As a nurse of a busy post-surgical recovery unit, I received a call one day regarding a patient named Bill who had just undergone surgery. He should have gone to a critical care unit but was diverted to me because that unit was full.
The patient soon arrived with his family. I was relieved to see that he was alert, oriented, and in no apparent distress.
After taking his vital signs and familiarizing him and his family with his room, I stepped into the hall to make a note on his chart. Just as my pen hit the paper, I heard a voice say, “Go back into his room.” I stopped writing and looked behind me. There was no one there. I thought I had imagined the voice, when suddenly I heard it a second time—only louder.
I ran back into Bill’s room to discover that his neck had doubled in size, and he was having trouble breathing. Thinking that his carotid artery had been perforated, I applied direct pressure to his neck with my right hand while using my left hand to call the neuroradiologist who had performed his procedure. The surgeon said he would send a team up to get Bill as soon as possible. “And do not remove your hand!” he said.
As I continued applying pressure, I noticed a familiar Church book near Bill’s bed. “You’re a member of the Church?” I asked.
He tried to nod and then told me he was an ordinance worker in the Atlanta Georgia Temple. He then blinked back tears and said, “I’m going to die!”
I told him he was not going to die, stating adamantly, “I’m getting married in the Atlanta Temple next month, and you are going to be there.” The surgical team then arrived and whisked Bill away.
In the excitement of my wedding plans over the next month, I nearly forgot about Bill, who it turns out had had a reaction to medication. But as the matron led me to the sealing room on my wedding day, I saw a familiar face: Bill’s wife, Georgia. When I told her I was about to be married, she went to find Bill. Moments before the ceremony began, the door opened and he entered. After weeks of headaches, nausea, and fatigue, Bill had felt well enough that day to travel to the temple, not realizing it was my wedding day.
Two years later my husband and I were called to be ordinance workers in the Nashville Tennessee Temple. When we arrived at the temple to be set apart, a gentleman held the door open for me and said, “Welcome to the Nashville Temple!” It was Brother Bill.
We served together for three years. Bill told everyone I had saved his life, but I knew that the Lord had saved him. In the process, He had taught me the importance of heeding promptings from the Spirit.