Miracle Moments Miracle Moments Of Personal Growth

UR MIRACLE WAS SHOWN to us through the family of another patient at CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital. My father had fallen ill just before the Christmas holidays in 1997. He was admitted to CHRISTUS St. Patrick on Dec. 13, and we were told that his condition was grave, and that he probably would not make it through the night.

Although his condition did improve, our family spent the better part of a month in the ICU/CCU waiting room at the hospital. During this time, we met another family whose loved one, Neil, was a young father with a teenage daughter. He was in the ICU for a very long time and they, too, were told that Neil probably would not live.

This family, in spite of their own worries and concerns, offered an unbelievable amount of support and inspiration to us. We attended mass in the hospital chapel each Sunday morning. On one particular Sunday, my father’s condition appeared to be deteriorating and as we were leaving the chapel, I became very upset. Neil’s sister, Theresa, approached me and gave me a hug. As she did, she pressed a beautiful green rosary into my hand. “Hold onto this,” she told me. “It will give you strength beyond belief.”

My father survived through the holiday season, and even was able to come home for Christmas. Immediately after the New Year, however, he was re-admitted to the ICU. Our “guardian angel family” – Neil’s family – was still there, too. My father died on Jan. 12, 1998. Neil’s father was strong enough to look beyond his own grief and leave his son’s bedside long enough to visit the funeral home where my father was taken and to offer his condolences.

I carried that green rosary everywhere I went for almost two years. Occasionally, I would encounter Neil’s father, and he never failed to ask how my family was and to let me know that we were still in his prayers.

Recently, my husband came home from work and told me that Neil had passed away. I felt compelled to visit the funeral home and return the green rosary to Theresa. At the funeral home, I approached Theresa and offered my sympathy. This time when we hugged, I pressed the rosary into her hand and said, “Hold onto this. It will give you strength beyond belief. Take it from someone who knows first-hand.”

It was amazing that this family, while dealing with their own difficulties, still had so much support to offer strangers. While we haven’t managed to keep in touch in the usual ways, that wonderful family is still in my prayers and I know in my heart, that I am in theirs.

Mary Matte
billing systems trainer
CHRISTUS Medical Group
Lake Charles, Louisiana