Cheryl Lyon loves to sing praises to the Lord. But last summer her atrial fibrillation, a 12 year condition that affected her heart rate, got so bad that she was constantly exhausted. She had to drop out of her church quartet. She could hardly find the energy to walk, much less to sing. The medications were no longer effective, and life was extremely difficult for this hard-working widow from Statesville. Something had to be done.
When her doctor referred her for a heart procedure, called an ablation, at North Carolina Baptist Hospital, she knew she needed to do it. “But I was terrified by how much I’d be responsible for paying. Since my husband died, I’ve lived on a tight, fixed budget. A large hospital bill would have been very difficult. I almost backed out,” she said, “because of the thought of being in debt for the rest of my life.” Fortunately, the hospital financial counselor encouraged her not to worry but to focus on getting well. Cheryl went through with the procedure.
Later, while recovering, she fearfully opened what she thought was a medical bill. She was amazed to read words of grace saying her “hospital bill had been paid by compassionate and mission-minded N.C. Baptists in the name of Jesus Christ and His love.” Kind and loving strangers, committed to sharing the compassion of Christ, had paid the balance of her bill in full. “It was wonderful,” she said. “I’m so very, very grateful.”
“I’ve given to people many times because they needed help,” Cheryl said. “I never thought I’d be on the receiving end. You never know when you’re going to be in need.”
Thanks to her care at Baptist, life for Cheryl has returned to normal. She has her energy and her life back — and that includes praising God with her church quartet. “Knowing that there are people who don’t even know me but would be willing to help —that’s the love of Christ at work,” she insisted.
“I plan to give back, so others might see God’s love and want that in their lives.”