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THE SURVIVOR Cancer 1990 – 1992 Heart Attacked and Angioplasty Out-of-Body-Experience (OBE) or Near-Death-Experience (NDE) 1998 Heart Triple By-Pass and Guardian Angels 1999 Grandpa Frank Gorrez Unedited 2014

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Grandpa!

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  • THE SURVIVOR

    Cancer 1990 1992

    Heart Attacked and Angioplasty

    Out-of-Body-Experience (OBE) or

    Near-Death-Experience (NDE) 1998

    Heart Triple By-Pass

    and

    Guardian Angels 1999

    Grandpa Frank Gorrez

    Unedited 2014

  • PREFACE

    I am Frank D. Gorrez, Jr the survivor. I wrote this life threatening experience based

    on my diary written at the time I was under treatment for Cancer in 1990 to 1992,

    Heart Attacked followed by Angioplasty procedure and Out of Body Experience

    (OBE) in 1998, then Triple By-Pass and presence of what I termed Guardian Angels

    while recovering in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) 1999. I was in-and-out of

    consciousness for five days at the onset of my heart attacked and two cardiac

    failures. Angioplasty procedure was performed after all my vital signs went back to

    normal.

    I am ever thankful to be alive and to be able to continue sharing my life with my

    family and others, and still be able to do what counts most. I had the cancer at the

    age of 58 to 60, heart attacked at 66 and triple by-pass at 67 years old. My

    strongest security and ally is the bible, which has been part of my life ever since

    and will be until the Lord takes me under His wings. I am now 82 years old (2014)

    as of this writing.

    I decided to share my life experience and blessings with my children, grandchildren

    and friends. How wonderful it is to know God through Jesus Christ as our loving and

    caring father, that the bible - the words of God, is forever a comforting source of

    truth and guide to righteousness in our daily life.

    Others may doubt the Out of Body Experience (OBE) I thankfully experienced or

    Near Death Experience (NDE) and the existence of our individual spirits and angels.

    How insignificant is my spiritual journey when we believe God in His Spiritual being

    and angels appeared as well to many prophets for generations. Jesus Christ was

    raised in Spirit three days after His mortal body was crucified. I compiled countless

    bible verses that relates to all our lives which strengthen my faith in God through

    Jesus Christ.

    I can only say, be guided by the bible and find the simple explanation Im sharing in

    my testimony. Try to analyse or picture the sequence of events that occurred in my

    battle to survive starting from cancer ailment, heart attacked, stent procedure and

    triple by-pass, and safely comforted afterwards by angels. These events occurred

    between 1992 to 1999 a seven year period. I can only find true meaning and

    comfort to all the interventions between and among events in my life in the Bible.

  • Finally, I dedicate this writing to my dearest wife who journeyed together with me

    throughout our married life, through life bumpy ups and downs, and most of all her

    ever present when I needed her most during my personal ordeal. Only with God

    through Jesus Christ I believed I was cured and given another chance in life.

    He give his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to

    make us his very own people, totally committed to doing what is right.

    Titus 2:14 He saved us, not because of the good things we did, but because

    of his mercy. He washed away our sins and gave us a new life through the

    Holy Spirit. Titus3:5

    CANCER SURVIVOR 1990 - 1992

    I was able to write the events in a diary during

    my 33 days cobalt radiation therapy for cancer

    treatment, which I will quote portion of it the

    way it was written, when my emotions were in

    a shamble with love, pain, meditation, prayers,

    loneliness, regrets, anger and blessedness put

    together. I believed firmly that God through

    Jesus Christ was protecting me in my struggle

    against the vocal cord cancer. Some pages of

    the unedited diary are inserted on the left side

    as shown.

    I had a bout with cancer of the larynx in 1990

    up to 1992 when I had my radiation cobalt

    treatment and finally complete remission. This

    was followed by a heart attack with two cardiac

    failures and angioplasty procedure in 1998 and finally, a triple by-pass in 1999 after

    the angioplasty failed.

    Quoting my unedited diary August 31 to September 6, 1992, My cancer doctor

    is Dr. Roy Sessions, Jr and Dr. Michael Kuettel (radiologist). I had no

    feeling of panic. No anger to God for betraying me. No control of anything

    at the hand of the doctor. The tumor was actually inch along the left

    side of my vocal cord. Never thought of dying. Stick to the meditation,

    prayer, & love of my children. Not scared to go to heaven if God wills it.

