Martha Holt’s story

It had been a hard year. Martha Holt had followed more ambulances and done more paperwork than anyone during her husband’s illness. And when it was over, she was left with bills, pain and more paperwork. Eighty-eight-year-old John, in and out of the hospital for surgeries and rehab for congestive heart failure, was gone. Martha still doesn’t sleep well at night after all the months of listening for him to stir so she could tend to him in their home’s dining room-turned-hospital room. While there had been a lot of stress in caring for her husband, her professional nursing skills and love helped. But after he died, there was a new, different stress: She lost half her income, and was now facing astronomical medical bills from all the procedures. “You think that you have saved and are OK to sustain yourself through old age, but then you have just one catastrophic episode and you’re down the tubes in a hurry,” she said. It was a fearful, stressful time, but her faith made her decide to take it one bill and one day at a time. Her motto? It’s not what you’re dealt, it’s how you deal with it.

But she was shocked by what happened next: She received a letter saying her deceased husband’s hospital bill was paid by the Mother’s Day Offering. “I thought, Oh my God, is this an answer to a prayer?” she exclaimed. “I had never heard of it. There is no way of measuring the impact in words. This experience had been a nightmare, and it lasted for so long. The gift came out of the blue. They relieved me of a substantial pressure. I just cried.”

Martha Holt has lived a long, interesting and satisfying life, filled with amazing experiences and people. But this was new for the woman who had always been a giver, a helper. “All I can say is thank you. It is a blessing there are people who care like that. May you continue to follow your compassion with the added sharing of Christ’s love in assisting others in need.”

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Wake Forest Baptist Health