Robin Allen is no stranger to sickness or death. She has spent most of her career in health care. But today she looks at life much differently.
Her husband David remembers that November night in 2003. He had worked an overnight shift. Robin was always up and ready when he returned. But not this morning, the front door was still locked. "so i broke the glass out of the back door," says David Allen, "and opened the door and went into the house. The house was extremely warm and I could smell this half burned smell. Once in the back of the house, the smell turned to gas and robin was on the bed, she was not breathing. I spent more than 20 years working in health care institutions. I have seen more dead people...literally countless... I could begin to count the number of dead people I have seen and that's what I saw then."
Robin was rushed to Presbyterian Hospital, where she worked in Winnsboro. Doctors would later determine she suffered massive natural gas-carbon monoxide poison. With vital signs almost nonexistent, that morning doctors could only worry about keeping Robin alive. Her husband will never forget one doctors advice.
"And he's this big guy and he leaned over and put his hand on my shoulder and he said your gonna do exactly what I'm doing," remembers David, "and that's to pray and then your going to believe that God is going to answer. He said you need to understand and you need to remember, and I know you do, that God loves her too."
David passed that message on to dozens of friends and co-workers who had already gathered at the hospital. "From church, family, friends, staff from all over the hospital, everyone was there and they wanted to know what they could do?," recalls David, "was there anything i could do to help? and I said pray and pray hard and don't stop."
Robin was flown here to Baylor Hospital in Dallas. Somewhere in between Winnsboro and Dallas she began to improve Amazingly less than 24 hours after she arrived here..."she actually walked out of the hospital, no wheel chair, we slipped out. With our pastor carrying our bags on side and me holding her arm on the other and we came home," says David.
It took several months of rehabilitation, but Robin is back on the job at the Wound Care Center at Presbyterian Hospital in Winnsboro. Few who saw Robin that day thought they would ever see her again. She doesn't remember much of what happened but she and her husband are convinced that she is back, healed completely, because of the power of prayer.
"And it wasn't one person prayed or this small group here prayed," says Robin, "it was like that one rock that got dropped in the pond the ripple effect went out and an ocean of prayers went up. I've always known that God answered prayers. Sometimes I didn't know for sure he answered my prayers. I always had that self doubt that mine weren't as important as yours. I have no doubt that God answers your prayers but I always had this little tiny seed of self doubt that my prayers weren't significant enough to be answered. Evidently my prayers are just as important as anyone elses."
"I guess what really happened more than anything... I realized how much I loved my wife and how much our God loves us," says David.
"And I know that I now have something that for the rest of my life," says Robin, " that can be used as a tool to show God's grace, concern, and power and I know without a doubt that that ocean of prayers that went up is what brought me back so quickly and so completely."
Clint Yeatts Reporting