  • The larynx is the upper portion of the windpipe ("trachea") which has two main

    functions: conducting air down into the lungs,

    and producing speech in humans. The human

    larynx is composed of 3 areas: supraglottis,

    glottis, and subglottis. The glottis is literally

    the "voicebox" and contains the paired vocal

    cords. It is my voicebox that was afflicted by

    the cancer. The larynx is made up of the vocal

    cords and surrounding support structures, it is

    essential in producing normal human voice and

    also helps prevent food and liquid from entering into the lungs (web reference).

    I was born in a family of eight, 3 girls and 5 boys and grow up in a village in the

    Philippines with a normal upbringing. I remember American missionaries holding

    prayer meetings and singing hymns in our home. That was my early introduction to

    the Christian way of life that guided me to follow what is right and acceptable in the

    eyes of other Christians and our Lord. I faltered every now and then but always

    have come back on the right track and always requested for forgiveness.

    I was brought up and tutored as a

    Protestant. In high school and during

    college I enjoyed singing in the church

    choir and continued singing while on

    assignments in some countries. Im

    privilege to sing solos in Church concerts

    and have thanked God endlessly for the

    wonderful gift He gave me.

    I neglected singing as part of my life while

    pursuing my career. Now there are

    varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit;

    and there are varieties of service, but

    the same Lord; and there are varieties

    of activities, but it is the same God

    who empowers them all in every one.

    To each is given the manifestation of

    the Spirit for the common good. For to

    one is given through the Spirit the

    utterance of wisdom, and to another

    the utterance on knowledge according

    to the same Spirit. 1Corinthians 12:4-

    11.

  • At the start of my cobalt radiation treatment I asked God to help me, save me and

    I believed He did not forsake me. This was a very strong inner feeling, that I even

    teased Mr Cancer to do his worst with me. My strength was believing in Jesus

    Christ, the guardian angels, the doctors and nurses, my family and friends who

    were cheering in my corner of the boxing ring providing me all the power to win.

    I missed singing in church for a few years for luck of opportunity but I did promised

    the Lord Ill sing again once Im cured. It took a while for me to find the church and

    choir, but I did - in the Central United Methodist Church in North Fairfax Drive,

    Virginia ([email protected]). I was so blest to find God in the company of loving

    church members who accepted me with open arms and there was Reverent Richard

    E. Cobb who through his Sunday sermons nurtured my love for the church. The

    choir director, Barbara P. Cackler and the choir were the closest to my heart. The

    church members are one big family and

    many of them participated in volunteer

    services in the community. When my wife

    Eppie and I left for the Philippines to retire

    in 2005, the church held a special Sunday

    service-dedication for me that was so

    touching and memorable that is itched in my soul forever. Above left are some

    choir members farewell messages.

    Im married to Eppie Rodriguez who gifted me with three beautiful girls (Amy, Jo

    Ann & Luisa) and a boy (Francis), all of them are blessed with their own families

    and together gifted us grandparents 6 lovable grandchildren namely, Mikey,

    Chesca, Sophia, Isabel, Rapha and Nico. Eppies parents devoted their work and

  • lives serving the Lord through the United Church of Christ in the Philippines in

    Mindanao with Silliman University in Negros Oriental as their family base.

    My profession as an agricultural consultant started at the International Rice

    Research Institute (1965 1969), which in the later years of my career, as a rice-

    based agronomist, had provided me the opportunity to implement development

    projects in 17 other countries funded by different International Institutions like the

    World Bank, USAID, UNDP, ADB and private organizations like CARE Philippines and

    Winrock International. Some assignments allowed me as well to have my four

    children visitation privileges. In 1992, my wife and I joined and stayed with our

    eldest daughter Amy, in Arlington, Virginia, USA that served as my work base

    where we resided up to 2005 before retiring in the Philippines.

    In 1991 during implementation of my USAID contract in Belize among the Maya

    Indians and Creoles in Central America, I started having frequent sore throat and

    so often, lost my voice for a few hours that

    extended into days, depending on how

    much talking I do during farmers training

    sessions. Then, in the same year while on

    vacation in the Philippines, the sore throat,

    hoarse voice, and the unbearable pin-prick

    pain that developed in the region of the

    vocal cord became worst. I was diagnosed

    in Manila by Dr. Bautista at the Makati

    Medical Center to have cancer of the larynx

    at its early stage. He suggested that I go

    back to the US immediately for treatment

    where medical facilities are much better.

