Megachurch Pastor John Gray has been hospitalized with a life-threatening pulmonary embolism he called an "illegal transaction from Hell" as his wife, Aventer, is urging his followers to bombard Heaven with prayers so her husband can receive a "miracle" from God.
Gray, 49, who leads Relentless Church, which has campuses in Greenville, South Carolina, and Powder Springs, Georgia, was admitted to the critical care unit at an undisclosed hospital, according to an Instagram post from his wife on Sunday.
"My family and I stand in need of a miracle. Please keep my husband @realjohngray in your prayers," Aventer Gray began in her post.
"After feeling a little different over the past couple weeks, he went to the ER on Thursday evening and was immediately admitted to CCU with a saddle Pulmonary Embolism in the pulmonary artery and more lung blood clots. The Saddle PE is in a position that could potentially end his life if it shifts at all," she explained.
"The clot burden is severe and only God is holding it in place. He is currently in CCU and based on CT & Echo we will need two types of surgery due to the pressure now on the heart within the next 24 hours. To place this in perspective, the doctor said that people have come into the hospital dead with this exact scenario he walked in with."
A saddle pulmonary embolism, according to Medical News Today, is a rare type of acute pulmonary embolism that occurs when a large blood clot gets "lodged at the intersection where the main pulmonary artery divides and branches off into the left and right lungs."
Since the pulmonary artery carries deoxygenated blood from the heart to the lungs to become reoxygenated, the condition limits blood supply to critical organs like the brain, heart and kidneys. If the condition is not treated urgently, it can lead to heart failure and sudden death. The condition is triggered by a number of factors, such as obesity.
The majority of people with the condition generally survive. One study shows the mortality rate for the condition is 3.62%.
Both Gray and his wife addressed their church remotely through video and telephone calls on Sunday as they leaned on their congregation for support.
"My husband is fighting for his life right now. And I have no idea how I'm able to sit here in front of a camera and speak to you other than the God that I serve," Aventer said in a video.
"I know that in this moment, God is saying that this blood clot that has come to my husband may be here to add to his testimony but it does not have permission to take him out. He's God's son. Only God has permission to speak a thing and to act on it," she added.
She said she felt helpless when she first learned of her husband's condition. But she has leaned on her faith.
"I initially felt helpless and lost and then I remember you can add to the testimony, but you can't take his life. That's my husband, but that's God's son. That's my children's father but that's God's son," she recalled.
Aventer Gray also said that before the diagnosis, her husband had been flying between two campuses weekly. She said his body had been "screaming" for him to take his health more seriously.
She said his doctor revealed that his pulmonary artery was "50% blocked" and called for prayers the clot will "shrink, shrivel and die."
"My husband's work isn't done. In fact, the work that he's done, he's done broken. What can He do with the delivered and healed man? I can't wait to see it," she said.
Near the end of the service, the Relentless Church leader called the church from his hospital bed and said: "If the devil thought he was afraid of me before this, when I come up out of here? That's all I got to say."
"The doctor told me and my wife, she said, 'Your vitals look good for the precarious nature of your condition. If this blood clot moves one way or the other, there's nothing we can do even in this hospital,'" he said.
"And I need you to hear me even as they try to get me to this next hospital for this procedure. I go in the confidence of the God that I serve. I go with the prayers of my beloved church and I go with the surety that what He's started in me He is faithful to complete," Gray said.
He also urged his members to donate to the church in a way they have never done before to push back against the "illegal transaction from Hell" that has threatened his life.
"I believe God for complete healing," he said. "It has been the great honor of my life to pastor this church. I say this as you all are sowing today. I want you to sow at a level of faith and a level of expectation you've never had before because I can tell you that this was an illegal transaction from Hell. And it will not stand. And since the enemy tried to steal my life, he owes me sevenfold. … What's on me is on the house. So I declare from this bed that not only will I live and not die, you shall live and not die."