Beloved Southern Baptist preacher Voddie Baucham Jr. said a series of setbacks to his treatment for heart failure, including multiple weather delays, left him “within an hour or so of death.”
In a statementreleased on Instagram Sunday, the father of nine, who previously detailed how the winter storm that devastated Texas delayed his journey to the Mayo Clinic in Florida, said he and his wife, Bridget, can only “continue to marvel at the Lord’s providence and rejoice in His goodness” that kept him alive during the ordeal.
“My condition is much improved, and we have a clear, aggressive, and promising treatment plan,” Baucham wrote. “According to the doctor that brought me in (actually, his wife picked us up and rushed us to the E.D., but that's another story for another time), I was in the final stages of a catastrophic event, and within an hour or so of death.”
“When we look back at the amazing work of the missionary doctor in Lusaka who stabilized me (and saved my life), the GoFundMe, canceled flights, weather delays, my vitals during the Joburg to Doha flight, a last-minute itinerary change to Jacksonville, and the fact that Mayo was expecting and waiting for me upon arrival (including the paramedic who checked me in and said, ‘I’m trying not to go all fan-girl right now,’ it is impossible to deny the hand of our Sovereign God and the way he shepherded us.”
Baucham, 51, first announced his battle with heart failure just over a week ago on social media.
The founder of Voddie Baucham Ministries, who is also a board member of Founders Ministries and founding faculty member of the Institute of Public Theology, said he felt unwell at the end of a preaching tour this winter in Zambia before realizing he had heart trouble.
“I thought I had just worked too hard (17 preaching dates in 18 days, 7 sessions the last 3 days, etc.). However, as it turns out, I was experiencing heart failure!” he noted in his statement.
He said he first noticed the symptoms at the end of December when he and his wife returned to Dallas after her mother's passing.
“I experienced fatigue, and shortness of breath, among other things. However, I chalked it up to traveling with heavy bags and restrictive masks (not the trifecta of a hereditary heart defect, last February’s mysterious ‘pneumonia,’ and untreated sleep apnea),” he noted.
News of Baucham’s illness has attracted global attention and support. He explained Sunday in his post that he was “receiving care from some of the top doctors in the world in the field of heart failure” at the Mayo Clinic.
A GoFundMe campaign raising funds to cover his medical expenses was inching towards $1.4 million in donations as of Monday morning.
“The Lord uses Voddie to feed my soul and I'm sure, the souls of countless others. I'm praying for God to mercifully heal him and allow him to stay here amongst us a good while longer. Please Lord Jesus!” wrote Kathleene Gabriel, one of the more than 12,500 donors to the campaign.
Reacting on Twitter to Baucham’s latest update, Thomas Ascol, president of Founders Ministries who also serves as senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Florida, wrote on Twitter Sunday night: “God is writing a great story in our brother’s life. Keep praying!”