    The Manila finding was confirmed in

    Georgetown University Hospital,

    Department of Radiation Medicine. Dr. Roy

    Sessions, Jr was my primary physician all

    throughout my treatment period of 33

    days using cobalt radiation therapy. This was the start of my journey fighting pain,

    hopelessness and fear. This was also the time when for the first time in my life I

    was serious about my relationship with God. Even while my wife, Amy and her

    husband, Geosh were always nearby, I find myself often times so alone but there

    was always true comfort and feeling of safety when communing with the Lord. The

    pin-prick pain on my vocal cord, followed by nausea, and coughing become worst

    after each radiation exposure for two to four hours daily, I wrestled with such

    unending misery. I am comforted curling myself into a ball like a baby and

  • imagining sheltered inside the womb of my mother and talking to the Lord most of

    the time.

    The technician would prepare me alone in a room for the radiation treatment where

    I was instructed to lie down inside a chamber like bed. Then the infected vocal cord

    is targeted utilizing a computerized prepared program before the radiation cobalt

    treatment is administered.

    Quoting my unedited diary, I wrote (September 7 13, 1992) Nobody can give

    me comfort when in pain. Music helps a lot. I did cry my heart out not for

    pity sake but regret and remorse for a lot of reasons. In radiation, you lie

    down & look at a big machine on top of you with eye-like opening pointing

    towards my throat.

    Friends in different countries offered prayers that provided me peace and happiness

    knowing I am loved. One family friend even promised to nag the Lord to get me

    well. My sister Linda in California had the church where she is a member pray for

    my recovery. The entire Gorrez and Rodriguez clans in their own ways extended

    prayers and unending support to my family.

    My cancer radiation cobalt treatment

    started 8 July 1992 and lasted for 33 days

    excluding Sundays when Im allowed to

    recover from pain and stress. The

    significant event that happened during my

    cancer sickness was sharing with others the

    strong faith that I did not realized I have

    that I will survive with Gods help and I

    started reading the Bible over and over. I

    never tire of those many passages that

    relates to my own experiences in life and I

    find fulfilment knowing God is on my side. The feeling of security and survival is

    very strong within me. While other patients look so discourage while waiting for the

    same cancer treatment, I was looking happy most of the time and did aimed to

    cheer those I purposely get in contact with in the hospital patients waiting room. A

    visiting Priest who saw me one time asked, are you seeing someone and I told him,

    no, I am a patient myself. After the 33 days radiation treatment ending in 21

    August 1992, I was given a certificate by the Georgetown University Hospital,

    Department of Radiation Medicine staff.

    Trusting His Words: The bible was and is and ever will be my guide and shield

    against all that is negative confronting my life. Even though I walk through the

    valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your

    rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4. For I am convinced that

  • neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor

    the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in

    all creaton, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Jesus

    Christ our Lord. ROMANS 8:37-39.

    Slowly I resumed my work as a rice-based agronomist consultant after 1992.

    Volunteer in Technical Assistance (VITA) sent me to the Philippines in 1993 and

    USAID through Winrock International contracted me that started as a volunteer

    consultant in Nicaragua of a Farmer to Farmer program and later as a USAID

    Program Adviser of a Rice National Program between 1995 to 1998

    HEART ATTACKED 1998

    It was December 1998 when I had the

    heart attack, six years after my cancer in

    1992. I climbed a 25 30 foot lived pine

    tree in our backyard (photo at left) and

    cut the top 5 foot main primary stem,

    then collected small stones, filled up a

    bucket with the cut pine tree top erected

    at the center. While cutting the top portion

    of the tree, I experienced sudden

    dizziness, cold sweat, numbness of my left

    arm and then, shortness of breathing. But

    I completed the Christmas tree set-up and

    placed it in a corner of the living room.

    This time I was agonizing from breast pain

    while praying the Lords Prayer. I told my

    wife to call 911 and between 5 or 10

    minutes the ambulance arrived. I was

    administered first-aid treatment while

    lying down on the floor and a huge black

    man said, you will not go during my watch brother, Ill take care of you. I never

    had the opportunity to thank that gentle giant of a man personally but have done

    so in my heart. Being alert I took two aspirin immediately when the breast pain

    started.

    Upon reaching Arlington Hospital, I was already getting unconscious but conscious

    enough to know I was surrounded by medical doctors, nurses, my wife, Amy my

    eldest daughter and her husband, Geosh. A ventilator machine was administered to

    me that took over my breathing and relieved me a little bit of my physical pain and

  • stress. Before I passed out completely, I saw my wife and I said in silence love

    of my life. It was a way of saying good bye in case I go.

