Pastor Tom Pennington hospitalized after he ‘stops breathing’ in daughter’s arms

Tom Pennington has served as pastor-teacher at Countryside Bible Church in Southlake, Texas, since October, 2003
Tom Pennington has served as pastor-teacher at Countryside Bible Church in Southlake, Texas, since October, 2003 | YouTube/Countryside Bible Church

Countryside Bible Church’s Pastor-Teacher Tom Pennington has been hospitalized and is now on the mend after he suffered a “heart event” and stopped breathing in one of his daughter’s arms Friday morning while on vacation with his family, his church announced.

“As we shared earlier, Pastor Tom had a heart event Friday morning while on vacation. After being resuscitated, he was taken by ambulance to the hospital where he continues to be sedate in the ICU,” the church announced in a statement on Saturday evening.

Pennington, previously served for 16 years at John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, including as a senior associate pastor and MacArthur’s personal assistant. At Countryside Bible Church, he teaches during Sunday services, oversees the church staff, and works with the rest of the elders to provide leadership to the entire church. He also serves as the dean of The Master’s Seminary-Dallas Distance Location.

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Church officials say he is expected to be hospitalized for at least another week as he gets a defibrillator implanted. According to Columbia Heart Surgery, an implantable cardiac defibrillator “is a device that monitors your heart rate and delivers a strong electrical shock to restore the heartbeat to normal in the event of tachycardia.”

“Tom continues to make remarkable progress. He is alert and interacting like Tom, with a sense of humor and talking about getting back in the pulpit,” church officials said in a statement Sunday evening.

He is expective to be moved out of intensive care on Monday and “in the next day or two they plan to install a defibrillator to hopefully prevent any such events in the future.”

The day Countryside Bible Church released their first statement on their pastor’s heart emergency, one of Pennington’s three daughters, Lauren Pennington, revealed in a statement on Facebook that her father stopped breathing in her arms.

“When we took these pictures on Thursday night, I had no clue that 15 hours later my dad would stop breathing in my arms,” she revealed on Saturday.

“He’s still in a fragile but currently stable spot. Thank you for continuing to pray hard. We know the Lord hears,” she added while quoting from Isaiah 41:10, which says, “Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

The church said doctors discovered that Pennington’s “heart event” was due to a “blocked artery” that “has largely calcified.”

“His doctors have … determined that the blocked artery has largely calcified and so putting in a stent is not possible, but his blood vessels have developed around it so they aren’t concerned about blood flow in that area,” the church said in an update on Sunday evening.

“They will be working to help him regain strength in the coming days so that he can travel home, hopefully in the next week to 10 days,” the church said, quoting Psalm 28:6-7 blessing God for His mercy. “Tom’s medical team is amazed at his recovery. We praise God for it. Thank you for your continued prayers.”

Contact: Follow Leonardo Blair on Twitter: @leoblair Follow Leonardo Blair on Facebook: LeoBlairChristianPost

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