Grandpa's Miracle

In the latter half of the 1960s Grandpa had a rough stretch of health problems. First, he had a heart attack and suffered mental problems, which led to dependency upon additive medicine. In 1970, his legs just gave out on him. When doctors could not figure out what was wrong with him he was driven to Des Moines to go see a back specialist. The specialist discovered that Grandpa’s vertebrae had collapsed and was cutting into his spinal cord, leaving it hanging literally by a thread. The doctors told Grandpa that he needed surgery although it would be dangerous and there was a chance he wouldn’t live through it. Although his survival questionably, one thing seemed certain: Grandpa would never walk again.

Regardless, they decided to go through with the surgery. Grandpa was understandably anxious about it. The night before the surgery, the family visited him. He waited until only my dad and his brother Kenny were in the room and told my dad, “You have to promise me that you’ll take care of Momma.” My dad tried to encourage him by telling him he was going to be alright but Grandpa wouldn’t let him leave until he promised to say those words. Thankfully, Grandpa survived.

After the surgery he went through three or four months of physical therapy. Although doctors said he’d never walk again, Grandpa’s therapist refused to believe it. She was a God-fearing woman who believed that God, not the doctors, could make him walk again. Sure enough, after four months, Grandpa could walk. This miracle led to a positive change in Grandpa. He threw out his pain killers that he had relied on for so long and replaced them with God. His pain slowly went away. Over the years, his legs got stronger and stronger. When he first left the hospital he couldn’t walk without a cain in both hands. Eventually he could walk with only one, and finally he was walking without any assistance at all. Grandpa’s soul had been revived. He loved taking long walks for exercise and to meet new people. “He loved taking long walks for exercise and to meet people. He told me about 20 years ago that he has a goal that every day, he wanted to make at least one person smile,” my dad says.

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