Ellen G. White: The Lonely Years: 1876-1891 (vol. 3)


A Close Call for Ellen White

The day of James White's death came close to being just that for Ellen, also. When on Friday evening Dr. Kellogg advised her that James White was failing fast, she had gotten up from her sickbed. Though seeming to be recovering, she was still very ill. She stayed with James through the night and all the next day till his death. Then she almost collapsed. Dr. Kellogg sensed her danger, although she did not. That night he appointed two attendants, and he himself slept close by with clothes on, so that he might be instantly at her side if needed. He charged the two women helpers, Mary Chinnock and Emma Webber: “Watch the pulse and call me at any change.” Not sensing her peril and always thoughtful of others, Ellen White told the two women that they could sleep. But they did not. She wrote of the experience a little later: 3BIO 179.5

At twelve o'clock at night my pulse stopped.... He [Dr. Kellogg] was at my bedside in one minute. I was unable to speak but knew what was going on. I expected to pass away quietly as my husband had done, but the doctor worked unremittingly with the two helpers until three o'clock in the morning. 3BIO 180.1

The strongest electricity was employed; one stood with a cake of ice and another with a hot sponge and passed first hot, then cold, over the spine for three hours until my pulse, though very weak, and fluttery, was improved. For four nights these faithful hands battled with death and were rewarded by seeing a determined improvement.—Letter 9, 1881. 3BIO 180.2