God isn’t done with Joy Roe’s work on earth. After all, he had three chances to keep her but returned her each time.
“I’m a miracle. There’s no doubt in my mind,” said the 77-year-old Marble Falls resident as she described dying three times during a recent six-week period.
After each of her deaths, she said God placed someone nearby to help bring her back, what Roe described as a “divine appointment.”
The first death happened Dec. 1, 2020, when Roe collapsed in the Marble Falls H-E-B parking lot. Up until then, she did not exhibit any signs of a serious health issue. She ate well, regularly walked on a treadmill, and otherwise took care of herself.
As she lie on the ground, a group of people gathered around her, one of whom was Horseshoe Bay Police Lt. Cole Reasor, who began performing CPR on her. Reasor was off duty at the time and stopped at H-E-B to shop. It wasn’t when he typically went to the grocery store, and he parked farther from the entrance than he usually does because he was in his new pickup truck.
“You park it way out there thinking you’re never going to get a dent,” he said with a smile.
But those two out-of-the-ordinary actions put him in the right place at the right time.
An H-E-B employee was trying to help Roe as Reasor approached. The officer placed something behind the woman’s head and began chest compressions. Within a few minutes, Marble Falls Fire Rescue and Marble Falls Area EMS crews arrived on the scene and relieved Reasor.
“Cole saved my life,” Roe said. “I told (my) pastor, ‘God had handpicked him.’ He jumped right in and took care of things.”
Roe was transported by ambulance to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Lakeway, examined by doctors, and then transferred to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Round Rock. She was in a coma when she arrived, and surgeons immediately performed a quintuple bypass.
When she awoke from the coma after surgery, Roe did what she has done for five decades: preached the good news of Jesus Christ.
“I started sharing Jesus’ love,” she said. “I’m talking about a relationship with the one who loves you and saved you. Church is where you fellowship and hear the word of God. Jesus wants a personal relationship with you.”
She was released Dec. 22 and enjoyed the holidays.
On Jan. 18, she saw her cardiologist in Marble Falls, who told Roe she didn’t like what she was hearing from her heart. Twenty minutes later, Roe died in the clinic’s waiting room and was rushed to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Marble Falls.
“When they got me to the emergency room at Baylor Scott & White, I died again,” she said.
She was immediately transferred by helicopter to the Round Rock facility.
In Round Rock, medical staff put in a pacemaker, and Roe went home three days later.
Each time she died, Roe pointed out that someone nearby had the skills to help her.
Roe’s experience is far different from that of her husband, Rick, who died five years ago. The two were married for almost 50 years. On the night he died, she heard a knock on the door.
“I opened the door but didn’t see anyone,” she said, “but there was this feeling in the house. My husband said there was a man. I didn’t see anyone, so I said, ‘I think you’re imagining it.’ And he said, ‘He’s sitting right there.’ He knew. His angel came and got him.”
Before her own deaths, Roe said she did not hear strange noises or see visions.
“I think God’s not finished with me,” she explained. “He orders our steps. That afternoon (Dec. 1), I went to the bank, got gas, then to H-E-B in the afternoon. Cole was there. It was all planned. I look forward to meeting him. I want to have him and his wife over for dinner.”
Reasor said he and his wife, Camille, happily accepted Roe’s invitation.
“We’re both strong in our faiths and think God had his hand. I was grateful to be there,” Reasor said. “I certainly don’t credit myself – I credit everybody. I truly believe that I was selected, that I got it started. I’m very thankful to God that I was able to be there and grateful for the outcome.”
The Horseshoe Bay Police Department and city of Horseshoe Bay recently honored Reasor with the Preservation of Life Award.