Doctors implored a woman to disconnect her husband from the ventilator, so she kissed him and waited for a response
Scott Hawkins was only 37 years old when his whole world turned into a nightmare.
He suffered a very severe stroke while his wife, Daniel, was in a neighboring district.
Daniel's husband was at home with their children when she received a phone call that she will never forget.
It was a day in April when Daniel were in class and Scott was at home with their kids in Durand, Michigan.
"He called me and murmured words", Daniel recalls.
"He said he had a very strong headache and that something might be wrong".
Both Daniel and Scott called an ambulance and a medical team quickly arrived and rushed Scott to the hospital.
"When the paramedics arrived and got Scott into the ambulance, his blood pressure skyrocketed, flooding the lungs", Daniel said.
"The situation was bad, very bad..", Daniel added before taking a deep breath and admitting, "Sometimes it's hard for me to talk about it".
The paramedics had to catheterize Scott in the ambulance.
When the two arrived at the hospital, the doctors told Daniel to call the rest of the family.
She was told that her husband could probably not survive the night.
"His oxygen level was 60-70. They told me that a normal oxygen level should be over 90".
Scott suffered from an arterial aneurysm close to the brainstem.
The aneurysm, which has been with him since he was born, caused the stroke.
When surgeons tried to stop the bleeding in the brain, Scott had a heart attack during the procedure.
"They lost him for a few minutes", Daniel said. "He also lost a lot of oxygen because of that".
A week after the surgery, Scott was still unable to respond or track movements.
The doctors told Daniel that at this point he would probably never wake up. Daniel was told that her husband would probably never regain consciousness or function normally, and probably wouldn't be able to kiss her or tell her he loved her.
"They told me to let him go..", Daniel said.
But she refused to believe the horrible diagnosis.
And Daniel knew something that even the doctors didn't know - what a fighting spirit Scott has.
So instead of cutting him off from the ventilator and saying goodbye to him, Daniel leaned forward to kiss her dying husband.
And just as she put her lips on Scott's lifeless body, she felt something she wasn't expecting: Scott kissed her back.
Maybe Daniel imagined it, she admitted. But that little sign was enough for her to believe in him and to keep him connected to the ventilator, and that was enough to change their course of life forever.
With a new hope, Daniel fought to keep Scott connected to the ventilator, and was determined to prove everyone that he will recover.
And her belief in Scott has slowly gained validity. After five weeks of pulmonary rehabilitation, Scott was already able to breathe on his own.
"That was the moment I started to prove everyone that he will recover", Daniel said.
"He is a musician, so I started to bring guitars. He would play on the strings. Doctors said it was just him reflexes. I told him to play other notes, and he did".
Daniel knew that if Scott had tried to talk to her, he wouldn't be able to do so because of the tracheostomy - an operation in which they create a hole in the trachea and neck skin.
But with complete faith, Daniel covered the air hole in Scott's neck - and he began talking to her.
"I covered the hole and he started talking to me", she said.
"The first words were, 'I love you', the second words were, 'Get me some painkillers'. Then, when the doctors asked him, 'What are you playing?' He answered, 'Musical instruments'. That was when they began to believe in us".
With confidence in his power to fight, the doctors finally began to believe in Scott.
Shortly thereafter, he was transferred to a rehabilitation center. Scott arrived there with an ambulance and spent six days a week rehabilitating for 16 weeks.
Therapists and physicians used music and musical therapy, sometimes in combination with speech therapy, acupuncture, and physical therapy, to help Scott regain his strength and coordination.
Finally, after 16 weeks of rehabilitation, Scott returned home - and he was about to do so on his two legs.
"He stepped in a stretcher capable of barely moving only his right hand, and he came out walking on two legs using a treadmill with one hand in the air with a 'Rock'n'roll' gesture", Daniel said.
Daniel praises and admires the staff at the rehabilitation center.
"They started talking to Scott like he was there", Daniel said, recalling how the rehab team hopefully filled her during all this time.
In addition, Daniel did not leave her husband for a moment. She supported him, encouraged him and even showed him tough love when he needed to.
Daniel did not stop believing that he will recover. Even when she was told to call her family on the first night, she didn't feel it. She did not believe for a moment that Scott would not survive.
Scott still has a long and lengthy rehabilitation ahead of him, but he's moving forward with each passing day. step by step.
"He plays the guitar again. He plays the drums. Before that, he couldn't eat. He was fed through pipes for nine months. But now he can eat whatever he wants", Daniel says.
We think the biggest medical miracles happen when people believe they can happen and treat the patient that way.
The biggest thing you can give someone is a chance.
The rehabilitation team did just that, seeing Scott as a man, a husband, and a father, instead of seeing him as just another patient they needed to mark as treated.
Too many people take their marriage for granted, throwing such a dedication away when it is no longer easy or uncomfortable.
Fortunately, Daniel Hawkins vowed to stay alongside her husband no matter what, and she meant it, and never gave up on him.
The persistence of this couple is proof that a strong bond can overcome even the most difficult obstacles - and our intuition can sometimes be more accurate than that of any medical team.
Please share this exciting story if you agree!
More information on Scott Hawkins' progress can be found on his Facebook page