    During those first-5 days of my stay in the hospital, everything that took place was

    unknown to me. That first night I was administered electric shock treatment twice

    as my heart stop completely. As soon as my heart beat came back, my medical

    doctor (Dr. Antonio Parente) right away conducted an angioplasty procedure which

    involved the insertion of a catheter through the artery in my leg that showed in

    detail on a monitor the blood flowing towards the heart. My left coronary artery had

    a 99% blockage preventing blood to reach the heart as told to me by the doctor

    and my eldest daughter, Amy.

    Dr. Parente inserted a flexible metal device

    called stent through my leg artery and

    maneuvered it where the blockage was

    located near the heart. The stent is like a

    mesh-wired pipe that is fitted inside the

    artery to prevent that portion from

    collapsing. After the stent insertion I was

    told by the doctor that I had two serious

    cardiac failures and the third one could be

    fatal. I told the doctor, I didnt feel any of

    that at all because during the cardiac arrest

    I saw my own mortal body surrounded by

    them.

    The procedure took place after I was

    normalized with the electric shock

    treatment and Im not aware of what

    transpired. That particular week, my

    daughters Jo Ann living in the Philippines,

    Lisa coming from Germany and my son,

    Francis from Australia, all arrived to be by

    my side. Amy, my eldest daughter with her

    husband, Geosh and my wife were all there right from my admission in the hospital.

    It was at this stage of unconsciousness during or after the two cardiac failures that

    I vividly experienced what I addressed as OUT OF BODY EXPERIENCE (OBE).

    Quoting my diary, I first saw these multi-coloured bright yellow, orange

    and red of various shades of floating leaves forming before me. As if I was

    invited to ride on it as it formed a tunnel shape transport that carried me

    through a time frame and space. It was so comfortable, no restlessness,

  • pain, problems but plain happiness and joy. It was so full of beauty I never

    behold in my whole life.

    I was brought into a valley with panoramic view of a lake, farm land with

    herd of sheep, and dancing water falls. Then I saw all my living loved-ones

    belonging to my own family briefly passing in front of my sight. All of them

    were looking happy and secured. Coming back they told me they never

    believe Ill go and leave them.

    It was also at this time, I came face-

    to-face with gentle looking people

    dressed in white robes and one

    particular man that was taller than

    the rest with long flowing hair and has

    a loving aura extended his hands

    towards me but he didnt say

    anything. I said to him, please let me

    go back because I want to see my

    grandchildren growing and wished as

    well, to help farmers grow their crops.

    The MAN just smiled at me and gave

    me a blessed yes answer. Then we

    drifted apart and I found myself back

    into my earthly sickbed body.

    It was a very serene, peaceful and

    comforting journey without any feeling of

    fear or pain but only love, happiness and

    joy that accompanied me. It was so full of

    beauty I never behold in my whole life.

    I was spared of the physical pain and discomfort experienced by most heart attack

    patients while I go in and out of consciousness during the first 5 days of my own

    heart attack ordeal. My doctor and few hospital staff told me the events when I had

    the cardiac failure and how I was revived. I thank them all who were there for their

    help and shared with them my own OBE. The scientific world has limited or no

    technical explanation on what I narrated.

    Before I departed, I saw my sick and earthly body being treated by the medical

    team and I believed it was my spirit belonging to another part of my life that

    travelled in that beautiful place so full of beauty, peace, and love.

    I read and read the bible, I still do it to fully understand the words of God spoken to

    the Prophets in the old testaments and through Jesus Christ who in spirit is forever

  • with us. This is the words of God that will never change my faith in Him and this I

    believed. He showed me there is no fear in dying and He is ever present to

    welcome us.

    Since Christ lives within you, even though your body will die because of

    sin, your spirit is alive because you have been made right with God. The

    Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as He

    raised Christ from the dead, He will give life to your mortal body by this

    same Spirit living in you. Romans 8:10 11.

    What can I say about the OBE I experienced from the sick physical earthly body of

    mine that journeyed in another realm and feeling free, loved, and happy beyond

    words, no feeling of pain or fear at all, traveling and beholding the beauty of what I

    saw. Except for me to believe, that it is my spiritual body manifesting itself in

    another dimension, which is the spiritual gift of God to me through Jesus Christ,

    that allowed me to go to another realm (world). I have to believe it and my faith

    has made me stronger that love alone and learning to forgive are the only things

    we need in this world to deserve that love and forgiveness waiting for all of us in

    the other realm.

