Perfusionist for Heart Surgeries and Liver Transplants
My Very Near Death experience at age 55
I never imagined a business ad I had placed in a local newspaper would bring to me the person who would later help to save my life. Grand Master John Tsai saw the ad and reached out to me to say we had a friend in common, a Kung Fu student at one of Grand Master’s many Shaolin Temples in Chicago. Grand Master Tsai was living and doing Qi Gong research in Hot Springs Village, AR when I met him in 2012. He was developing an accelerated program for people who did not want to spend 10-20 years to build their Qi.
After our phone conversation and after checking Grand Master out on the Internet, I saw some of his incredible videos. I was impressed and called him back to see if we could meet. He was open and ready to share his Qi Gong. I was most curious about something on the video – something I had never seen before – people shaking, vibrating and pulsing like they were plugged into a 220 volt socket. I have been in martial arts for many years and have studied Qi Gong. I thought I knew what Qi is and what it can do for me. Never...never had I seen anything like this. After showing the video to Diane, my wife, she wanted to go too. We wanted to understand what all the vibrating was about.
When we met with Grand Master, Qi and energy dominated our time. His passion for energy work and generosity in helping people lit up the conversation. Because of my work in the medical field, I know anatomy and physiology. I considered myself to be well-versed in energy channels, acupuncture, and Qi as well, but what was about to happen to me was inexplicable. Grand Master’s training is based on “show me” so instead of explaining Qi Gong, he demonstrates Qi Gong. He told me to stand up and be still. He tapped me on my crown a few times, swiped his hands down my spine and suddenly I was the one shaking...just like those people in the video. Now I was vibrating and bouncing around like I had stuck my finger in a 220 volt socket. And as if to show that anyone can enjoy their Qi like this, he did the same to my wife, Diane.
He had, in minutes, introduced us to our own energy, connected us to the energy inside our bodies. Grand Master talked to us about the importance of this Qi circulating throughout the body to have good health. I was in! Then and there I signed up for his Qi Gong 101 training in Hot Springs. Never, not one second, have I considered that to be anything less than the most important decision in my life..for life. I learned how to cultivate my Qi; how store it in my body; how to apply Qi to enhance my health. But most importantly, I built the Qi that I honestly believe protected me from death.
I knew Grand Master Tsai was a gifted and special person, but I had underestimated his impact on people’s lives. Grand Master and I formed a strong personal bond when we first met and it has continued to grow stronger over the years. My faith in what Grand Master teaches, his Martial Arts skill and his Qi Gong Mastery, started us on a path to provide this valuable information to others. Grand Master’s focus of the healing power of Qi Gong led us to doing workshops and seminars together.
At our first event, we were just going to introduce the people to Grand Master Tsai and give them a little information on what we do. Unexpectedly, for me anyway, everyone had heard of Grand Master Tsai and wanted to experience something about Qi. At that event I supported Grand Master as he saw and helped over two hundred conference attendees. I was amazed at his skills with Qi. We were invited to another event as well to introduce attendees to the power of Qi Gong.
GM Tsai does not dwell on explaining Qi Gong. Instead he says the best way to know Qi Gong is to experience it yourself, so he shows you Qi Gong. Only through experience can one really comprehend what is possible. I was expecting a one or two hour demonstration. We sat ourselves up on the side of the dining hall or in the lobby of the cruise ship we were on. Day after day, hour after hour, I assisted Grand Master as he tapped, swiped, and pulled energy from about 250 people. Everyone came with an ailment of some sort – necks, shoulders, ankles, knees, headaches, and much more. They’d sit in a chair, tell Grand Master their problem, and 2 minutes later, there was no pain left. Some pains had resided with the individual for years and with a swipe of Qi, the pain flowed away. I was begging for lunch, or at least a break, as the line got longer and longer. We would finally take a break for a couple of hours and another line was there. We started all over again. They all wanted to know how to reach Grand Master for help.
Once again, my respect for him grew as he helped every single person feel better in seconds. I would see someone with a complicated problem standing in line to see him, all the while wondering if Grand Master could really help this individual. I often even felt compelled to “forewarn” him about what was coming up as a challenge. He responded to me with a grin, as if to say, “I trust my Qi and their Qi. You don’t understand yet.” I later knew what he was really saying to me, how profound it really was.
At one meeting where he was teaching a smaller group of us who had come in from around the country to learn more in-depth secrets of Mei Hua Qi Gong, I witnessed another remarkable situation that was an additional rock in my foundation of trust in Qi. One woman in the group who had suffered with epilepsy had a seizure in the middle of practice. Grand Master instructed her how to use her own Qi, right there on the spot, to stop the seizure. Even more amazing is that Debbie has not had a seizure since then, over five years ago.
