Heustess shares prayer angels with CPRMC
After a bout of cancer, a local Hartsville woman had an inspiration to share prayer angels with others. Debbie Bradshaw Heustess shares her story of healing, and hope. “I was diagnosed with Stage 4 squamous-cell carcinoma of the tongue,” said Debbie. “It was a very aggressive growing cancer.
My family and I were devastated. I went to Charleston to see Dr. Joshua Horning at MUSC who performed biopsies and found my cancer. I stayed in Charleston at the Hope Lodge and started my journey.” Over the course of seven weeks Debbie endured 36 treatments of radiation and seven treatments of chemotherapy. “I went from 160 pounds down to 119,” she recalled.
“They had to put a feeding tube in - it was so hard on me and my family. My husband, Bill Heustess and son Tanner Heustess took care of me in Charleston - they took turns staying. I was so blessed to have them by my side. I had lots of prayers - from family members, friends, and churches … even people I did not know. I kept the faith and prayed God would heal me. I give God all the glory that I will be two years cancer free on November 31.”
After her recovery, Debbie had a desire to help other people dealing with illnesses, hoping to give back after receiving so many prayers. “I love helping people,” she said. “I have ever since I can remember.” She began making prayer blankets, care bags for patients receiving chemotherapy, and small pillows to place under seatbelts to protect chest ports.
Her deep faith guided her to craft prayer angels, a simple creation using a men’s white handkerchief fashioned into the shape of an angel adorned with ribbons and a prayer message attached. Each angel is blessed by her pastor, Steven Winburn of Faith Holiness Church in Hartsville. “I pray these prayer angels give people hope - I send them all over the world, including McLeod Hospital in Florence at the Cancer Center, Hope Lodge in Charleston, and the Ronald McDonald House in Charleston.
These prayer angels are going to anyone now that needs one who is sick.” For Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center, Debbie crafted prayer angels adorned with pink and blue ribbons to give to newborn babies in their take-home basket of goodies. For critically ill patients of CPRMC’s ICU unit, she added team colors of garnet and black for University of South Carolina and orange and purple for Clemson University.
Debbie expressed her thanks to the many individuals that help her mission by providing supplies (or money to purchase supplies) including her daughter, Kerry Dunn, and Pat Riley James, Volunteer Coordinator for Carolina Pines. “I could not have done this without the help of many generous people to keep the prayer angel mission going.
Thank you Lord for healing me - without you I am nothing.” If you would like to help Debbie with her many missions, you may find her on Facebook or send her an email at: dheustess@gmail. com.