Wiggins Man Seeks Heart, Finds Hope - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

03/07/05

Wiggins Man Seeks Heart, Finds Hope

A Wiggins man is sharing a testimony of faith lost and faith found.

Charles Wintzell desperately needs a heart transplant to save his life. Five years ago, he inhaled a virus that attacked his body.

Since then, the husband and father of two says life has been like a roller coaster ride that at one point he wished would end.

"He's tired of being sick is what he said", said Kim Wintzell.

On Sunday, she told her church that after 15 hospital stays in seven months, her husband Charles had had enough.

"They're not just two-day hospital stays," said Kim. "It's weeks at a time. Three weeks. Two weeks. His illness has just consumed our lives and that gets overwhelming when you just don't ever get a break."

Charles Wintzell admitted how "especially this last time in the hospital I gave up. I was ready just to give it up. Just to lay down and die."

A glimmer of hope came last month when doctors at the hospital in Houston where Charles is being treated agreed to put his name on the organ donation list.

"That was such a high," said Kim. "You know you just thought it can't get any better than this other than getting the heart. Then two days later the car got stolen."

Surveillance video caught the incident on tape as a thief drove off with three months worth of Charles' medications.

When the story was picked up by a Houston television station, the couple's misfortune turned into a blessing. Donations began coming in from individuals and churches.

That along with the help of their church family here at home is helping the Wintzells get by during this difficult time.

Kim and Charles are having to support households in Houston and Wiggins and try to raise two teenager boys who have been staying with relatives.

"This is part of a test of the testimony and you can't give a testimony unless you've experienced the test," said Kim. "So when you're just consumed with love pouring on you all the time, you can't help but overcome the test and I'm thankful for that."

Now Charles says he's pushed aside his wish to die and replacing it with a renewed faith.

"Something came in the middle of the night and told me my heart will be healed and I really do believe it."

Wintzell must now carry a small I.V. with him to keep his heart pumping.

His family is trying to raise the $500,000 dollars needed for his transplant should a heart become available.

For information on fundraisers long on to www.helpcharlie.org

By Danielle Thomas

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