Faced with a life and death decision, Debbie Miller chose the latter.
She had just buried her stillborn son a few days earlier and now blood clots in her body were threatening her life.
An operation would save Debbie's life, an operation requiring the loss of both of her legs.
Miller, originally from Everett, tells her story in the recently released movie, "Through a Mother's Eyes."
A showing of the movie will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 14 at Pleasant Valley Assembly of God, 801 Pleasant Valley Blvd. Cost is $8.
The movie is based on a book Miller wrote, "Through a Mother's Eyes ... I Gave Birth to an Angel."
Miller, whose miraculous recovery is part of the movie, also sees God's hand in the production of the book and the film.
She and her husband, Steve, of Fredericksburg, Ohio, lost their son Michael 23 years ago.
About seven years after his death, Miller said she wrote the book with the exception of the last two chapters.
When Sue Morino, a close friend, read it years later, Miller said her friend's reaction was "you have a powerful story."
Morino gave the manuscript to her pastor, Bishop Tommy Reid of Full Gospel Tabernacle, Orchard Park, N.Y. Reid said he already knew Miller's story from her visits to his church and thought it should be published, and he helped Miller connect with a publisher. The book was printed in 2011.
About a year later, Morino gave the book to movie director Greg Robbins who had recently begun attending her church in New York. Robbins, also a producer, actor and writer, grew up in California and has been working in the film industry for 31 years. He is the creator of the Christian sitcom, "Pastor Greg."
Robbins said he did not know Morino, because it is a big church and he was new to the congregation.
"I didn't read it for quite a few months," he said, explaining that he was working on other projects.
He said his daughter read it first and told him she thought it would be an amazing movie.
"I only do movies that inspire the audience," Robbins said, "that are positive, uplifting, encouraging."
Robbins said Miller's story "was a super hard story, what she went through is nothing short of the miraculous."
He said people can't doubt that she was healed.
Jim Balzano, pastor of Pleasant Valley Assembly of God, said that is why the church is hosting the showing. He said it demonstrates the supernatural power of God to believers and unbelievers, and the story glorifies God. He added that Miller also has ministered at the Altoona church.
The movie premiered in a theater in Hamburg, N.Y., where Reid said the audience was extremely impressed.
Robbins said the movie shows that God is there for people who believe that they have done God wrong.
"He is there with open arms - with total, total forgiveness," Robbins said.
Miller recalled when Robbins called her to discuss
the movie opportunity.
Although she was deeply touched about the offer, she said she knew she could not afford to make a film. "Someone paid the whole amount to get my book published. I never expected anything else," she said.
"I am a mom and housewife," she said she told Robbins. "You are barking up the wrong tree."
He told her to pray about it, and she agreed.
Not long after their conversation, someone agreed to finance the production and it was filmed in March.
Many of the scenes take place in a closed hospital in Orchard Park, N.Y. Miller said the administrator agreed to loan the facility to the production company for three days as long as they paid the security guard.
"It had to be God," she said.
Along with the setting, Robbins had to locate the right actors, especially for the lead.
"To play that role, I needed an A list actor," Robbins said, explaining by A list, he meant quality of craft. He said without the right actress to play Miller, the making of the film could destroy a beautiful story.
"In walked Elizabeth Houlihan. I never met her before in my life. She blew me away. In every single scene, she is breathtaking."
"She is one of the best actresses I have worked with," he said, adding that he has worked with countless actresses, including Oscar winners.
"She led the film with her eyes," Reid said.
Playing Miller's husband, Steve, was Jason John Beebe.
"He did an amazing job," said Miller, who got to watch the filming.
While the leads' names may not have been household words, three of the actors who had minor roles have been in TV and Hollywood productions.
Eddie Mekka, who played Carmine, "The Big Ragu" in the late 1970s and early 1980s sitcom "Laverne and Shirley," plays the doctor who tells Debbie that her legs need to be amputated.
Peter Kent, a stuntman who played Arnold Schwarzenegger's double in 14 of his films, plays the obstetrics/gynecology specialist who tells Debbie that her unborn baby is dead.
Jeff Rose, who was Major Bryce Ogden in the TV series "Army Wives," and Doug Resnick in the TV series "Drop Dead Diva," plays the pastor at her bedside.
Miller said to watch her life unfold during the making of the movie was like watching a dream. It almost seemed surreal, she said.
Her purpose in telling her story through the book and the movie is to give others hope.
"They are not alone," she said.
"When you lose a child, a part of yourself dies. You think no one cares," she said.
She said a bond exists among women who have lost a child whether it is through a miscarriage, abortion, still- birth or other means.
Her message is "You can survive. You can make it."
She said a woman who had an abortion came up to her at a speaking engagement and told Miller she didn't think God would forgive her until she heard Miller's story.
"God took a terrible tragedy and was able to turn it around," said Miller, who admitted that she has had other difficult moments in her life.
Although she and Steve have two daughters and a son, she also miscarried what was thought to be twins in addition to losing Michael.
Her childhood was not easy, either. Her mother was single when she got pregnant with Debbie, and Miller never knew her father.
"I was told I would never amount to anything," she said.
Miller said her story is one of blood and tears, but there is hope in the end.
Steve and Debbie Miller will attend the showing of "Through a Mother's Eyes" in Altoona. She said she loves the people of Altoona and being able to return to central Pennsylvania, the area of her childhood roots.
"God has a plan for your life and when you least expect it, he will bring you back home," she said.