    I learned to lean on Him comfortably and have choicen His Words, the bible, as my

    daily bread. I understand my choice because I saw the suffering and cruelty in this

    world in my 35 years of agricultural work in 17 countries trying to help farmers and

    others produce better crops even just to provide meals on their tables.

    Faith that doesnt show itself by good deeds is no faith at allit is dead

    and useless. Just as the body is dead without a spirit, so also faith is dead

    without good deeds. James 2:17 & 26.

    The Lord fully knows what transpired in my life the past 82 years and I feel so

    comfortable to request for His help and guidance for me and others. Yes, the

    privilege was mine to have touched the life of many Christians, Muslims,

    unbelievers, and detractors in my line of work strengthen with the gift of love from

    God through Jesus Christ.

    You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven

    together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Everyday

    of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a

    single day had past. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God!

    Psalm 139:15-17.

  • TRIPLE BY-PASS AND THE ANGELS

    Yes, I was slowly backed to good health after the angioplasty procedure and I

    started doing all sorts of exercises to hasten my recovery. I walked, run, played

    basketball and frequently used the gym. Then, it happened while playing

    basketball I experienced a sharp breast pain and heavy laboured shortness of

    breath that was getting worst each day. This occurred 6 -7 months after the

    angioplasty procedure and I was aware some patients have developed artery

    blockage in the same location, according to medical findings.

    The x-ray result showed my left artery was blocked

    again with fatty plaques where the stent was

    embedded. Dr. Antonio Parente strongly advised

    that I should have the By-Pass operation

    immediately, which took place in 1999.

    I was prepared by the Arlington Hospital medical

    team for the operation and the next thing I

    remember was getting sleepy. Upon opening my

    heart, the team of doctors decided to utilize the

    arteries in both my left and right legs to reconnect

    my damaged heart arteries. After the triple-by-

    pass performed on me, I was brought to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) room to

    recover.

    I was barely conscious and starting to wake up

    when I noticed my son-in-law Geosh beside my

    bed. I extended my hand to him which he held

    comfortably and while in that state of

    consciousness, I saw hundreds of tiny stars

    dancing all over him. Then I doze off to sleep

    again. Not a single word was uttered between us

    before and after this short episode while in the

    same time frame, my daughter Amy (Geoshs wife)

    was just sitting in one corner of the room.

    When I woke up, Amy approach me and asked, Dad, did you see anything when

    you were awake earlier, and I said, yes, I saw tiny dancing stars enveloping

    Geosh. Amy started crying and said, I saw also tiny stars dancing all over you

    while you were sleeping. Again, Ill say, there was no exchange of words or

    conversation among us until after I woke up and Amy asked that question.

  • I went to the operating room so confident Ill be alright with the Lord by my side

    and have prayed for Him to guide the hands of the doctors. It was an easy half-day

    procedure as if I have just come out of a heavy physical exercise and was so tired

    to do anything except to sleep for a while.

    But, what about those tiny dancing stars? The scene was so beautiful to behold with

    such comfort, trust, peace and faith abounding in my heart. I believe in Guardian

    Angels I come across in many occasions on my reading the bible. God himself sent

    an angel to tell Joseph that his wife is favoured to bare a son who will be the

    saviour of this world. And an angel appeared in the tomb of Jesus Christ to tell the

    three women that He has risen.

    Since angels are spirits rather than physical beings, they dont have to be

    visible at all (Colossians 1:16) On the other hand, their appearance is

    sometimes in dazzling white and blazing glory (Matthew 28:2-4). The

    angel that rolled back the stone from Christs tomb was radiating dazzling

    light (Matthew 28:3; Luke 24:4). Angels are spirits (Hebrews 1:14), like

    the soul of man, but without a physical body.

    The Book of Enoch, which is included in the holy scriptures of the Ethiopian

    Orthodox Tewahedo Church. 1 Enoch 100:5 declares that God will set a

    guard of holy angels over all the righteous. The Qur'an says in Al Ra'd

    13:11: "For each [person], there are angels in front of him and behind him,

    who guard him by Allah's command."

    However, the Bible is clear that guardian angels do exist. Psalm 91:11-12

    declares about God: "For he will command his angels concerning you to

    guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you

    will not strike your foot against a stone."

    GOD BLESS US ALL

    Grandpa Frank Gorrez