My name is Rafal Janowski. My darling wife is Agnieszka – Agnes.
On 4th July 2009 our daughter Olivia Janowski was born in the ROTUNDA Maternity Hospital in Dublin. We have experienced the hardest times of our lives. Olivia is our first baby. When we saw our first ultrasound scan, and having learned that it was a girl, we immediately knew that we should choose the name OLIVIA for her. On Thursday evening, 2nd July, Agnieszka, started having strong labour pains. The contractions grew stronger as we travelled into the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin. We waited for Olivia’s arrival into the world until Saturday morning. At 3:30am it started – Agnes went into labour.
Unfortunately some problems meant that Agnes had to have a Caesarean section. Caesarean delivery was long and arduous and we had no idea how serious the consequences would be for Agnes. The medical staff wasn’t able to pull Olivia out of her mummy’s belly for a number of reasons which we only became aware of later on. At the very last minute, one of the prominent doctors, he managed to pull Olivia out of her mum’s womb. As we heard later, he wasn’t on call that day. He came in to the hospital to deliver his own patient only. Amazing! The doctor worked hard to lift Olivia out of the womb because her head was stuck in Agi’s pelvis.
While I was waiting for my wife together with our tiny Olivia, who looked wonderful, at about 6 o’clock a.m. another doctor informed me of the potentially fatal consequence of this hard Caesarean labour. Agnieszka lost 3.5 litres of her blood and had to be operated on at once! I prayed to God as best I could for His help. I was tired, weary and frustrated. All I wished for was to see my beloved wife as soon as possible and for all three of us to be together. More news which came at around 9:30am from another doctor came as a real blow to me. Agnes’s condition had seriously deteriorated. She had to undergo another surgery because the haemorrhage wouldn’t stop. Consequently Agnieszka lost another litters of blood. She was given a blood transfusion – 6.3 litters (18 x 350 milliliters units of blood) altogether!
I wasn’t able to enjoy Olivia’s birth. I was crying and worrying. I didn’t know how to pray and what to do to help my wife. I texted our family, friends and other Christians we knew to ask them to pray for us.
I was depressed and was tormented with negative thoughts. I felt lonely and abandoned. Stronger and stronger I was attacked by obsessive thoughts of Agnes’s death and the possibility that I would be left to bring up Olivia on my own.
I rang up our close church friend, Jenny, and in a shaky voice I briefly told her the horrors we were going through.
Jenny told me not to worry and said she would notify others of the importance of prayer for us. Despite the desperation I felt God began to show me, in an amazing way, His love and care for me and my family. He reminded me of a book I had read a few months before Agnieszka’s labor “The Good Fight of Faith”, by Alan Vincent, which recounts the story of his life experiences and how to pray successfully against the devil in the midst of failures and difficulties.
God showed me that those dark thoughts of my wife’s death had come from the devil who wants to see everybody but especially Christians suffer.
In my prayer I used the words against a thief from the Book of Exodus 24:1-4.
“If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and slaughters it or sells it, he shall restore five oxen for an ox and four sheep for a sheep.
“If the theft is certainly found alive in his hand, whether it is an ox or donkey or sheep, he shall restore double.”
I was praying in faith calling out my words aloud against the Satan for trying rob us of our happiness.
I prayed, proclaiming in faith, that because the devil tried to kill my wife and rob us from what is good and of what we had built as a married couple, he’d have to repay us. I prayed that, like a thief in the old days had to return the same thing in twofold or fivefold, the devil would ‘pay’ by returning the lives of two other mothers who might be in a similar hardship as my wife. In this prayer I felt the Holy Spirit’s power – and the authority which was given to me by Jesus.
I felt God’s power and guidance. I was convinced that my wife was NOT going to die, that our daughter was NOT going to lose her mother or that I would NOT end up being a widower. I felt I was regaining what rightfully belonged to me and my family. Jesus was strengthening me in my strategic prayer against death.
After over 30 sleepless hours my strength started to come back. God was encouraging me to believe and pray.
I received lots of text messages from my family, friends and acquaintances and I felt their full support. A further promise came to me from the Lord and was confirmed by someone in a text message – from Psalm 23. It was the same psalm that the Holy Spirit kept reminding me of so intensely. Psalm 23:4
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil”
More depressing news about my wife condition reminded me not to cease praying.After a complicated third operation, Agnes was transported to the Mater Hospital in Dublin for intensive care. She was in a pitiful condition. At the same time, our friends arrived to hearten and reassure us. For instance Piotr drove several kilometres in order to be with me. And my dear mother-in-law was driven to see us by and Janice. Janice works as a midwife in Rotunda Hospital, but she had a day off then so she came specially to be with us.
Olivia remained in the nurses’ keeping in the newborn ward at the Rotunda Hospital. All four of us went to Mater Hospital to see my wife. Agnieszka looked really bad. She was still sleeping under an anaesthetic. When we saw her, my mother-in-law and I began weeping and broke down again. Piotr, who was with us, exhorted me to pray for my wife at her bedside. We prayed in faith against death – and again against the devil. We proclaimed God’s healing in Jesus’ name. It was amazing. Agnieszka opened her eyes for a moment and tried to speak but couldn’t due to an apparatus she was connected to. It was the miracle! A doctor, who had been watching over her state of health, had told me a few minutes earlier that Agnes was not likely to regain full consciousness until the Monday, i.e. in 2 days’ time.
The same day, late on Saturday evening, my mother-in-law and I visited Agnieszka again. Her health had improved a lot. We chatted with one another and were thrilled that her recovery was proceeding so fast.
I received plenty of text messages with biblical verses from my family as well as my Polish and Irish friends. On Sunday our friends from St. Mark’s Church in Dublin – as well as those in some churches in Poland( Lubin and Leknica) – were praying for us. I could feel God’s presence.
At midday Agnieszka was transferred to the Rotunda Hospital once again because her state of health had improved so much over such a short period of time. It was then that she was able to hold our tiny Olivia for the very first time!Sunday was a great day. We could feel God’s presence, care and love for us. On Monday Agnieszka had the 4th (and last) operation. During the operation God gave me the certainty of victory and the reassuring promise that everything would be okay.
Jesus heals and rescues. Praise to him for everything!!!
I don’t believe that we have chosen the name OLIVIA by sheer coincidence. During the battle that we went through God showed me Psalm 52, verses 8 and 9.
“But I am like an olive tree that is growing well in the house of God. I will always trust in the kind love of God. I will always praise you for what you have done. I will tel your people what a good name you have”.
My wife and I are thankful to God for our dear Olivia. We are eternally thankful to Him that He has walked with us and brought us safely through this “valley of death” and that He is with us forever.We also thank all those who stood with us in this battle and victory.
Today, been a long time from this incident and I can once again say that Jesus Christ truly heals, liberates and helps those who cry out to him. A passage in the Bible says: I am the Lord-your healer (Exodus 20:2) Of course, medicine and its influences are important, but when there is no hope and we humans are powerless than HE comes!
May God bless you abundantly. Write to us if you want:)
Rafal, Agnieszka and Olivia Janowski