Parish Stories

St. Joseph

Lake Orion, MI Archdiocese of Detroit


“My source of strength and grace”

Gemma Falvey

I am a regular adorer. We have a perpetual adoration chapel that is open seven days a week. It was 10 p.m. on a Tuesday night; that's the night it happened. I got home at 9:30 and everything happened.

My husband—who was in the healthiest condition he’d been in in years—had just finished running on the elliptical for his workout. He was walking around the kitchen island doing his cool down and we were talking about the day. He suddenly stopped, said he was so dizzy, and collapsed. 

He fell between the island and the counter and I couldn’t pull him over. 

I called 911 and he came to a bit while I was talking and then he stopped breathing. 

I yelled to the 911 operator and she said the EMS crew and police were at my door. 

They started working on Joe and a woman officer took me to the other room and kept talking to me. Time kept passing. I couldn’t say any prayers except ‘God please help him’ over and over. They finally had Joe stable enough to be transferred to the ambulance and hospital. My sons had arrived and we followed but first had to stop at the chapel. One of the women I knew was there and I asked her to stay for me and to pray for my husband as he just had a heart attack.

He was in ICU for three days and finally started to come around. That’s when the nurse said to me that there was my miracle. They were not expecting him to wake up. 

On Friday, I had a meeting with the doctor and he told me that 85 percent of his heart was damaged by the heart attack. 

That it had taken the EMS crew 17 minutes working on him. 

That he had some oxygen, but they kept losing him that night. 

That he was going to have surgery, they just didn’t know how extensive it would be yet. 

As I sat with him during the day, it became quite clear that he not only didn’t remember the heart attack, but also when he awoke from sleeping he couldn’t remember what was going on. His memory went from being on ship in the Navy, 45 years ago, to the next time we were on vacation in Florida, which was 20 years prior to the heart attack. The doctors didn’t expect him to regain his memory, be able to work again or even be left alone. 

That night I had my 11 p.m. chapel hour. Fortunately, I was by myself.

I have a very close relationship with our Lord in my heart. I go deep with any problems I am having. I developed a habit of just pouring out my heart. It's like telling your best friend what's going on.

I began to pray to Our Lord. I begged him to either bring Joe back to his previous life, able to work, hunt, and be independent, or to take him. I was afraid if he didn’t recover, he would end up hating our Lord. I told Jesus that would kill me; I couldn’t bear it. 

Read the Story

Inspire Others

Share Your Story

We invite you to submit your story of encountering Jesus in the Eucharist and inspire others to find in Jesus what they are looking for.

Share It


Experience it for Yourself

Jesus is truly present. Jesus is always with you. Sit in his presence and open yourself up to his voice.

Come and See