Miracle Moments Miracle Moments Of Personal Growth

OMETIMES IT SEEMS overwhelming to consider the number of miracles God has allowed me to witness. It is a true outpouring of His love, to me, my family, my friends and those special people He has brought into my life. Melissa Landry is one of the most special miracles. It brought tears to my eyes, tears of joy and exhilaration to hold my three newborn daughters, and my four grandchildren, in my arms, and to be consumed in those moments with a sense of God’s boundless love, through the miracles He gave me. That same awesome sensation has come back with the bonding and special relationship I have grown to share with Melissa Landry.

Melissa was born with cerebral palsy. Through her 29 years of life she has been totally dependent on her mother, Marsha, and is very close to her grandmother, Betty Thompson. Marsha’s love and care for Melissa has produced in her a caring, thoughtful, loving, and generous soul full of hope and appreciation for life. Cerebral palsy may have affected her muscles and joints, but Melissa’s mind is sharp and her heart is huge. Melissa started volunteer work for the Children’s Miracle Network eight years ago. She sits in her wheelchair and tirelessly works on those tasks other volunteers grow tired of quickly. As a CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital Auxiliary member, she has taken on the Children’s Miracle Network coordinator of volunteers, and assumes her responsibilities with maturity and dependability. She appreciates being treated as an intelligent adult and not a child bound to a wheelchair. Melissa is a living testimonial to courage and determination. She has endured dozens of surgeries to almost every joint in her body, never complaining except that she’s been taken away from her Children’s Miracle Network duties. She began special therapy several years ago with the goal of not only standing, but also walking. Although it was painful every session and progress was almost unmeasurable, Melissa demonstrated a determination and will to succeed that would put most able-bodied people to shame.

Of all of the miracles I have witnessed working with the Children’s Miracle Network, the most exceptional miracle was for me to watch Melissa stand up for the first time in 27 years. It was a beautiful and joyful moment. I know in my heart that my friend, Melissa Landry, is a precious angel, sent to me (and to all who know her) by God, to share with us all His goodness and love. That moment was magnificent proof that miracles are real, and we are blessed when we experience such love in our lives.

Poddy Champeaux, RN
Children’s Miracle Network, director
CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital
Lake Charles, Louisiana