Grand Master’s faith in Qi – his own energy and yours and mine as well – is insurmountable. After almost 70 years of training with Qi, he knows the power in the way a mother knows a baby’s cry. He warns that he is not a healer but rather a plumber who cleans pipes so the Qi can flow and provide at least temporary relief. Self-healing for the long-term comes only with one’s investment of time and discipline in their own Qi.
I continued my Qi classes, advancing, building my energy and learning how to use it for myself. I loved it. GMT is the only person I have ever encountered to successfully connect me to my own energy so that I could actually feel it. I knew, that he knew, what he was talking about. I wanted that education for my own benefit. Even then, my goal was to build a bank account of Qi that could support me if I ever had a serious health situation and needed to make a withdrawal. And, sure enough, it did just that.
This internal energy that I learned could also be applied externally as well. I wanted to break cement blocks and lie on a bed of nails. I was learning external applications such as Iron Palm from Grand Master and his student Master Jeff Organ. In November, 2016, I stepped up to proudly apply my Qi to break my first cement block. Although I was in great shape physically, breaking a cement block with my Qi has its mental challenges. I was thrilled to see that broken block, proof that my Qi power, attention, and intention measured up. We planned the next level demonstration of Qi power to be in a couple of months. I added cordyceps and reishi mushrooms to my regimen to keep my body strong and healthy. I trained to break two or three blocks in January, 2017.
However, much to my surprise, and everyone else’s, a life-changing event occurred. Instead of advancing with my Qi tests, I had a near death experience. One minute I was feeling great from my work out, the next minute I felt as if I were dying. My essence, my Qi, literally drained out of me like water from a faucet. I called my wife, who was out shopping. All I could say was, “I think I am going to die, please call an ambulance.”
January 24th, 2017 I experienced a near death experience that left me in a hospital bed for over 3 weeks, on a respirator, split open from sternum to groin, left open for 3 days, septic, my kidneys shut down requiring dialysis and I had a colostomy bag.
At the hospital, doctors ran test after test.This was my place of work as well, so these people were coworkers and friends. Giving it their best, for three days they searched for the problem. During that time, that man who was in good shape, who was 5’11” weighing in at 175 pounds, who could bench press his own body weight 10 times, and who could run three 7-minute miles... that man was literally withering away as my body was shutting down. A spontaneous rupture of my large intestine interrupted my routines, my work, my health, and my life. My body became a toxic dump. Toxins filled my body for three days swelling me to 225 pounds in only 72 hours. Septic/Toxic edema had set in. I looked 9 months pregnant as my abdominal cavity filled with feces. My poor wife was told that my prognosis was Not Good!
Emergency exploratory surgery followed three days of tests. They cut me from stem to sternum to find the rupture. After repairing it, they washed me out and set me up with a colostomy bag. Unfortunately, they could not close me up. I was too swollen. By this time, my body’s organs were overstressed. My heart, lungs and kidneys were failing as they tried to clean my body for me. I was intubated and dependent upon a ventilator to breathe and dialysis substituted for my kidneys. Cannulas inside my body were draining fluids and administering medicines. I was incoherent, in and out of consciousness. They washed out my open abdominal cavity each of day. The surgeon reported to Diane that he had never seen anyone become that septic, that quickly. The prognosis was not good even after the repair. I was extremely toxic. They did not know if I would make it, much less ever return to “normal”. To get even a little bit worse, I had to die.
Two days after surgery and with my organs continuing to fail, my wife reached out to Grand Master Tsai who happened to be in Arkansas at the time, albeit was 150 miles away. She told GMT that I had said that I know what a dying man feels like. He and his student visited me the next morning. They were shocked at the shape I was in. The last time they had seen me, we were breaking cement blocks with our hands. I was still incoherent so I remember almost nothing of their visit. Reports from Diane and GMT filled in the memory gaps.
Doctors examined me and the monitor reports on the third day after surgery and determined that taking me back in to surgery to close me up still was not an option. My lungs and kidneys were too weak from the toxicity and I was much too swollen for them to pull my incision back together. After the doctors’ visits that morning about 8am, Grand Master came in with Master Jeff. GMT quietly assessed the situation... not by looking at the monitors and machines I was hooked up to but by looking at my Qi. He could discern that a little Qi remained. Luckily for me, I had reserve capacity in my stored Qi from learning and training with Grand Master Tsai and Master Jeff Organ.
In his fashion of confidence and faith in Qi, he squeezed my hand to see if I would squeeze back. I did. He said with great assurance, “You ain’t going nowhere, buddy.”
