From near-death comes new life

Published 12:10 pm Saturday, September 5, 2009

When Richard Madison began his career as an evangelist, he was dead.

On April 13, 1986, he had been in a severe car accident and was taken to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville.

“I was pronounced dead on arrival,” he said. “I was in a brain-dead coma for 27 days, and I had some prayer warriors in my family that continued to pray. I wasn’t a Christian; I was in the world of drugs and alcohol.”

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Madison had suffered a torn aorta, a ruptured spleen, a punctured lung, a broken neck vertebra, a broken jaw, a broken hip, a dislocated eye and a broken foot.

“The doctor said he was sending me to the morgue when something told him to bring me back,” Madison said. “They took out my spleen, placed a brace around my neck, sewed up the aorta and gave me 124 units of blood. I had hepatitis, yellow jaundice, blood poisoning and double-pneumonia. They kept me alive on life support.”

Madison said the doctors had given up on him for the third time when his liver and kidneys stopped functioning and they couldn’t kill the strains of infection.

“I had an out-of-body experience,” he said. “I went into a prayer room and saw my family praying for me, but they couldn’t see me. I heard my mother praying and calling out my name. I knew that I had to do what she was doing, so I asked Jesus – if he was real – to help me.

“Immediately, I felt a hand cover the top of my head, and I heard a voice behind me. It said, ‘I am Jesus, and I am real, and I’m going to raise you up. I want you to go all over telling everyone that I’m real.’ I tried to look and see who it was, but the hand wouldn’t let my head turn.”

Madison said he returned to his body and sat up after being in a coma for 27 days, sitting up on his birthday, May 10. He reached for the nurse at the foot of his bed, causing her to jump about five feet.

“I tried to speak, but I had a tracheotomy in my throat and my mouth was wired shut,” Madison said. “She handed me her paper, and I wrote, ‘Is there a church here?’ She said, ‘You are at Vanderbilt Hospital. You’ve been in an automobile accident.’

“I wrote down that the church had red carpet, and my mom and dad are there praying for me. She said, ‘You must be talking about the prayer room.’ She got a nurse to take my vital signs, and she went down and brought my mother and aunt back. They walked in and saw me sitting up, and 12 doctors gathered around my bed. They couldn’t believe I was awake and the infections had left.”

Now, Madison travels, telling his story and letting people know that Jesus is very much real. He has been to 10 countries a total of 34 times, and will appear on TBN on Monday and Tuesday on a show called “It’s Supernatural,” hosted by Sid Roth.

Madison will speak in Demopolis at Church Aflame on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. and Monday at 7 p.m.

“I’ll be sharing my testimony,” Madison said. “I want to let people know that miracles still happen. Keep praying; there is hope.”