Edward Brown


I Saw a Bright Light

My name is Edward Brown, and I work as a Reserve Police Officer for the Commerce Police Department. I was born at John Peterson Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. My family moved to Lubbock, Texas, when I was three years old. My dad worked for the city of Lubbock for fifteen years.

He was always working to provide for his family. One day our family car wasn’t working, and Dad walked four blocks to catch the city bus. This proved to be a very dark day in my life as Dad died of a heart attack at the bus stop in 1986. Little did I realize that I inherited my Dad’s heart problems?

Our family attended a Baptist church while I was attending elementary school, but during middle and high school we dropped out of church. In high school, I wanted to be a fireman, but fear of heights changed my goals. I was good at football, and I was recruited by many colleges. At age twenty-two, I wanted to go into law enforcement. I worked as a guard at Hunt County Jail for Sheriff Don Anderson until I was thirty-four years old. At thirty three, I felt the need to seek a law enforcement degree at Kilgore Community College in 2003. At the age of thirty-five, I graduated, and was offered a job by Captain Kerry Crews in Commerce. I have been married for twenty-nine years and we have two children, Latrisha 25, and Jamal 26.

My health became a real issue in 2005. It started with a blood clot behind my knee. I went to the hospital and they transferred me to Mother Francis Hospital in Tyler. I didn’t know what was happening because at the same time I had an aortic dissection. The doctors came out and told my wife what was happening. She said, “Do whatever it takes to save him.” She told them I was a fighter and wanted to live because I still had children to raise. She said, "I was the backbone of the family, and that she couldn’t lose me."

The doctor said that surgery would be a risky, but my wife pleaded to please save him. I was in surgery for over thirteen hours. The doctors finally came out and told my family that I was stable, but it didn’t look good. The doctor told my wife that I died three times during the surgery. On the third time, I saw a bright light, and I felt that God was not through with me. The doctors said that my wife needed to make arrangements and be prepared for the worse. After two days, I was still asleep. The doctor told my wife that I had a stroke during surgery and needed kidney dialysis. My wife continued to plea for my life while I finished my first week of dialysis.

With a minimal improvement after two weeks, the doctor told my wife that I may never wake up and to think about letting me go. My wife is a stubborn woman and refused to even entertain that idea. She had faith and knew that I would pull through. At the end of two weeks, I woke up. I spent a total of two months in Mother Francis Hospital. They transferred me down the street to Rehab for occupational speech and therapy. I had to learn to talk, walk, and do everything all over again. I was in rehab one month before going home. My wife and children had to help me do everything. We all worked together and stuck together like glue.

After one week at home, I went into a diabetic coma – my sugar bottomed out at 41. My wife called 911 and she took me to the Commerce Hospital where they stabilized me and care-flighted me to Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. I stayed there a week until they got my sugar under control, and they put in a pacemaker and two defibrillators.  When I was stabilized, I went home. My cardiologist felt that I needed a heart transplant, and had made arrangements at a hospital in Galveston. Before they finished the tests, they said my heart was working at 75% and that I didn’t qualify for a transplant.

I went to my doctor, and told him what they said. One week later I got a letter from him saying that he could no longer be my doctor, and to find someone else. My wife found Dr. Bruce Bowers, a cardiologist, in Paris, Texas, but he would be moving his practice to the Dallas Heart Group. Dr. Bowers is still my cardiologist. In 2007, Dr. Bowers found that I had a leaky heart valve and referred me to Dr. Brinkman who did the surgery.

Over the years, my health has improved. I worked out in the gym three to four times a week, and ran small marathons.

On May 7, 2016, I was the Commerce Police Officer on duty at the Cinco de Mayo event at Eddie Moore Park. I stopped by the Godmobile and took the “Are You Going to Heaven – Two Question Test.” I rededicated my life to Jesus Christ. My desire is to serve Jesus Christ in the marketplace by interacting with the citizens of Commerce by building relationships and trust in the community. I feel called to mentor youth. The media gives a poor image of the police, who are told to fear us. We can change that fear by sharing the love of Jesus Christ. I am happy to be alive and be with our first and only granddaughter, Renessmee. 

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