This will probably seem a little off of my usual tales of ghosts and paranormal activity, but thought I should maybe begin to expand my horizons into the world of the unexplained! As its become continuously obvious to me that the world of the paranormal and some of its attributes seem to have a connection to religion. I think in a way it is these odd links that seem to pop up everywhere between the paranormal, demonology and religion that make the field more interesting to me. Many of us believe in a higher power which may govern our lives, helping to guide us on a righteous path, but equally many believe in a darker power. You could argue one could not exist without the other, still though some choose not to believe in either!
Which brings me around to this story which I found recently about a boy who suffered from a flesh-eating bacterium called strep A. Jake contracted the infectious disease during a basketball game when he knocked his lip on the hoop. Overnight he developed a fever, his face swelled and by the next day he was in hospital. The case was like nothing Doctor Richard Hopper of the Seattle Children’s Hospital had ever seen, it consumed Jake’s face at alarming speed. The doctor’s done their best to fight back the infection as it spread, but it progressed faster than they could remove skin. They told Jake’s parents several times that it was likely their son would die! Elsa, Jake’s mother called a Catholic Priest, who came and gave him his last rites.
This is where the case begins to take a more religious turn and even covers some aspects which I don’t entirely understand myself. Probably because I am not very religious myself! You see the article goes on to explain that Jake’s parents then went to their Chapel and surrendered him to God. His Mother Elsa, recalls stating, "God, he is yours. Thy will be done, and if it is your will to take him home, then so be it."
It was then that they began to pray desperately for a miracle. Soon enough they were joined by many others who prayed along side them. As the article reads the local priest encouraging them to pray for an intercession by a woman who lived 350 years ago called Kateri. The priest focussed on this woman as there were similarities between her and Jake’s roots. She had been beatified in 1980, which is a step before sainthood. Kateri Tekakwitha was also a Mohawk who converted to Catholicism and her face had been scared by smallpox in her youth. The prayers began with the church, then Jake’s school began to pray for help from Kateri and then they began to hear from farther afield. They had messages from across America, from London and even Israel.
As Jake balanced carefully between life and death, he was visited by a representative of the Society of Blessed Kateri. She left a pendant with Kateri’s image on it which was placed on Jake’s pillow by his Mother. That became the last day that his disease would progress any further and following surgery the following morning the Doctors informed Jake’s parents it had stopped.
Everyone was a little stunned over how it was suddenly over and the surgeons began to repair Jake’s face for the future. It was said to be one of the most amazing recoveries the doctor had ever seen. Jake’s Mother has no doubt what so ever that this was indeed a miracle.
However, for the Church to classify this as an actual miracle it has to investigate the whole case to determine if Jake’s recovery is in fact unexplainable. A team of priests will collect documents, witness statements and much more before drawing their conclusions. This is not a quick process either, the team have already been working on Jake’s case for more than three years already.
As some skeptics have already mentioned, it is understandable that Jake should make a recovery, as he had the best medical care possible. Perhaps it was just a coincidence that his recovery began following the placement of the pendant on his pillow. However, the doctors do agree that his parents faith and the support of the community and beyond also helped. The positive thinking and knowledge of such a massive network of support must have given Jake strength to continue to battle the infection. Perhaps it was this along side medical science that battled against the odds for Jake’s survival.
The priests will continue to investigate Jakes case to decide if a miracle actually occurred here, the doctors will continue to help rebuild his scared face and his parents will thank god, their friends and the hospital for keeping their son alive.
It is a remarkable story, which does make you think a little. If there was no mention of the church or how the community prayed for Jake, then I don’t think we would be looking for a miracle here! However, can anyone categorically say that without the prayers and support Jake would have recovered as he did? The doctors had all, but written him off, they thought he would die from his condition. When all seemed lost, it all changed pretty much overnight.
I have read cases and seen TV shows where following a religious blessing of some kind the homes occupants feel more in control or the house comes across more peaceful. Perhaps there is something in it all!
I find it remarkable and very interesting the effects that religion and belief can have on an individuals life. I am not really religious myself and don’t believe in a higher power! I have faith and beliefs of my own, but not your standard preset religions. I have to admit I have difficulty buying into religions and the rules which come with them. Although, as my fiancée would tell you I do have some pretty strong morals. However, if my son was in the situation that Jake was then I have to say I wouldn’t rule out a prayer or two!
Let me know what you think of this post? What are your thoughts and feelings on the subjects of miracles?
For the original story click below..