“Lazarus was dead for four days. So was I”

Do miracles still happen today? This Christmas, Salt&Light brings you a series of stories of God's wondrous acts right here in Singapore.

by Juleen Shaw // December 21, 2018, 9:16 am

Ashley and Tony Low10

When Tony was struck with cancer for the fourth time and given three months to live, his son Lennard was just nine months old. That son is now 21. The Lows on a family holiday earlier this year. All photos courtesy of Ashley Low.

Tony Low, 59, was dead.

Four doctors had said so, urging his wife, Ashley, 56, to sign the consent forms to turn off Tony’s life support.

This is what happened next. 

The breath of God

Ashley: I cried out to God. I had nothing left to hang onto … only God.

I kept signing consent form after consent form. I remember the night the doctor pronounced Tony dead, God revealed to me John 11:11 where Jesus said, Lazarus has fallen asleep, I am going to wake him up.

I thought, “Oh that’s a coincidence, Lazarus was dead for four days and Tony has been in a coma for four days.”

At that time, I thought a lot of things were coincidences. But after years of walking with the Lord, I now know nothing is by chance.

After a 25-hour long brain surgery, Tony woke up a paraplegic.

Another verse came to me, Job 1:21, and I realised only God has the authority to give and take life.

“If you are really the God I read about in the Bible, can’t you just breathe life into my husband’s mouth?”

I knelt down and cried, “If you are really the God I read about in the Bible, you can cause the lame to walk, cause the blind to see, can’t you just breathe life into my husband’s mouth so that he will have breath and not need life support?”

The next day, the fifth day of his coma, my pastor came to visit with a CD to play to Tony. It was entitled Breath of God.

As I played the CD, I could see tears running down Tony’s face. And I knew God had started healing him.

Tony: On the fifth day, after doctors confirmed I was dead, I had a vision. I saw myself standing up. In reality, I was on an ICU bed.

Then a voice said, “Look up.” I looked up and suddenly the sky opened up. The clouds parted and I saw a light. I thought, “Why is the sun coming down towards me?” 

I realised the light was not the sun, it was a Being.

I thought, “This Being is wearing a gown of light.”

And He’s an awesome God because He allowed me to see His face.

Sharing at the CBD marketplace group during lunchtime in November.

My wife had been a Christian for three years at that time and had shown me books with the face of the Lord Jesus – I had an impression of what Jesus looked like. And He knew that.

“The voice was so powerful that I felt any evil spirit would run away. Yet in that fierce voice, I felt love.”

He didn’t want this stubborn, silly man to wake up from his coma and think maybe that it was another god.

He wanted me to wake up and know He is Lord Jesus so that I cannot deny Him anymore. This image descended all the way down to my right.

Twice He called my name and said: “Tony. Tony. Do not be afraid.” The voice was like thunder and so powerful that I felt any evil spirit would run away. Yet in that fierce voice, I felt love.

I cannot explain it. It’s like your father scolding you and yet you know he loves you.

He said, “Remember this, I walk in front of you for the rest of your life.” Then the vision disappeared.

On the seventh day, I woke up.

Praying for salvation for a cancer patient at the Inspired cancer support group.

Ashley: He went into the coma a non-believer and emerged a Christian!

“My wife now only has one-quarter of a husband. I have woken up as a paraplegic.”

If God had not waited until four doctors had pronounced Tony dead, medical science would have claimed to have healed him. Now it was indisputably God.

Tony: Imagine the four doctors who’d confirmed I was dead seeing me wake up … they rushed to my ICU room.

After that, the brain surgeon came in and said: “I have good news for you. And I also have bad news for you. The good news is that four of us confirmed that you were surely dead, but you woke up.

“The bad news is: I already cut out one-quarter of your brain. From the neck down, you will never feel anything or have the use of your limbs. You will live in a wheelchair for the rest of your life.”

I tested out what he said and it was true – I could not move my fingers or toes.

I thought to myself, “My wife now only has one-quarter of a husband. I have woken up as a paraplegic.”

God has a sense of humour

Tony: I went home with two nurses. My sweet wife bought me diapers – the biggest diapers you’ve ever seen. Every time I had to go to the toilet, they would carry me and put me on the toilet bowl. My wife and nurses fed me with liquid food like a baby.

Everyone told me that if I really wanted to know God, I had to read His Word. But I was paralysed.

So I said, “Lord God, I need to know you; I need to read your Bible.”

And then – God has a sense of humour – nothing moved … except my little finger in my right hand.

Sharing at FGB KL on November 25. The Lows have tirelessly shared in over 100 churches and conventions in Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and UK.

