Shortly after moving from Chicago to Florida, our then
eight-year-old daughter, Casey, was diagnosed with spinal cord compression,
and she was confined to a wheelchair. She’d been born with a severe
kyphosis (commonly called hunchback) and scoliosis (a side-to-side curvature
of the spine), mental retardation, profound hearing loss, only one kidney,
and bilateral hip dysplasia, but in 1995 her spine was collapsing, bending
to nearly a 90 degree angle. The blood flow to her extremities was reduced,
and we were told that she was only a few weeks away from becoming a
The doctors in Chicago and Florida agreed that
emergency surgery was needed to open up the curvature and insert a shunt to
keep it from collapsing. Casey would still have the severe curvatures in
her spine, but if the surgery was successful, blood flow would be improved
to her legs, and she would hopefully regain her ability to walk. The
surgery was high risk, and it required the very best surgeon available.
We were directed to the Children’s Hospital in Boston,
and a world famous pediatric orthopedic surgeon named John Hall. He agreed
to take the case on an emergency basis, even though he’d never met Casey.
To save time, we had simply forwarded her MRI and other medical records.
We brought Casey before the elders of the church that
we’d recently begun to attend. They were all strangers to us, but they
were faithful to the instructions found in the Book of James chapter 5.
They laid hands on her, and prayed over her, and anointed her with oil. And
then we left for Boston.
We met Dr. Hall for the first time about an hour
before the surgery was to begin. He was a delightful, white-haired
gentleman, a bit older than we’d expected, and he assured us that he would
do his best. We told him that Casey had been ‘prayed up’ for the surgery,
and that we were praying for him as well. He smiled, and thanked us
politely. We kissed Casey good-bye, and they wheeled her off through the
double doors and into the operating room.
Then came the long wait. The surgery lasted nearly
nine hours. When it was over, we were called into a small ante room to hear
the doctor’s report. “I made an anterior incision”, he told us in
doctor-speak, “and a posterior incision as well, so that we could remove one
of the vertebrae at the apex of the kyphosis.” “But,” he went on, “I
noticed some unexpected play in her spine, so I massaged it for about 20
minutes with the base of my palm, and her spine straightened out.” “Your
daughter,” he told us, “now has as straight a spine as any normal 8-year
We couldn’t talk. We looked at each other, and we
nodded at the doctor. But, we just couldn’t speak, and we were both in
tears. It was an absolute miracle, and so much more than we had ever
imagined could happen. Because of the healing in her spine, a year later we
were able to begin a special two-year program with Casey aimed at healing
her brain, and although her IQ is still low, it has improved dramatically,
and she continues to make great progress. Casey loves gospel music,
and she's pictured here with the members of her favorite singing group, the
Signature Sound Quartet (pictured above).
John Hall is an amazingly talented surgeon, and we are very grateful to him
for all his efforts on Casey’s behalf, but we know that on that day in 1995,
God used him to accomplish the 'impossible'. He worked through him to bless
Casey with a straight spine. On that day, our daughter Casey was healed by
Lori and Barry (Casey's parents)