He instructed Jeff to place his palms on the back of my shoulders and to send in as much energy as possible. Then he did the same on my knees and I activated once again. Grand Master did the same, placing his palms beneath mine for almost 30 minutes. They jumpstarted my energy again. That faith in Qi that I mentioned earlier... Grand Master knew how strong my energy had been, and he knew that if they could get it flowing again that I would be OK. How right he was. All of the Qi Gong I had trained; all of the Qi cleansing I had undergone; all of the breathing to clear my body... my yield was exponential, my yield was my life.
And, so the Qi work began as did my subtle rejuvenation. Immediately following the Qi charge, the monitors beeped to report that my lungs and heart were improving. The nurse ran to get the doctor who saw a window in which he could sew my body back up when only 3-4 hours earlier the doctor had declined surgery due to my lungs being so full and my body so swollen. Grand Master was thrilled about this since he knew that having my body open like that was allowing all of my Qi to “evaporate” and that I could not draw in and store any new Qi. My body was so weak that my Qi could not “hold the charge” GMT and Jeff had given me, just like a weak battery. After my incision was finally closed, and many more hospital visits for additional Qi charges, I began to re-awaken to the world.
I awakened to being intubated, having a feeding tube up my nose, requiring dialysis, a colostomy bag, a wound vac keeping constant suction on my large abdominal incision, tubes inside and outside my body, and lots of beeping from all the monitors and drug pumps. When I awakened I could not raise my hand off of the bed… all I could think was: What the Hell happened to me? From that point, I declared to myself, “I’m not gonna live like this so I gotta get back as quickly as I can.” All my attention and intention were on recovering... FAST. Even in bed, I spent hours trying to raise a leg, or a hand. All my core muscles had been split wide open like a gutted fish, so I was absolutely unable to shift my body from side to side, all the movement required help from others. Eventually, I spent time actually raising my leg or hand. Just like I had kept up with my progress in weightlifting and running, now I estimated how much higher and how many seconds longer I could raise my arm today than yesterday.
I focused on anything and everything I could do... simple things like twitching muscles to keep my lymph circulating. I begged my physical therapists to walk me, move me more, whatever they could do to help me. The very first time PT came they helped me sit up in bed and I needed a rest just to catch my breathe from that exertion. Following that, they put a strap across my chest so they could hold on to me (and do most of the heavy lifting) as I went from the left side of the bed, past the foot of the bed, and to an awaiting chair on the right side of the bed. Probably a mere 6 feet. That was more intense and painful than the marathon I had run. It was humiliating! I could not help but think that the hand that broke cement blocks a couple of months before was the same hand that now I could barely even raise off the bed sheet. As my energy grew and some strength returned, I accomplished what were then major feats... things like raising my foot or arm, moving my legs under the bed sheets. All the things I took for granted just a few days prior, I now considered personal “physical therapy”.
I did my Qi Gong in the hospital bed. My dan tien breath work improved my lungs. I applied my energy to clear my organs. With my hands over the bandages on my belly, I tested to see if I could connect to my Qi in the lower dan and feel my Qi ball. I could. YEAH! Light Qi cultivations to help rebuild my Qi and induce Qi flow followed. I also ran my hands up and down my incision to enhance growth factors. The anesthesiologists said my lungs were bad from the intubation so I began tapping my lung points. I mentally focused Qi on my lungs to heat them up and help clean out the toxins from the rupture and the medicines that left behind their own residue. I came to deeply comprehend something I had heard Grand Master teach a million times – that I had to be #1 in my life to have a #1 life.
Medical Doctors were Astounded by my Rapid Recovery from the brink of Death.
Much to the doctors’ surprise, my recovery seemed quick after only three weeks in the hospital. But... recovery is obviously a relative term. I was released from the Hospital “alive”, BUT... I could not pee, I could not poop, I could not stand, much less walk. I was on Dialysis, had a colostomy bag, and a wound vac machine. As I mentioned, over the 3 days in the hospital my weight had ballooned up from my normal 175 pounds to 225 pounds of toxicity.
When I returned home I was placed in a recliner chair that I could not get out of on my own power. I lived in that chair day and night for several weeks until I had enough core strength to raise and lower myself to my bed.
Luckily for me, when I woke up in the hospital after surgery and they removed me from the ventilator, basically unable to move, I could still Breathe. Being able to breathe and focus my mind were all I needed to practice my Qi Gong. This is Exactly what the practice of Qi Gong (Breath Work) is about. Qi means “air, or energy flow”; Gong means “work”. This is the Ancient Chinese practice of Self Healing.
After my first surgery, I started losing weight from my toxic state with massive edema of 225 lbs, down past my normal weight of 175 lbs and continued to lose most of my muscle mass all the way down to below 135 lbs. I was just a skeleton! The picture below was taken in March, 2017, a month after getting home and after I regained some weight and enough strength to stand unassisted. You can still see me covering up a gaping hole in my side where the colostomy was. All during this time at home, Master Organ would come over at least twice a week to help me revive and clean my Qi.