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Fiji Time: 11:57 PM on Saturday 19 April

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Life's a miracle

Siteri Sauvakacolo
Wednesday, December 25, 2013

WHEN Esther Lockington-Bernard suffered a major heart attack in 2009, doctors advised her family she had only a few hours to live.

But what she describes as her strong faith in God, and that of her children, saw her defy all odds despite two other major attacks.

Four years later, even after another deadly attack two days before her 90th birthday on October 26 this year, Mrs Bernard still manages to share a few laughs with her loved ones, and still loves to strum the guitar and sing along her favourite gospel songs whenever she has a chance.

Daughter Marie Bernard-Yee, who has spent most of her life with her mother, clearly recalls her mother's first attack in 2009.

"I desperately needed another chance as I realised I did not spend enough quality time with her to do the things she would have loved. All I wanted at that moment was just another chance to enjoy life with my mum," Mrs Yee, 56, said.

"I clearly remembered this was two major heart attacks within three days. Diagnosis showed two arteries ruptured and possibility of the other two back arteries, which the equipment at that time was not able to confirm, as being damaged.

"Doctors advised that she only had a couple of hours to live and at that time, mum was 86 so most of the family members accepted her death because of her age.

"I realised how much I loved her and miss her."

"I recall what the Lord had spoken to me through one of his prophets, these words, 'Be still and know that I am God'. This was what was told to me about three times."

For Mrs Bernard, if there was something that kept her going through all that turmoil, it was her trust in the Lord.

The 90-year-old great-great-grandmother, who has maternal links to Bua on Vanua Levu, Kadavu and Vunibau in Serua says she hopes her story of survival will inspire not only adults her age but the young as well.

In an interview at her son's home in Namadi Heights in Suva yesterday, Mrs Bernard said: "I trusted the Lord and my prayers were always that God let thy will be done and thank you for my life all these years.

"It was my faith in my Lord that has kept me going and I want to share this message with you all this Christmas that there's always hope and light and all we need to do on this Earth is let God know of our burden and he will never fail to answer."