It may not have been a Christmas miracle that saved Todd Gill’s life, but the president of Missouri-based Superior Adventure Center insists that a chain of fortunate coincidences added up to a miracle or two.
Gill and his wife, Sheryl, were in Moab on Monday to scout around for places to bring their customers next fall, and to pay a visit to Moab Regional Hospital. It was their second visit to MRH in recent weeks. They were there to provide some goodies and thank the doctors and nurses who helped save his life.
The year 2019 has been a rough one for Gill’s health, but he’s a religious man and believes he’s alive thanks to God and good medical care in Moab. He said as much in a rare personal post online that he shared with The Times-Independent.
It started with a ruptured bowel in March. Fourteen inches of his large intestine was removed at a hospital in Missouri and he had an ileostomy – doctors cut an opening in his abdominal wall. He said that surviving this painful event was the first miracle.
He said the second occasion of good fortune happened in the middle of May, when he had to undergo reverse surgery in which “everything was reconnected.” The procedure did not go well and he ended up in the hospital again “with a hematoma that became the size of a softball and caused a blockage.” However, while he was healing, he contracted E. Coli and developed a blood clot. “And God healed me again.”
Summer arrived and Gill went to physical therapy three times a week and was walking two and a half miles a day June through August.
Fall came and so did the sickness. Gill said he was hospitalized with a partial bowel blockage. Five days later he was eating and using the restroom so they sent him home. The next night he and Sheryl left their home in Moberly, Missouri for Moab, where he guides off-road adventures. He suffered another attack in Rifle, Colorado and was in the hospital there for three days.
Remarkably, Gill said he was able to continue on to Moab where he worked as a guide for four days before he became seriously ill again. Sheryl brought him to Moab Regional Hospital, where Gill underwent his seventh CT scan since March. The scan showed a complete blockage of the small intestine where the ileostomy had been.
The third miracle came in the form of Dr. Eric Hanly, who is chief of staff at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction, Colorado, who was vacationing in Moab and doing a four-day rotation at the hospital. “He assured me that the hospital was well equipped and staffed and that I was in good hands.”
The surgical team removed a hard section of knotted small intestine and removed his appendix, as it was enlarged and there were concerns about adhesions and future surgeries “due to the fact my abdomen now looks like a Tic-Tac-Toe game that no one won.”
“It was wonderful,” said Gill of Monday’s visit. “A lot of the people who were working that day were there. Lots of hugs.”
Gill said he knows people will question his faith in “God’s plan after everything that’s happened to me … it is very simple. We live on planet Earth, not in heaven. Our life on earth is not permanent and is oftentimes filled with pain. It is through these trials that our faith in God is tested. The only thing that hurts me is to see the grief my family and friends have had to go through.”