It was the morning of September 20, 2006. Jeff Markin recalls heading for work as usual. What he doesn’t remember is driving himself to the hospital.
He had called his boss and told him he didn’t feel well. His boss was concerned and convinced Jeff to go to the emergency room. Somehow Jeff made it. Once he got there, he collapsed.
Dr. Chauncey Crandall was doing rounds in the intensive care unit that morning. He recalls, "An alert call came over the PA system that someone had arrived at the hospital with a massive deadly heart attack. Then a second call went out over the PA system and specifically asking for me because I was the cardiologist on that day. When I arrived there, it was like a war zone. It was chaos. Everyone there fighting to keep this man alive."
The ER staff worked on Jeff for 40 minutes. They shocked him a dozen times. Despite their efforts, there was no response.
Once Dr. Crandall decided the team had done everything medically possible, he called the time of death. Medically Jeff was dead, but he was still experiencing consciousness.
"I was standing in the back of a funeral home, and at that time, I determined that I had died," Jeff Markin says. "This funeral home was empty and was wondering where all my friends and family were."
While a nurse prepared Jeff’s body for the morgue, Dr. Crandall updated the charts.
"As soon as my note was completed, I walked out through the door to this emergency room and I heard this voice say, 'Turn around and pray for this man.' I wanted to ignore that voice because I said to myself, How can I pray for that man? He’s dead he’s gone. There’s no life in him, so I keep walking. The voice came back again and said, 'Turn around and pray for that man.' I stopped and thought I need to honor the Lord. So I turned around at the doorway, and I walked to the side of the body.
"The nurse was on the other side of the body, and she’s looking at me like, 'What are you doing? Why are you here?' And I stood there next to the corpse and I opened my mouth and these words came out: 'Father God, I cry out for this man’s soul. If he does not know you as his Lord and Savior, Father, raise him from the dead now, in Jesus name.‘"
‘I remember staring at bright lights and they were swirling around," Jeff says. "Out of those bright lights came an image and he told me that he was there to look over me and make sure that everything was going to be fine."
Dr. Crandall continues, "The other doctor walked in the room and I pointed to him and said, 'Shock this man one more time.' He looked at me and said, 'Dr. Crandall, we can’t shock him. He’s dead. There’s no life in him. He’s gone.' I said, 'For me, shock him one more time.' That doctor out of respect and honor for me went over to that body with those defibrillator paddles and put his paddles on that patient and shocked him. Immediately an instant heartbeat came back. Instant perfect, regular, which we’ve never seen before. Then suddenly this abdomen started moving and starting breathing and then a couple moments later, the fingers started twitching."
They immediately moved Jeff to the intensive care unit. Three days later, Jeff woke up with no evidence of brain or organ damage.
"Once I woke up, my daughter Jillian was there," Jeff says. "That’s when she told me what had happened."
Dr. Crandall says, "When I came in Monday morning, Jeff was sitting up in bed, and I said, 'Where were you that day that I prayed for you in the emergency room?' And he said, 'I was in total darkness and I was so disappointed.' I said, 'Jeff, what were you disappointed about?' He said, 'I was alone for eternity.'"
Jeff recalls, "He asked me at that time if I was willing to accept God into my life and into my heart and I did. I just opened my arms and accepted God. It was just a very emotional time and I remember crying in his arms."
Today Jeff is back at work and gets regular check-ups with Dr. Crandall.
"He still has no heart problems or residual complications from his brush with death," Dr. Crandall says.
"To know what I had gone through and to be fortunate... That’s been part of my daily battle is why me," Jeff ponders. "Why have I been so fortunate to have God shine on me? It’s been tremendous. I’ve been physically reborn. I’ve been spiritually reborn, and I’m just very grateful for that."
"This day that I prayed for Jeff was a day of very little faith. It wasn’t one of my big God days," Dr. Crandall says. " I was so much in a rush with my work, and I didn’t have a lot of faith backing that prayer up that day. But the Lord asked me to do it, so I honored the Lord and prayed. That’s all we need. Just a spark of faith like that mustard seed, and when you cry out to the mighty Holy Spirit, He will take over. Miracles are real, and they’re real today."