HAS LONG BEEN A PART OF MY LIFE but wasn’t real to me until
recently. Miracles were something that happened to others—only
an idea to me. In December of 2002, however, my family and I learned
the power of prayer and of miracles. I can remember my sister calling
and telling me that Mom was taking Dad to the doctor because he
wasn’t feeling well. To anyone else, this may not seem like
a big deal, but my father is not one to be sick. Ever.
My dad went
to the doctor and was quickly admitted to CHRISTUS St. Michael
because of pneumonia. He hadn’t complained of any pain earlier that week.
Nevertheless, he was ill, and by 6 p.m. that evening, my whole family knew it
was quite serious. When I arrived at the hospital, my once stalwart father was
barely able to stand and unable to even say hello. Things began to spiral downward,
and we were asked to leave the room. A team of nurses, respiratory therapists
and a pulmonologist worked with my father. Alarms in the room began going off,
and fear took hold of us all. It wasn’t too much longer until my sisters
and mother were in tears and the doctor was explaining that my father had become
My father was admitted to surgical intensive
care and placed on a ventilator due to the severity of his illness.
We all made our
way to the waiting room,
still unsure of what had just happened. Family members were called, and the
pastor was asked to come to the hospital. Things didn’t look
good. That evening was long and tiring. My father was stabilized
and put on a heavy dose of antibiotics.
His blood pressure was OK, but his temperature was high. We figured it would
take 24 hours for the medication to take effect. Feeling there was nothing
more to do at the time, everyone but my older sister and mom went
The next day arrived and my dad hadn’t made
any vast improvement. Still thinking the medications needed time,
my fiancée and
I ran errands to pass the time. Those plans were quickly interrupted
with a phone call from my younger
sister informing us that Dad wasn’t getting any better. “Why is
this happening to my dad?” I asked myself. “Why my family? What’s
going on?” My thoughts raced as I rode the elevator up to the ICU. My
immediate family was gathered in the waiting room silent, tearful and
most likely asking themselves the same questions. Hours passed, and the reports
on my father
weren’t improving. His blood pressure was very low, and his body wasn’t
responding to the antibiotics, as evidenced by his temperature, which was below
98.6. My family and in-laws gathered in the waiting room and did the only thing
we knew to do—pray. Only a few of us voiced our prayers aloud, including
my fiancée. She prayed for my dad to get a fever. At the time, it seemed
off-key, but we would later realize that it was exactly what needed to occur.
After that, I lost it. I broke down and began crying like I never had before.
to my brother and sobbed for what seemed like hours, clinching his coat with
all my strength.
Around midnight, a specialist was called
in to discuss the possibility of dialysis because my father’s
kidneys were failing. The chance of his other organs, shutting
down was a major concern. The specialist
said it would take a miracle
for my dad to live. Things so badly deteriorated that my mom gathered us
four children in a small room to discuss keeping my father alive with a machine.
My sisters and brother agreed that that was not what Dad would have wanted.
we should hold out and be strong for my dad. He was to be my best man in
month. I needed his guidance and support. Most of all, I needed his love.
Until now, I hadn’t experienced life with the absence of a father.
Why now? My mom went back to be with him as we remained in the waiting room,
eventually falling asleep from exhaustion.
The waiting room door opened and
there stood my mom, not crying from anguish but with joy. I’ll never
forget her words, “We got our miracle!” She
told us that my once-dying father was responding to medications. His lung
had collapsed, and a chest tube was inserted, which allowed fluid to drain
lung and oxygen to reach vital organs again. Also, he had a temperature,
indicating he was fighting the infection.
My father has recovered from his
near-death experience. We all have taken heed of this event, realizing
several things along the way. There is power
Though it may not happen right away, God does provide for us. He hears
our concerns and knows what is best. Miracles do happen. They aren’t
a foreign idea that only occurred to Abraham, Moses and Isaac. They are
real and happen each
day all around us. We may not even see or experience them, but they do
happen. And when they do, your life takes on a whole new meaning. My
parents both instilled
in me my faith in God and, through them, I know He is real. When my
dad was dying, I thought, “Why, God? Why my family?” I
now say, “Thank
you, God. Thank you for my family!”
Son of Mary Miller, social
W. Temple Weber Cancer Treatment Center at CHRISTUS