A Doncaster man restored to life after being clinically dead for nearly an hour during hospital treatment has been speaking about his experience at Christian meetings around the country.
The ‘miracle’ happened six years ago, and has been verified by the surgeon involved.
Joe Stevenson was admitted to Doncaster Royal Infirmary for a total knee replacement but, at the initiation of physiotherapy the day after surgery, suffered a massive heart attack.
For the next 55 minutes he had “no cardiac output and no respiratory effort other than what was maintained by the resuscitation team”, according to consultant orthopaedic surgeon Mr ASW Bruce.
When informed by the patient’s son-in-law that Joe had died, church friends began to pray – not for the Lord to raise him up, but for his family to be comforted.
His heart started beating again – “spontaneous cardiac output and respiratory effort were returned,” said Mr Bruce – and he was in a coma for the next 72 hours. But there was no brain damage and, although initially suffering acute renal failure, this completely settled in time.
“Having seen him in clinic, he has made an uneventful recovery,” Mr Bruce added.
Now 75 and in continuing good health, Joe lives in Coniston Road, Askern, with his wife Wilsie.
Dr David Garrard, a senior lecturer at the Assemblies of God Bible College at Mattersey and a fellow member at the time of the Reachout Christian Fellowship at Christ Church in central Doncaster, said: “The miracle of the resurrection power of Christ is evidenced in what happened to Joe.”
Joe has since revealed that he had a series of extraordinary visions during his hour of ‘death’.
“This included a scene of “total chaos on the earth” with everyone struggling for power and some arguing over clothing and possessions which had become worthless as money no longer had any value.
“The Lord showed me armies fighting one another, even beginning to kill their own people; young men and women taking people into alleyways, killing them at random and running away, laughing. I saw pillaging and rapes.
“Then I saw millions of dead bodies inside a massive lean-to, all in different uniforms. And giant earth-moving machines pushing the bodies into a quarry – something like a picture of Armageddon described in the Bible.”
Joe and Wilsie are currently members of the Millennium Christian Fellowship in Hemsworth.
Joe says that in the weeks leading up to his operation, he had sought a much closer relationship with God as a result of which he experienced “a deep cleansing and a strengthening of spirit”.