Following a “miraculous healing,” West Bloomfield resident Adrienne Matthews submitted a chapter for the book, “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miracles and the Unexplainable.”

Following a “miraculous healing,” West Bloomfield resident Adrienne Matthews submitted a chapter for the book, “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miracles and the Unexplainable.”

Photo provided by Adrienne Matthews

West Bloomfield resident featured in book following report of ‘miraculous’ healing

By: Mark Vest | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published January 20, 2023


WEST BLOOMFIELD — After being involved in a car accident in 1995, West Bloomfield resident Adrienne Matthews started to have headaches so severe that she would sometimes make trips to the hospital for IV pain medication.

On an evening in 2012, Matthews was at a hospital due to a headache when she experienced an unexpected medical emergency unrelated to the aftereffects of her car accident.

“That night, I happened to be in the 23-hour observation unit at Huron Valley Hospital for IV medication for a headache when I started coughing up blood and suffered (a) pulmonary hemorrhage,” she said. “Had I not already been in a hospital, I would (have) drowned in blood.”

Matthews was diagnosed with arteriovenous malformation, which, according to the Mayo Clinic’s website, is an abnormal tangle of blood vessels connecting arteries and veins that disrupts normal blood flow and oxygen circulation.

“I had a spontaneous pulmonary hemorrhage that kinda kicked everything off,” she said. “Once I had the pulmonary hemorrhage, I was on life support for a while, and then was on oxygen. I went to the University of Michigan, and they told me that there was nothing that could be done, that this hereditary disease is a genetic disorder where my blood vessels are just abnormal, and so there’s nothing that they can do about it. … In my situation, once they did all of the testing, they saw that I had, literally, hundreds of AVMs in both my lungs, and so it was just gonna be a matter of time before I had the next bleed.”

Matthews said that she was on life support for five days and then in an intensive care unit for an additional week.

She later consulted with the Cleveland Clinic, as it is considered a “center of excellence” for her particular disorder.

“So we went to the Cleveland Clinic, and they said the same thing U of M did — they’re sorry, but there was nothing that they could do; they were too numerous to operate on,” Matthews said. “One doctor called me a ticking time bomb. We were just waiting for the next hemorrhage.”

According to Matthews, she required an oxygen machine 24 hours a day for two years. Due to her medical condition, she made various trips to the Cleveland Clinic.

During one such trip, she heard something that was life-changing.

“We went back to Cleveland Clinic, and they did all of the testing, and then (the) pulmonologist that I see there walked into the exam room. We saw him the next morning after a full day of testing the day before,” Matthews said. “He had a big smile on his face, and he said, ‘Adrienne, do you believe in miracles?’ And I said, ‘Yes, we’ve been praying for one.’ And he said, ‘Well, you just got one; you don’t have any AVMs any longer. Your lungs are completely normal, except for a small scar tissue where they did the original cauterization.’”

Matthews added that the Cleveland Clinic told her “it could only be by divine intervention, because nothing was done and too many doctors looked at those scans and called me a hopeless case.”

According to Matthews, she no longer requires an oxygen machine and hasn’t had any pulmonary hemorrhages since.

She said that she was in disbelief after getting her medical report.

“When you’re given a death sentence, it’s hard to just one day, (hear) someone tell you, ‘Oh, no, it’s gone now.’ He showed us the scans and he reassured us,” Matthews said. “It was a matter of just trying to acclimate to the news that I was gonna live, because they told me I wouldn’t live to see 60. When I did turn 60, which was a couple years later, we threw a big party.”

Matthews is now 66 years old.

Matthews’ experiences were included in a chapter she submitted for the book, “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miracles and the Unexplainable,” which she said was published last September.

She said that her compensation was $200 and 10 free copies of the book.

Neal Chaisson is a medical doctor and expert in pulmonary and critical care at the Cleveland Clinic. He said that he saw Matthews in 2014.

“I was able to discharge her from our clinic because there was nothing notable on her echocardiogram or no evidence of AVMs on further testing,” Chaisson said. “I didn’t do the tests prior to her meeting me; I just know they were abnormal when I read them, and so, I don’t have a great explanation for why they were normalized, but tests are wrong sometimes. On the other hand, people get better spontaneously sometimes, and there are other reasons for that as well.”

Sharing positive news with a patient can be one of the best parts of the job for a doctor, he said.

“There’s nothing better than being able to tell somebody that their condition is much better than they expected when they showed up,” Chaisson said. “Perhaps the biggest win out of all of this is to hear somebody doing well 10 years down the road, when in fact, they weren’t doing well at the beginning.”

Although Matthews said that she does still have physical ailments from her car accident in 1995, she said that emergency room visits as a result of that have been reduced to “almost nothing.”

After receiving her positive news from the Cleveland Clinic, Matthews wanted to share her story with others.

“I had a very surprising and miraculous healing occur that kinda came out of nowhere. After that occurred, I had this very strong voice inside of me telling me that I needed to write about the experience, and I’m not a writer; I was in finance, but it was enough that I felt like I really needed to do that,” Matthews said. “So I just sat down, wrote my story, and I submitted it to ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ because I got a lotta comfort reading those books when I was very ill, and I knew they were looking for stories about miracles. … And so I submitted it, and boom, they accepted it.”

It was a pleasant surprise when Matthews learned that her chapter submission was accepted.

“It was kind of all, I guess, in God’s plan,” Matthews said. “I never dreamt in my wildest dreams that they would select my story.”

Cindy Y. is Matthews’ neighbor and friend. She recalled when Matthews’ original medical prognosis was not a positive one.

“I was surprised and saddened to hear the results, when the doctor told her that her life wasn’t going to be very long because of her condition that they couldn’t treat,” she said. “She wanted to live with whatever time God would give her.”

She shared her reaction after learning of the positive report Matthews received from the Cleveland Clinic.

“I was thrilled, and I was shocked,” she said. “We have a loving God that can perform miracles in His own way in His own time, and here she is, quite a few years later, doing fine. … She’s a living miracle. They’re not just in the past in the Bible; they’re here with us every day, if we know where to look for them.”

Although Matthews’ current perspective is that, “I certainly believe in miracles,” there was a rough patch in her journey of faith.

In 2004, her 19-year-old-son and only child, who was a sophomore at Alma College, died “very suddenly” from a cardiac virus.

“My faith really faltered after his very sudden and unexpected death, but then my miracle happened after he died,” Matthews said. “I thought, ‘Good gracious, God, what are You doing to me? You took my son away; I can’t work because of my closed-head injury, so there’s no joy in my life; there’s no purpose in my life. I don’t even understand why I’m here.’ And then He turns around and takes it all away and cures me. And so, you kinda go from the depths of despair to the highest of highs.”

Matthews grew up in Dearborn Heights and attended Dearborn Divine Child.

She later attended Bowling Green State University before earning a master’s degree in social work from Indiana University.

Being a part of a “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book has helped give her life a new direction.

“It’s been really cool, and I think the coolest thing was, after the book got published, it spread around,” Matthews said. “To be able to share those stories and to see everybody’s reaction was the coolest thing I think I’ve ever felt. I felt like I suddenly had real purpose in my life. … I suddenly feel I’m alive again and I have this purpose, and my purpose is to tell these stories of God’s love and the miracles He grants for us.”

“Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miracles and the Unexplainable” can be found on