So Many Miracles
By Julie Riddle '92
Malachi Areta '22 remembers it was a Friday night in January, nearly two years ago. His father, Lex, began feeling an iciness in his chest, but insisted he was fine. Malachi's mother, Michelle, convinced Lex to go to the hospital near their home in Spokane. She woke Malachi and asked him to sleep in his younger brother's room while they were gone. "Later I got a text from my mom," Malachi says. "'We did all the tests and he's okay. We'll be home in 15 minutes.' I thought, 'Okay' and went back to bed."
Soon after, Malachi's phone rang. "It's my mom. She's hysterical. 'We're gonna lose Dad! Grab your brother and get to the hospital right now.'"
'My Dad Was Gone'
At the hospital, Malachi hugged his distraught mother and watched a swarm of staff perform CPR on his father, his eyes rolled back, face purple.
Lex had sustained "the widow maker," a massive heart attack that often leads to sudden death. He was clinically dead for 45 minutes, "but we got a faint pulse back," a doctor told Michelle. "We need to move him to Sacred Heart Hospital."
Lex underwent CPR throughout the ambulance ride to Sacred Heart, where a ventilator took over. They next day, doctors informed the family that even though Lex had a pulse, he showed no brain activity and his organs had begun to fail.
"In that moment, I accepted my dad was gone," Malachi says. "It felt like this was God's plan."