Wed | Apr 26, 2017

From near death to Christianity

Published:Saturday | May 23, 2015 | 5:00 AM
Karene Forrester, who cheated death, in a phone conversation at the Errol Flynn Marina.
From left, life-long friend Roma Scott with Karene Forester in a relaxing mood.
Karene Forrester posing for the camera.
Karene Forrester at a special function at Hotel Tim Bamboo.
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Snow Hill, Portland:

A sudden illness resulting in a near-death experience triggered a change in the life of Karene Forrester, a mother of three, who has since surrendered her life to God.

It was on a day like any other, on October 1 2013, that Forrester, while heading out to work at Swift River, mysteriously fell ill and was rushed to the nearby Port Antonio Hospital by family members.

Unconscious and hardly breathing, she was hurriedly transported to Kingston Public Hospital (KPH), where she regained consciousness four days later.

"I woke up to find myself restrained on a bed in a strange place," said Forrester.

She added, "I was told later that I was in a coma for four days. I was diagnosed with hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol. I was also told that doctors and nurses had written me off and that if I survived, I would be in a vegetative state. I then realised that there was a thin line between living and dying. I made a commitment to God to serve Him once my life was spared."

Forrester admitted that before her illness, Christianity was far from her mind, and that although her mother was into religion, she never saw herself becoming a Christian any time soon. But, that was about to change, as, according to her, the illness was her wake-up call to surrender to Jesus Christ.

One month later, in November 2013, Forrester was baptised at Emmanuel Apostolic Church in Snow Hill - a decision she has not regretted since.

battling for health

But Forrester has faced many challenges, as after being discharged from KPH in October 2013, she was rushed to the Port Antonio Hospital that same day, due to severe headache and nausea.

Since then, she has been battling to stabilise her high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, which continue to plague her. But with a change in her diet, where she has basically eliminated salt, starch, and sugar from her meals, Forrester has seen some improvement in her health, which has allowed her to participate in church worship more frequently.

Continuing, Forrester said, "The good Lord spared my life for a purpose. I once was involved in fornication and other kinds of sinful practices, but, today, I have given my life to God. I should have made that move a long time ago, but I was chasing the world and losing my soul. Today, I am a child of God and it feels good. He supplies all my needs according to His riches in glory."

familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com