{Turning Tragedy into Thanksgiving} A Story about Dan.

Written by: Julie Hough

My husband Dan and I will be celebrating our 5th anniversary this October. I usually say “it took me so long to find Dan, I need to keep him for a long time.” And I truly mean that. I guess even I didn’t realize how close to losing him I actually was. This story is so detailed and I am a detail person, but in order to tell the story, I am trying to hit the highlights.

In April 2015, Dan had a severe pain in his right ankle and was in so much discomfort, I took him to the Emergency Room at our local hospital. God knew what He was doing the whole time even though we didn’t know it or see it yet. We saw a Nurse Practitioner; she put Dan off work, started him on IV antibiotics and wrapped his leg. He had a lesion the size of a Canadian two dollar coin, that was bleeding. It was a blood infection that burst open on his leg. We had a Home Care nurse visit us, she was an angel sent from God to help us. She taught me to change Dan’s dressings and gave us help along the way with suggestions to make things easier. We were so blessed by her!

Dan continued to see a specialist each week, monitoring the progress of his leg healing. Throughout this time, Dan was being paid a smaller portion of his wages, for which we were truly grateful for. God met all our needs, supplying food for us to eat, money given to us, my sweet friends making us meals, and visitors too. I was working full time and taking care of Dan. It was so difficult some days, and I feared Dan was getting depressed, sitting at home every day on the couch with his leg propped up, by himself! We knew we had to put all our trust in God and rely on Him! It was very stressful on both of us-but we decided we would not argue with each other, we needed to stick together, not tear each other apart. Ecc 4:12 says ”A cord of three strands in not quickly broken.” It wasn’t always easy but we know God was in control.

Dan finally got clearance to return to work in mid-June after being off 8 weeks.

Praise God……..then on Father’s Day Dan was in extreme pain, but we still went to church and to his parents for a meal with his family. Dan was in so much pain and kind of cranky (which is out of character for him.) His right leg, the same one that had the blood infection in it, was at it again. When we arrived at the Emergency Department, the triage nurse thought Dan was having a stroke and they took blood and expedited him to see a doctor. Dan had an ultrasound and they found a blood clot in his leg around his knee. So, ok good, now they know the source of pain, they can treat it and we are going home….Wrong! Remember when I said they did blood work, the nurse came by while Dan was getting the ultrasound and told me that his blood sugar was 40!! Normal blood sugar should be between 4-7. Dan was in “Diabetic Ketoacidosis” or DK for short. His organs were shutting down, his blood was thick like corn syrup and they needed to lower his blood sugar very fast. We were scared. We found out the infection in Dan’s leg had caused the DK. I called my parents and asked them to pray, they were with some special friends together they all prayed for Dan. My sister called our cousin to come and be with me at the hospital and she arrived with a snack bag for me. She stayed with us to offer her support and prayed with us. That was such a huge blessing to know so many people were praying. Dan eye sight was really bad and he couldn’t see very well or read, and that was frightening too! Over the next 3 days, Dan was in the hospital, we learned a new way of life for us, living with diabetes. At the same time my Mom was at a church camp and she was prayed for by a pastor in proxy for Dan and God touched Dan and the healing began. We left the hospital with Dan and many medications including insulin injections, which I had to give him every day. All the time as Dan was off work, the verse from 2 Cor 12:9 kept going through Dan’s mind “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” It was a very frightening and rough time we went through, Dan was so sick and unable to do very much, so I decided that I needed to take charge and drive our bus, so to speak. We knew God was in control, I had to make the choice to trust God completely in all areas of our lives. I had to choose to be happy and to not let doubt and fear paralyze us. I held on tightly to God’s promises for both of us.

Dan returned to work the last week of July after being off for 13 weeks. PTL!!!

Jer 29:11 says ”For I know the plans I have for you, “ declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

We are thrilled to report the God’s healing hand and touch has continued on Dan’s life. He is currently taking 2 diabetic medications from the 5+, that he was sent home from the hospital with (he no longer needs insulin). Dan’s eyesight has improved to the point that he no longer needs glasses to drive, he just got the restriction removed from his driver’s license. We are very thankful to God for his healing, blessings, grace and love!

Here are some things we learned through this whole experience, they are our take-aways:

1. God will never leave us or forsake us. God is never early or late but right on time always!

2. If you know someone in your life that is going through a trial, do something for them. Don’t say to them “let you know if there is something I can do to help you”, ask God to direct you to find a way to help them.

3. Dan & I learned to be a blessing to all the people we came into contact with. Doctors, nurses etc. We wanted the love of Jesus to shine thru us!

4. Every day we took some time to focus on things or people we were thankful for or support or assistance we were given.

5. While we were on vacation this summer I found a wooden block that now sits on a shelf in our living room and it says “There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.” And that is how we feel!

We are better people because of all we went through. Our faith was strengthened.

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord” Psalm 27:14


About Julie:

Julie Hough is married to her wonderful husband Dan for 5 years and lives in Windsor in their cute “honeymoon home” where she can be found baking to share with others and taking care of her hubby. Julie works in Finance and Dan works as a blender at a local company working with vitamin ingredients.



  1. Such a good story of hope! Thanks for sharing this. I’m sure others will be encouraged by your openness. Glad Dan has recovered! 🙂


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