The son of legendary country star Glen Campbell sat down to talk to Examiner about his experience with having a heart attack and stroke, dying and coming back from the dead. It is a story of love, miracles and how his mother’s love and the love of his wife pushed and pulled him back to the living.
This is Travis Campbell’s story in his own words. He calls it, “The Day I Died.”
I would like to share with you an event that changed my life. It was the day I died. The video you are about to watch is showing me in a coma after having a massive heart attack and stroke. I was code blue in the ambulance with my wife frantically urging the paramedics to not give up on me even though they could not keep my heart beating and I was clinically DEAD. I had passed that vital 20 minute mark of no oxygen to my brain by the time I arrived in the emergency room. Dr. Limlik tried explaining to my wife that I was too far gone to be saved and the chances of me ever recovering were slim to none. He then asked her if she wanted to let me go and by that he meant stop CPR and let me die.
The Dr. said my wife Trudy quickly without any hesitation whatsoever said “NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT.” She wanted them to do everything they could to save me and she kept repeating, “Just please don’t let him die.” The doctor said he followed her instructions as his medical team raced me to surgery. The emergency nurses and doctors continued lifesaving procedures as they wheeled my lifeless body down the hallway of Wesley Trauma unit. The Doctor later told me they lost count of how many times I was shocked and they continued chest compressions all the way into the operating room.
After surgery they put me on ice for 48 hours in what is called a state of hydrothermia and at that point I was in a coma. It took another 48 hours to bring my body temp back to normal. I remained in the coma during that time. The doctors then started the dangerous process of warming my body back up. Three days later the Wesley doctor requested a brain scan which showed no brain activity and the doctor explained to my wife that there was nothing more they could do for me. They left the decision in the hands of my wife whether to turn off the machine that was keeping my heart beating.
The nurse Betty later told me my wife’s response was loud and clear “NO.” She said, “He is not going to leave this world like this! I can’t stand to hear this anymore. I am not unplugging his machine.”
My wife believes in miracles. It was a miracle that I wandered into a pool area on that hot summer day to be found by a nurse my wife had met and given flowers too just 2 weeks before because this lady she refers to as Kim Flowers seemed sad. That random meeting turned into something that not only in hindsight seems much more than a coincidence but now certainly qualifies as a miracle. People are put in our path for a reason. My wife believes in miracles and she was not giving up on me.
She stayed by my side playing me music and talking to me. She placed a picture of my mother Billie Jean with Mother Teresa next to my bed. Days went by and my wife called in a holy man named Tony Cline. He brought me a prayer cloth that had been prayed over anointed. He put the prayer cloth on my arm and began praying. This particular day my wife decided to record the meeting because this very day back on June 24th 1980 was the day her father was killed in a wheat truck wreck. My wife felt that this would be the day something was going to happen. This turn out to be the day that I miraculously defied all odds. I responded and my hand began to shake. The doctors said “I came back from the dead.”
I’ve been asked by many medical professionals about my experience and what I saw during this time. I can tell you that I awoke screaming, “she won’t let me stay, mom won’t let me stay.” It was my mother Billie Jean Campbell who passed away in 1992 that I felt hugging me. I can remember her telling me, “You cannot stay with me now.”
I encourage anyone that may be going through something similar to this who may know someone in a coma or on life support to share this story with them. My doctor said I’m his first unexplained miracle in 30 years! I’m one of the very few cases throughout the world where someone dared to defy all odds of medical science. Having my wife by my side to take that leap of faith when I couldn’t do it myself, dream that impossible dream and had the courage to stand up and say, “I believe in his strength to recover,” is what helped save me. My wife and my mother are my angels. I am truly blessed to have someone love me enough to not give up on me especially when I could not speak for myself. I was blessed to have my wife stand up and be my voice until I was strong enough to speak for myself. I’m blessed that the modern miracle of a life support machine kept my heart beating until it was strong enough to beat on its own. I’m so blessed for having all of you in my life, the hundreds of thousands of letters and emails I have received from all of you. I wish I could somehow repay in kind how your words and prayers moved me to tears, I thank you so much for sharing your lives with me and I thank my beautiful wife that stood beside me. I am very humbled and so very blessed. Thank you. Travis Campbell
Travis Campbell is still healing and learning to live again. As each month goes by he gets stronger and stronger and regains something that was lost as a result of his stroke, heart attack, dying, and being brought of a coma experience. It is a fair statement to say that the stress caused by his father’s situation on the struggle to gaining access for visitation to his father was a contributor to his health crisis.
He has asked himself the question many times. Why was I spared? He has come to believe that he was brought back to fight for not only his father but for the rights of all parents and children.
Working in support of the Catherine Falk Organization in presenting the Tennessee Campbell Falk Bill to Legislation is the purpose Travis Campbell is serving at this time in his life. He wants to help insure that all parents and children have equal rights and equal visitation to one another. A conservator should not be able to pick and chose which loved ones get to see a ward/patient. This bill insures that everyone gets equal time and rights unless proven in court that someone shouldn’t have those right before being disallowed those rights.
You can see a copy of that bill by clicking here.
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