God knew that if He healed my legs I would be out walking in the shopping malls because I had been facing four walls for almost a year. The last thing I would have done was to sit still and read the Bible.

All I needed was my little finger, and so with my little finger to turn the pages, I started from Genesis 1. I was so hungry for the Word that I finished reading the whole Bible in 30 days.

When I closed the last chapter, Revelations 22, I felt a burning in my legs. Of course I jumped up, thinking they were on fire. And I realised I was standing!

I thought to myself, “Wow if this God can allow me to stand up, maybe He’ll allow me to walk. And He did. Can you imagine, after one year of not walking, every step I took, I was walking like a baby.

The CBD marketplace group, comprising mostly finance professionals, meets fortnightly at lunch time to worship, pray and study the Word.

And you know how powerful this God is? After a few days, I was running in the park. And after a few months, I was ballroom dancing with my wife.

When I went to see the brain surgeon for my next check-up he was expecting someone in a wheelchair. In disbelief he made me walk up and down while he stared.

He was a top brain surgeon who did not believe in God – he only believed in science and his hands which could cut brains.

Today, he is a Christian. He got baptised.

A few years later, in 2013, I did another MRI with a cancer professor in Australia. They found that my brain was whole again. Doctors told me this was impossible and that, of the major organs, only the liver can regenerate. They told me that no brain in this entire universe can regenerate, it’s impossible.

I tell you, no one can give you a new brain unless He created you. By His word, God can give you a new brain.

Lord, how do I be still?

Ashley: The story did not end after these miracles. Three years ago, Tony had a fourth relapse, back to the original site of the nose.

Tony: The oncologist told us there was no more radiation and chemotherapy that could be done. Surgery would impair my speech, and I said, “I don’t want surgery if I will get slurry speech. God gave me a second chance to live, to speak for Him and bless His name. There’s no point in being alive if I am not able to tell people how great God is.”

Four years ago, the Lows started the Inspired cancer support group, which meets monthly to minister to cancer patients, their families and caregivers.

The Lord gave me 2 Chronicles 20:15: “This battle belongs to the Lord.”

I had peace and told Ashley, “No surgery.”

Ashley: I was very down. Tony’s faith was now like a solid mountain – how could it not be, he had encountered Jesus in real life.

But I said, “Lord, I cannot have peace. Even though I have witnessed you resurrecting Tony from the dead, and I know you are God, I am seeing my husband bleed every day. How can I be still?”

And the Lord told me, “When you see Tony’s blood, remember My blood that I have shed for you.”

Immediately my anxiety lifted.

I saw some of Tony’s blood on the curtain and when I went to take it down to wash it, I saw that the fresh blood stains were in the shape of 12 crosses.

I cried. 

“And the Lord told me, ‘When you see Tony’s blood, remember My blood that I have shed for you.'”

I hadn’t realise that this last journey was for me. To ground my own faith.

Tony’s tumour shrank after taking a trial drug that he was miraculously selected for.

Today, everything that the locusts took away, God has restored (Joel 2:25-32) – his eyesight, his arms and legs, his nose.

When my husband was told he had three months to live, he had only one wish: To see our nine-month-old son walk. Today, that son is 21 years old.

I know that not everyone who prays gets healed. I have a lot of questions about that.

But every day I give thanks to the Lord, for this day belongs to the Lord, and He has given us breath to live another day.  

You may think that my husband’s healing is the big miracle.

But the biggest miracle is the fact that we can all find salvation in the Lord.

Tony: When I was in Singapore, two women stopped me on the street. One of them said, “I know you!” I was surprised. She repeated, “I know you! You’re the one who rose from the dead, right?” And she started telling her friend about how God resurrected me.

God can use us to evangelise without our even opening our mouth! 

Now I know what Philippians 1:21 means: “For me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

When we believe in God, we can’t lose: If we live, we can continue blessing and glorifying God. If we don’t live, we go to a beautiful, eternal Kingdom!

This is the second of a two-part story. Don’t miss the first part here.

Out of the Lows’ miracle experience was born several CBD marketplace groups and a monthly cancer support group in Singapore called Inspired. If you are interested in joining any of the groups, enquire here

For more Salt&Light stories on the outworking of God’s mysterious and mighty power, read Sarah Lyn’s story.

About the author

Juleen Shaw

Salt&Light Managing Editor Juleen hails from the newsrooms of Singapore Press Holdings and MediaCorp Publishing. She has had two encounters with baptismal pools. The first was at age four when her mother, who was holding her hand, tripped and fell into the church baptismal pool, taking Juleen with her. The second was when she actually chose to get baptised.