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Where Randy found a new beginning

Randy Weston
Posted on: 11/10/2022

Randy Weston doesn’t actually remember what happened on April 24, 2022. Friends and family told him about it after he woke up in the ICU at Ogden Regional Medical Center, where he had spent 15 days in a coma.

“The doctor told me, ‘Do you realize you are a walking phenomenon? I can’t explain why you’re still here.’ But I know why I’m still here — Jesus Christ was in charge. He used the doctors and everyone to keep me here.”

Randy is a walking phenomenon, literally a walking miracle. On April 24, he and some friends were hanging out at his elderly mom’s home. He stood up from a kitchen chair, took a few steps, and had to sit down. As his mom and friends told him later, they just knew something was very wrong, and they called 911.

On the way to the hospital, Randy started to have a cardiac event. The EMTs lost him twice before reaching the ER. Over the next couple of hours, he coded seven more times, once for 26 minutes.

“They just kept working on me, kept going. After 26 minutes, I should have been dead or should have ended up like vegetable. But here I am. And I want to be really clear about this: the Lord picked the right EMTs, doctors, surgeons, therapists… everyone. He chose to keep me here and sent the right people to save me.”

While living out of state years ago, Randy had been treated for a previous heart attack. He had two stents, and the stents became clogged, causing another heart attack. After being revived in the ER, surgery came next, then the ICU. Aside from shadowy dreams, Randy remembers none of this. Upon waking, the first thing he saw was his daughter Venessa, who grabbed him and started crying for joy. She’d never given up hope that he would survive.

Though the worst was over, the work to recover would soon begin. Randy was transferred to the Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit (ARU) at ORMC. In the ARU, Randy benefitted from a comprehensive, integrated, interdisciplinary rehabilitation program involving an experienced team of physical medicine and rehab physicians as well as physical, occupational, speech, and respiratory therapists.

“After the ICU, it took a while to come off all the medications. My thoughts felt like jello. My legs felt like jello,” Randy explained. “The people in rehab helped me learn how to walk and talk again. I couldn’t swallow, so Natalie taught me how to do that so that I wouldn’t get pneumonia.

“Everyone in rehab — Molly, Rowdy, Courtney, Natalie, Heather, Braden… too many people to name — they’re all amazing! They genuinely cared about me. They were all there for me, even when I got frustrated and struggled. When I didn’t think I could get through it, didn’t think I could keep standing, they kept me going.”

Randy spent 46 days total in the hospital and was released on June 1. Currently, he goes back to ORMC for cardiac rehab three times per week. His cardiologist, too, considers him a miracle because there is no evident damage to his heart.

Whenever Randy returns to the hospital for cardiac rehab, he peeks down the hall into the ARU, where he can see the door of his old room.

“I see the people they are working with right now, and I can’t help smiling because that was me not that long ago. I don’t think I would have recovered as fast if I hadn’t gone to the rehab [ARU].

“All those people in rehab, they’re like my family now. They treated me like family, and I love them like family. I don’t miss being in the hospital, but I miss them. I visit whenever I can. I could go on and on about how amazing they all are.”

Speaking of family, Randy can’t say enough about the constant care and prayers he got from his own family.

“My mom is the best mom. I came back to Utah to take care of her since she’s 85. But she ended up taking care of me. My two daughters, Jessica and Venessa, took such good care of me — even in the hospital they did more than even the nurses. They never gave up on me. My brother, Brian, and even my ex-wife, Janie, they did so much for me. This has really strengthened the bonds between all of us.

“I’m just grateful to be alive. Something like that really makes you wake up, slow down, and appreciate life. The Lord is the Master Physician, and He chose to keep me here.”  

Randy Weston
Posted on: 11/10/2022

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