of living water shall flow from the
innermost being of anyone who believes in me,
the Holy Spirit, who would be given to
everyone believing in him.
I composed Happy Anniversary in early 2000. I knew our story was so amazing that it had to be told. After contemplating it for about a month I sat down at my computer one day, looked at the monitor, and said, "God you're on. Tell me what to say." And he did. I wrote the whole story in a little over an hour. It flowed out like a river. There have been many revisions, but I believe God gave me the words. To quote Dr. Paul Francel, "God did most of it."
After I wrote it, I let Dr. and Mrs. Francel read my story. They said they loved it. I told Dr. Francel that I thought I would send it into a TV show, but I doubted it would be selected. He hesitated for a few moments, looked very thoughtful, and said, "Well, you never know. It might." Those words proved prophetic.
I sent my story into the Beyond Chance television show on the Lifetime Television Network which was produced by Triage Entertainment, Inc. in California. As I never really expected to hear back from them, I was shocked when they called and said they wanted to film our story! Triage sent a film director from California and they hired the film and sound men locally. It was filmed in the Oklahoma City area. It was rather nerve racking for us camera shy Oklahomans, but also we knew it was the chance of a lifetime to tell our story to the world. All the characters played themselves: Dr. Paul Francel, Billy McGowen, Arnold Allen, and myself, Nancy Allen.
The real miracle though is the story itself. I will always believe God was directing the whole story over several year's time. I knew I should write it so everyone could be inspired by God's work and be aware of the work of Dr. Francel.
As to my friendship and work with Billy, it was something God expected me to do. There was just no question about it. It was my solemn obligation as a Christian. A number of people questioned my decision to help Billy so much, financially and otherwise, and some even thought she was using me. But that was simply not the case. She never asked for my help. So how did I know she was my "assignment" and not someone else's? Very simple, there was absolutely no one else to do a job that had to be done. As Christians we are God's hands to do his work in this world.
First, I would like to thank God for weaving all those events together into a beautiful adventure of pure gold. Next, I would like to thank Dr. Paul Francel, for saving my husband Arnold's life and curing my friend Billy of a lifetime of epilepsy. Also, I want to thank him for being so supportive and thoughtful. I remember a wonderful thing he said one day, "I always remain very good friends for life with my patients that I have worked inside their brain. You can't get closer to a person than that, as that is who they really are." You could tell he felt it was sacred ground in a person's brain. Last, I would like to thank Dr. Vinko Dolenc for his brilliant pioneering work in cavernous sinus tumor surgery. Without him, I would not be sharing a happy story with you today.
A surprising dilemma developed after Arnold's surgery that I was not expecting. I discovered when someone saves your life or the life of your loved one, you realize that you can NEVER adequately thank the person for what they did. My dad said to me when I tried to tell him how I felt, "Just tell him thank you. That is his job." I thought to myself and shook my head, "Dad, you really just don't get it!" I knew that all the money and all the "thank yous" in the world would ever be enough to pay Dr. Francel back adequately. So, I share our story with all who will read it around the world. That is my thank you. I hope many will be informed and blessed by it.
And to Dr. Francel, God bless you! You are our hero!
Nancy Ann Allen
Picture above is the
Bricktown Canal and Bridge - Oklahoma City