told the same thing. Finally the doctor recommended for me to be taken to Houston. So by then, I was almost two months old. The doctors told mom that I would not live to be six months old.

TWO months old: I was then rushed to Texas Children's Hospital in Houston in a private jet. I was then seen by a team of great cardiologists. Dr. Mullins was one of them. I was then diagnosed with a congenital heart disease. Everyone is born with four chambers in their heart but mine only had two. I then underwent a major surgery. I had a shunt put in. I was then seen every year after that. We stayed at the Ronald McDonald House. It is a home where patients and their parents can stay while away from home. It is all free and stays open only by donations. It was always fun to stay there.

TEN YEARS OLD: I turned ten and went for yet another major surgery. They put a band in me. I was in the recovery room when the doctors seemed worried. There was blood all over my bed. They told mom and dad that they needed to find out where it was coming from. So they took me back into the operating room and found that my lungs had collapsed and had to reopen the cut to drain the blood out of my lungs. Everything turned out fine. I kept going back every summer for check-ups.

1992: I was staying with a friend and her phone rang so I decided to answer it. It  was a friend of hers named Rey. We stayed talking until 6:00 in the morning. My parents later met Rey and fell in love with him even though we had an11 year age difference. We then got married on May 14, 1994.

20 yrs old: I went for another check-up. And was supposed to follow back in a few months. But of course I never went back.

21-26 yrs of age: I had stopped taking all of my medications. And stopped taking care of myself. I started drinking. And all that time everyone thought Rey didn't know how serious my heart problem really was. But he knew and would always tell me to take care of myself and to go for a check- up.  I would tell him to shut-up and leave me alone and that when I wanted to I would go. 

I held several jobs during this time. My first job was for UMR where I called people and did surveys. I also worked at Pretzel Maker at the mall. 

In all these years I was hospitalized several times for a heat stroke, nose bleeds, slow heartbeats and a lot more things. On my first day of work at the mall, I was washing the dishes and started feeling very tired and my heart was racing, so I got off work and told Rey. He asked if I wanted to go to the hospital and I told him I would be all right. 

When we got home, Rey went to take Louie (my brother) home and when he got back he said all he saw was the rocking chair moving really fast and that I was real white and pale.  He rushed me to the hospital and I remember the doctors saying, "we're loosing her."  They shocked my heart back. 

I started to see a doctor named Dr. Colon here in Lubbock. He put me back on medicine and put me on aspirin to prevent any blood clots. I started getting bad nosebleeds. They would last up to two hours or more. I went to the hospital and they had to put packing in my nose to stop the bleeding. That was very painful! 

I stopped taking my medication again. Dr. Colon put me on oxygen 24 hours a day. I only used it sometimes because I was embarrassed! I had to get a blood transfusion and an iron infusion because my iron count was very low. I was very depressed for awhile because I wanted to have a baby and never got pregnant, even though they said it was too risky. Either the baby would die, or I would, or both of us because it would be too much strain on my heart. But I didn't care. 

Dr. Colon told me not to be walking alot and so he gave me permission to get a handicap-parking sticker. So now I get to park close at the stores or wherever I go! The last time I got a bloody nose, it lasted for about three hours before I went to the hospital. The doctor told me that Dr. Colon had mentioned to him that I needed a heart transplant and of course that was the first time I had heard about that. I got pretty scared and told my mom. Consequently, she set an appointment for me in Houston again. By this time I was 26 years old.

26 Years old: Mom and me left for Houston on September 14, 2000. My appointment was at 9:00 am. I went for my usual tests and x-rays. And finally Dr. Mullins came in and said, "You're six years late for your appointment," and we just laughed! He asked why now after all those years did I decide to come back. I told him about what Dr. Colon had said about the transplant. He just looked at me and I knew something was wrong. 

He told me as the years passed, my heart had gotten very weak and that a transplant might be an option. I just started crying because I hadn't thought it was that serious.  Dr. Mullins said now that I was back he wasn't going to let me go until he made me feel better because he said I might not come back for another six years.  We just laughed! 

They put me on all kinds of medicine. They tried to shock my heart back into rhythm but it didn't work; it stopped. So they had to put a temporary pacemaker on my neck. On the 25th of September they did open heart surgery and put in a permanent pacemaker. I was asleep for two weeks straight and for seven of those days I didn't respond to anything. 

I remember telling my mom after I woke up, "tell that stupid little boy to leave me alone because he was tying me up," and mom said, "that's your nurse."  They told me I had pulled the breathing tube out and that I pulled out the feeding tube. So that's why they tied me up. I don't remember anything. 

