Israeli evangelist and pastor Jacob Damkani suffered a ruptured aorta three years ago followed by an eight-hour surgery and a long but miraculous recovery. He was thankful to be alive, as the event occurred while he was swimming in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Tel Aviv.
“Ninety-five percent of those who experience this medical emergency die from it,” he said. “God spared my life because I have not yet completed my mission.”
A year later doctors discovered a dangerous fungus growing on the blood vessel that had been implanted in place of his ruptured one. Since Damkani was feeling well, doctors decided to avoid the risky surgery and instead carry out a series of infusions to try and wipe out the fungus.
But during a checkup on Dec. 28 doctors discovered that the deadly fungus had returned. This was the same day that the film A New Spirit – a drama film about Damkani’s life – was released in Israeli theaters.
“We are fighting a very real spiritual battle; not just for Jacob’s physical health,” Damkani’s wife, Elisheva, told KNI.
Several weeks ago on July 2, 2018, Damkani wrote on his Facebook page that he and Elisheva had decided that he would go through with surgery. The surgeon had never performed such an operation before and was not sure it would be successful. According to Elisheva, Damkani was fully prepared for the surgery to go either way.
A week later he underwent the 11-hour surgery and has since remained in intensive care. None of the operating team believed he would survive.
“We simply kept praying to the One who created this precious man and dearly loves him. What else could we do?” Elisheva wrote.
On July 12, 2018, Damkani began to breath on his own, although still with the help of a machine. The doctors have confirmed that his condition is improving, however he has been sedated since the operation.
“This type of surgery gets performed about once a year in the entire world,” Elisheva told KNI. “The doctors won’t say this directly, but people don’t usually make it. We don’t know how long Jacob’s recovery will take because there’s not much of a precedent.”
Elisheva asks for continued prayer as Damkani’s condition remains unstable.
Damkani, born and raised in Israel, came to faith as a young man while in the United States and then returned to Israel in the early 1980s with the mission of helping the Jewish people see their Messiah. The Damkanis’ ministry is Trumpet of Salvation. Two movies have been produced about Damkani: a documentary called The Messenger (2016) and A New Spirit (2017), based on his autobiography, Why Me?