Heart-Stopping Surgery Inspires Heavenly Music:

Kevin Keller on the Power of Gratitude

What would you do if your life flashed before your eyes?


After hearing the surprising news that he needed open heart surgery, composer Kevin Keller had 2 weeks to mentally prepare to have his heart stopped during the procedure. " I wondered what the experience would be like. Would I even know that my heart was clamped off, and that I was no longer breathing on my own? Would I “go” anywhere during the 14 hours that I was unconscious?"


He decided to put his total faith in the medical team. This was in their hands now.


"During those few days before the surgery, I found myself thinking back about my entire life, replaying some of the most cherished moments. Whenever this happened, I would feel a deep sense of gratitude. I had lived such an amazing life, and I was simply grateful for all of it. There had been a handful of moments in my life – usually in solitude – that really defined me and that I felt especially grateful for."


Those memories, and that gratitude, were what he took into the operating room on the day of surgery.

"14 hours later I awoke in the ICU, and once I realized that I was alive, and that I had survived the operation, I once again felt gratitude. My recovery went so smoothly that I was released from the hospital after only 4 days."


Keller is certain that it was this gratitude that allowed his recovery to go so smoothly.


As soon as he was home and starting to feel better, he began writing music inspired by this experience, and a year later, he had completed “The Front Porch of Heaven”


The lesson that he took from this: never underestimate the power of gratitude.