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The Plain Truth – February 1978
The Plain Truth – February 1978
Editor-In-Chief Reports On His Recent Illness

from Herbert W. Armstrong

This is the first time I have had opportunity to write you in quite some time. As you probably know, I have been very ill with what the doctor has termed “heart failure.”

At the beginning of this illness, in my home in Tucson, Arizona, my heart had completely stopped and I had stopped breathing.

Fortunately, a nurse which I had in my home to help and to watch over me – because I had absolutely refused to go to a hospital – discovering that my face was ashen white, went to work immediately along with my wife’s sister on mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Using steady, repeated pressure on my chest, after some thirty seconds they brought me back, but, as the nurse has said since, it was “touch and go” for some little time before I began to breath naturally.

The Scriptures reveal our physical life consists of the circulation of blood through the body and our breathing. Our breath is called the “breath of life,” and the Bible also says “the life of the flesh is in the blood.” Although no doctor would have pronounced me legally dead until later, from the biblical point of view I was absolutely dead. I knew absolutely nothing; I didn’t have hallucinations of going to heaven or hell or anything of the kind. I have often been intrigued by reading accounts of people who have apparently been dead for even a few minutes and brought back to life. Most of their reports confirm what the Bible says: “The dead know not anything.” And I’m sure that that is true.

Since that close brush with death, I have had long hours to think and to contemplate. I have often thought that if I only had myself to consider – if my own private personal interests were all that there was to my life – I might have welcomed death, had they not discovered my condition and revived me. But when I think of the great commission which God has given me, and which is probably not yet completed, I know that God brought my life back for a very great purpose.

It is going to take me at least a few months before I can get back to work with full dynamic energy. My recovery, I know, depends entirely upon my “taking it easy” and making sure I don’t overdo it during this period of convalescence. However, I am very happy to report to you that I have made great progress so far and my heartbeat is now strong and regular.

I have written you a number of times of how I was expending the dynamic energy of a man only half my age and, as a matter of fact, I was probably expending more than I should have. I literally worked myself into a stoppage of the heart. I certainly will be more careful to protect against that sort of thing in the future.

I was told at the beginning of my recovery that it would be many months before I could expect to be back on the job and as strong as before. It is now just over four months since my illness struck. I am making exceptional progress and expect to be completely recovered much sooner than anticipated.