They started weaning me off the medications and I started waking up. All I remember is that I was in a funeral home and I told my mom, "I'm not dead, take me to the hospital." She said, "You're at the hospital."  I was so scared because I was in a casket and had flowers all over. I cried and cried because I was so scared! 

I also had a dream or vision that I heard an announcement at the hospital to watch out for a big ugly slimy balloon man. He grabbed me and took me to his house and his wife said we will kill her in awhile. The house was ugly and had broken windows. I started screaming and crying. I saw a man passing by and I yelled, "help me!"  He heard me, came and saved me, and took the ugly balloon man to jail. 

I also saw all the doctors standing on the outside of my room praying for me and they gave my nurse some papers and a bible. When mom came in the room I asked her if she had seen the doctors and she said no one was there. I finally woke up all the way. 

My hair fell out in two spots where they couldn't move me. My weight dropped a lot. When I went in I weighed around 115lbs and now I weigh 100lbs. They started to let me sit down by myself in a chair. I couldn't stand up because I had been asleep for a long time. I was weak and felt stupid. I felt like a baby because I needed help standing, going to the restroom, eating, and I couldn't walk yet. 

I cried a lot, even when someone was there I still felt lonely and scared! I got very depressed! I wouldn't let Rey leave me until I was asleep. He was so good to me and never left my side! I finally got discharged from the hospital on the 14th of October. I was in there a whole month. It was horrible! 

When I was in there they checked my pacemaker; they have a machine to turn it off and on. The nurse turned it off and the second she did that, I felt like my old self. I couldn't breath; my heart was beating very fast. Right when she turned it back on I felt great! I then realized how big a difference the pacemaker helped me and that I felt a lot better! I also had fluid in my lungs and had to get a chest tube to drain it. 

November 9, 2000: I went back to Houston to get my pacemaker checked. Everything went great with that but I got another x-ray. It showed I had more fluid in my lungs and it was too risky to leave it in there, so again, I was admitted to the hospital. They put another chest tube in me to drain the fluid. I was in there until the day before Thanksgiving. I was in there two weeks. I have to go back on January 17, 2001.

I am at home and doing well. The thing I learned is that I was hallucinating while I had all those dreams and found out the meaning of them. I was already dead physically but God helped me and gave me another chance at life because I have a purpose here on this earth. I just haven't figured out what it is. 

I haven't told anyone this but I have been having dreams that I give my testimony to young people at church. I want to be an example to my family so they will also want to go to church. I am trying to change but it's going to take some time because it doesn't just happen overnight. If God wants me here on January 8, 2001, I will turn 27 years old. And on May 14, 2001, Rey and I will celebrate our seventh year anniversary. Thank you for letting me share my life with you all!


The rest of the story: December 23, 2000
We all went to San Angelo to celebrate Christmas, leaving mom and dad alone in Lubbock. We saw lots of family, ate, and had a good time. Marcy was very tired and weak. Even through all of this she seemed to have a joke for everything. 

Christmas Eve we rushed her to the E.R. A team of doctors came from Houston to take her to the Texas Children's Hospital. She was very upset to have to go all the way to Houston without the rest of her family. We don't know how she kept a smile for us all the while with pneumonia in one lung, fluid in the other lung and a couple of infections. We thought she was doing fine or better, but she was just too weak. She was tired and needed to go home. She passed away on Christmas Day 2000. We love you Marcy and will miss you forever!

PLEASE NOTE: Marcy was my sister and my best friend; she was a very happy person. And she never complained about anything. We grew up in the church but never really had a personal relationship with God. But praise The Lord she gave her life to God and gave her testimony at Church a few weeks before she passed away.

When she was having all those hallucinations and dreams, she had died physically. But God let her see all those things for a reason. He had already taken her but He knew she wasn't ready so He sent her back and gave her another chance. If she would have died any other time she would not have been with Him today.

Her passing has been a blessing to our family and friends. I have personally given my life to God and thank Him everyday for my salvation. My little brother Louie gave his life to God as well, and also the friend, Melinda, that introduced Marcy to her husband, Rey. I hope this story blesses all those who read it. She wrote it for a purpose and I hope it lives on. 

If you would like to contact me or ask me anything, or just talk, please feel free to e-mail me (Hope Gonzalez) at Hlogres@aol.coThank you and God bless you!


NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: If you are questioning in your heart what this Christian life is all about and would like to know more about being reconciled to God, please click here to learn how you can do that.  Thank you and God bless you!


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