Paul Douglas feared the worst as looked at me with tears streaming down his face, waiting for an answer. I struggled for words, but couldn’t find them.
I stared at the floor, trying to decide how to tell him his young, pregnant wife had just died, along with his unborn little girl. I was a first year resident with hardly any experience and didn’t know what to do. I paused too long, and he grabbed me with his hands around my neck.
I struggled with him as he forced me to the floor squeezing my neck so that I could hardly breathe. The nurses called security, who came around the corner in a matter of moments and pulled the young man from on top of me.
As I turned over and rolled to a kneeling position, they placed him in a wristlock and prepared to cuff him.
I stared into his face—at home my own wife was expecting our second child. I couldn’t help but think about the possibility that this could happen to her—to me.
“Let him go.” I ordered the guards. “He has a right to know. Let him go.” As they released him, the remained close to make sure he didn’t lunge for me.
“Mr. Douglas … your wife had a severe, complication while giving birth. It’s called an amniotic fluid embolism. It was fatal, and she’s gone, Paul … I’m really sorry.” I stood and walked to him, placed my hand on his shoulder, and helped him into a chair.
“And my daughter?” He already knew, but needed to hear it.
“Your daughter too, Paul. I’m so sorry.”
“I don’t know what to do.” He placed his head in his hands. “How do I become a Christian?” He asked abruptly. “Do you know?”
“I do yes, but why are you asking me this right now?” I asked.
“My wife always told me that one day God would take her from me, and that would make me change. Tell me … what do I do?”
That night was the beginning of Paul’s life, and the end of his wife’s. But she saw something that most of us will never see—her husband’s name actually being written in the Book of Life.