Continuing from Episode 23, Dr. Steve Lawson recounts his harrowing tale of contracting cerebral malaria while on a mission in Nigeria, then falling ill a few days later in the middle of Siberia on another mission. In Part 2, Steve describes how weak and frail he had become following the sickness, and the utter helplessness he experienced as a result.
As a pastor, Steve had often preached about helplessness, losing faith in God and leaning on others for faith. After one particularly bad fall in the hospital during his convalescence, however, he realized he had never really lived these lessons. He found himself truly vulnerable for the first time, and that vulnerability ultimately strengthened his faith, having watched his family and the global community they contacted pull together for his recovery. Steve also credits his wife as the “human hero” of the story (after God), as she also fought with losing faith while Steve was in a coma.
After returning home to the States, Steve began physical therapy doing simple tasks like sit-to-stands. He walked with a cane for a while as he had developed ataxia and was wobbly on his feet. He eventually progressed to a barbell and began a Starting Strength linear progression, squatting, pressing, and deadlifting first the empty bar and adding a few pounds each workout. Today he is squatting and deadlifting in excess of 200lbs and he has recovered all of the 25lbs of bodyweight he lost while in a coma.
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