From The Valley of Death to Life – Joey Hung

My parents decided to go to Church when I was about 11/12, at that age I had to go along with them but I didn’t think too much of it. I learnt about God, Jesus and worshipped. I understood the values and what it meant to be a Christian, on paper, but I never called myself a Christian. There was something missing, something that I wouldn’t find out until later, which is a fundamental part of being a Christian.

This carried on for a number of years until about 3/4 years ago in my 2nd year of University. Studies started picking up and there were other things I wanted to do, so having not really considered myself a Christian, I slowly stopped going to Church.

I then graduated 2 years ago and started my career as a headhunter. I was keen to impress and learn so I was working 10/11 hours a day. Through my hardwork I was constantly rewarded with more responsibilities, pay rises and promotions.

Life was good, I was having fun, work was challenging and exciting and I was out every weekend socialising. I was contempt, very happy and again felt even less compulsion to attend Church and even the very thought of needing God.

Fast forward to Saturday 25th January. I was out clubbing with a few friends, everything was good. And then I woke up 2 weeks later in hospital.

I still don’t remember what happened that night but my friends helped fill in the gaps. I had taken ecstasy and about 2 hours later I passed out and was rushed to the hospital.

By the time I got there and examinations had taken place; I was in a critical condition. There was a hole in my stomach, my kidneys had failed and my liver had pretty much disintegrated.

There were a number of miracles that happened on that night as well as the following few months. But there isn’t enough time to go through them all.

I needed specialist help and as quickly as possible. It just so happened that the club I was in that night was only about 15 minutes away from the best liver clinic in Europe, which was Kings College. Once there I was put into a coma until a suitable liver donor was found. This took just over 2 weeks, however not only did a liver become available in the second week, but 5 did in one day, and one of those was a perfect match.

I was later told that there were over 200 people on the waiting list for a liver transplant and that about 20% would die before one was found. I am so thankful that God not only put me straight to the top of the list, but also provided me with a perfect match.

So the transplant was successfully completed and I eventually woke up completely unaware of where I was and what had happened. I would spend the next month in intensive care while they further stabilised me. By the time I was well enough I had spent 2 months lying in bed. I lost about 17kg of body mass and had so little muscle I couldn’t lift my head off the pillow or even touch my face. My hands would also shake constantly, which was both a side effect of medication and lack of muscle, I also had a tube in my throat so I couldn’t speak.

As a person I am quite optimistic, I’ve always been very independent and like to solve my own problems. But my situation was difficult, I could not move, could not feed myself, and thought I would never walk or speak again. This was just too much for myself to deal with. My parents were with me everyday and each day they would pray for me.

I spent a lot of time thinking, I didn’t blame God for what had happened, why was it his fault? It was my decision to do what I did. But I needed help. With guidance from my parents I started to pray. I wanted to get out of intensive care, I wanted all the tubes taken out of me, I wanted to speak again, and I wanted to get better.

In the coming days each of these things came true. They were removing tubes, my kidneys were working again, the liver was showing signs of proper function and they finally took out the tube from my throat. Doctors initially thought I needed surgery to speak again, but immediately after the tube was removed I could speak.

After each step of recovery I would give thanks to God. So I was finally moved out of intensive care and into a ward. My next challenge was to learn to walk again. Each morning I would pray again for God to give me strength, on the first day of physio I was able to stand up for 30 seconds, next day was 1 minute, after that was 5, and then slowly I was started to move my feet. Within 3 weeks I had learnt to walk again. The physio’s told me that I was one of the fastest recovering patients they have ever had.

During this time in the ward I was visited quite frequently by Pastor Bobby, we chatted and looking back at what had happened. I came to the realisation that God had been with me throughout my entire life, even though I never acknowledged him. He blessed me with great family and friends who were there when I needed them and guided me through my life.

Seeing first hand what God could do, on the 18th March in hospital I declared myself a Christian. I finally understood what it meant to truly be a Christian, and what I previously felt was missing, which I believe is the most important part of being a Christian, which is the relationship with God.

I was in a situation completely out of my hand, anything I did would not sway the outcome. However during this time I gave myself completely to God, I rested, prayed and started to build a relationship. Although I didn’t spend all my time learning about God at Church, or how to pray, I did what I felt was right. I put all my faith and trust in God and just rested because that was all I could do.

It’s been 6 months now since that day, and God has done some amazing things and continues to. He is really my saviour and I feel so blessed to still be here today.

I hope that my story will give hope to those in hard times and to know that the good days are still to come.

I would also like to thank all my family, my friends and everyone at Church who came to visit, helped my family, prayed for me and Pastor Bobby for his time and effort. I really appreciate it all.


Joey Hung