I can remember November of 2000 like it was yesterday. My oldest son was 8 years old and had been hospitalized at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth after having a minor stroke a few weeks before. It was not life threatening but it was terrifying. The day before he was scheduled to be released from Cooks he suffered a major stroke. He was taken to ICU, placed in a dark room, and we were told to wait. And wait we did.
Over the next 2-3 days, the swelling became so severe that they drilled a hole in the top of his head and screwed in a drain (looked like an IV) to allow fluid to escape. He was a pale almost gray color, and his face, arm and leg were obviously paralyzed. He was going in for brain surgery to have a hole cut in the back of his scull to hopefully remove enough pressure for him to survive. His chances of survival were slim and if he did live, a vegetative state was probable, so they were going to connect me with a group of people who could help modify my vehicle and house for a handicapped child. Of course, only if he lived. As his condition continued to deteriorate, my family was called in. The doctors finally told us to be prepared for his death. The brain trauma was simply too severe. They were doing everything they could to control the swelling and pressure on the brain stem. But, there was just nothing else they could do.
My parents asked me to go pray with them in the chapel at the hospital. Knowing my parents were whacked out crazy religious people who needed a crutch, but also knowing that it would make them feel better to say their good byes in a chapel, I went ahead and accompanied them. The ICU room was not the time to debate with them about their cultish belief in a book of fiction that no one really followed anyway. They prayed though I do not recall anything they said because I had my own dialogue with God going in my head. It started with “I cannot believe I am talking to myself. I have officially lost it. I am one of those desperate parents. Well God… if you ARE real… I know my son and he would never want to be trapped in a body unable to speak or move. It would break my heart for him to watch his friends play everyday while remaining frozen in time. If you are going to take him, take him. But do not let him live miserably for the rest of his life. Of course, if you ARE real, and you are really God, I want him back normal”. A man from a church in Fort Worth was also there. Not a preacher. Just a visitor. He got all of our information for their prayer chain.
I do not know the exact length of time that elapsed. As anyone with a child in ICU knows, time stops at the hospital. It could have been 10 minutes or maybe the next day. But the nurses came to us and said that my son was awake and was breathing too well for the tube. They called the neurologist and were ready to do an exam. They looked in his pupils. They were normal. He could feel sensations to his left foot… right foot… left hand… right hand. He looked at us and said … “I’m hungry”. That was it. He was weak, he had lost weight, he hadn’t eaten in a week or so, but he was fully able to speak and to move every limb.
Everyone hugged. My crazy religious parents gave God the glory, then everyone said their good byes and left me at the hospital to finish out his inpatient course of treatment. We were transported to the brain trauma floor where we were expected to stay for a couple of months for PT, OT, and the standard rehab required following strokes. We only had to stay for a couple of weeks.
A couple of nights into our stay, I asked my 8 year old about his near death experience. I told him that the medical staff had allowed us to stay in his dark room to hold his hand and whisper to him. I asked him if he had remembered that or heard any of that. I had dutifully stayed by his side almost the entire time. Did he even know that? He said no. And with as much sincerity as stating he was hungry, he looked right at me and said “all I remember was this guy Jesus. He talked to me and told me everything was going to be fine. Then I woke up and everyone was crying and happy. I don’t even remember what happened”. Then he said he wanted to go to the family play area or see what movies were coming on or something like that. Goose bumps covered my body and the hair on the back of my neck stood up. My 8 year old had met Jesus, been healed, and had moved on to other things in the same week. The Left Behind movie came on that night in his hospital room. True story.
Wow. JESUS is real… And that’s my blog. God Iz Real. That replayed in my head over and over. He’s really real. Oh my gosh. He’s real. Oh crap.
Can God heal? Absolutely. Yet our bodies will still die at some point. What I learned through this miracle was that God reveals Himself to us in the midst of the storm and heals us for a lifetime. The miracle is what opened the door to my heart to let God in saving my soul for eternity. A temporary bodily healing is great but a spiritual healing for eternity is far greater.
Speaking of the miracles healing, before the strokes and brain surgery my son had taken a prep TAKS test. He did well. But after the strokes and brain surgery he actually performed far better and won recognition for obtaining Commended Performance in all 3 TAKS areas. Yes, only God can do that in deed.
In 2010, he had an updated MRI at Advanced Medical Imaging in Sherman TX. The technician came out after conducting the scans and asked me what in the world happened to this kid. He had never seen a scan like that one on someone who was walking, talking and normal (if he’d ever seen one on someone living. I mean it’s pretty incredible). Though medical science may not have an answer for this healing, we know the God who does!
2015 Photo. This scar serves as an incredible reminder of how crazy blessed we are.