Janine Renee’s tale of perfect timing and a life saved
By Daniel Londono
It seems stunning to think of the possibility of our fates being intertwined with those of others, of our actions having an impact on the lives of complete strangers. To think that just maybe our existence isn’t just a random occurrence, and we are perhaps playing in a much higher league than our conscience allows us to believe. Janine Renee, a lifelong Boise resident, has a story that gives weight to this theory.
A few years ago, Janine’s husband had a heart attack. “It was difficult to accept that this was actually happening to my family,” she tells me. Her husband survived, and from that moment forward, Janine made it her mission to become as informed and knowledgeable as possible concerning pre-heart attack warning signs, symptoms, and anything related to heart disease. “I became obsessed with arming myself with as much wisdom as I could, it gave me comfort.”
A few weeks after her husband’s heart attack, Janine awoke at an uncharacteristically unusual time for her: 3:00 AM “I simply could not sleep, as if something was nagging me out of bed,” she explains. After getting up, she did something else that was incredibly rare which she had never done and has not done since jumping on Facebook. She noticed a post from one of her Facebook friends, but as is the case with many of us, it was someone she didn’t even know. This person was grieving the loss of a family member and had been feeling out of sorts lately, dealing with the stress and deep sadness arising from the death. He mentioned that he doubted anyone even saw his post because it was so early. He went on to say that for about a week or so he had been feeling sharp pain and tightness in his heart, but that at that present moment, it had reached a new level of intensity and he was worried. Janine responded to his post and told him to do two key things right away: take a baby aspirin and call an ambulance. He was hesitant, thinking that his symptoms were simply a byproduct of his recent loss. He finally acquiesced and said he would do as Janine had suggested. Janine, speaking about this exchange said, “He was clearly distraught and in a very dark place, and it took some nudging, but he relented and did as I told him. I knew that time was a huge factor.”
The man was in Janine’s thoughts for the rest of the day. Many hours later, she checked on Facebook to see if there was any news or updates on the man’s condition. As it happens, on his Facebook page there was a photo showing him in the hospital, hooked up to machines and IVs. Below the photo, is a thank you message to Janine for saving his life. The moment he arrived at the hospital he had a massive heart attack. He would not have been alive had it not been for the wisdom that Janine possessed. “Looking back on it, the whole thing seems completely surreal. I’m just glad that I woke up that night when I did,” Janine tells me emphatically.
Two strangers, connected at precisely the right moment through sheer happenstance. It happens all the time, with the majority of those not proving nearly as impactful as this one. The question that begs to be asked is: Is it truly happenstance? And one could add, if indeed just a random oddity of life, how to go about explaining it? Even the most unbelievable coincidences must have objective reasoning behind them. Janine’s guess is as good as mine. Or anyone else’s, for that matter. “It’s just one of those things.”