Local author tells of her second chance at life

Three years ago, Debbie Webb-Sibblies’s family was faced with the possibility that they would never see her again due to a critical illness and her subsequent “clinical death.”

Fast-forward to today, and Webb-Sibblies has not only recovered from her ordeal, but is also sharing her story, the lessons learned and the impact on her faith in God, through her book, “Living my Second Chance with a Grateful Heart.”  

In April 2012, Webb-Sibblies was in the Cayman Islands Hospital with a high fever and other flu–like symptoms. She was airlifted to the Cleveland Clinic in Weston, Florida, and two weeks later suffered cardiac arrest and multiple organ failure. “I coded [an emergency requiring resuscitation],” she explained.

“After I was resuscitated, I was placed on life support for six days with medically life-aiding equipment.”

She was in the hospital for nine weeks and spent the next six months recuperating. 

Webb-Sibblies was unaware of the full extent of her cardiac arrest, organ failure and clinical death until a few months later.  

“To be told that I did experience temporary death was unbelievable, and it was excruciating to think of the emotional and psychological pain my family members suffered as they stood waiting at the hospital to be told if I was successfully resuscitated,” she said. 

By the following February, she had begun to document her experience, publishing her first book in February 2014. Her most recent edition, published by CLM Publishing, is an expanded version and more fully develops the subject. She was encouraged to write more by readers of her earlier work, and in this release she says she was able to critically analyze her perspective on life and speak about her spiritual journey. 

“[The book] is the story of my personal experience and the lessons learned, and in some instances, lessons I am still learning from my journey through a critical illness,” she said.

“My story is about the emotional, psychological and physical challenges I endured during this vulnerable period of my life.” 

Her faith has helped her through her recuperation and the challenges she has faced. She has been also been left with enduring life lessons. One such lesson is the brevity of life, which she likens to the time between a sunrise and sunset.  

“During this short time span, we all have an opportunity to live faithful, productive and encouraging lives, and we should not hesitate to stop and take the time to honestly and critically analyze all areas of our lives and examine how we are allowing our faith in God’s promises to be reflected in our attitude, spoken words and behavior toward others on a daily basis.” 

Webb-Sibblies hopes people will be able to take something away from her story.  

“I hope readers will be able to critically and honestly analyze their attitudes toward life and make the necessary changes to improve the quality of their perspective and perception on their respective lives.  

“I want to encourage others to embrace opportunities to show unconditional love and to inspire, encourage and motivate others to learn the special blessings of living with a forgiving heart and spirit.” 

Webb-Sibblies tells the story of her experience and the lessons she learned from it.