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DEEP APPRECIATION FOR CHRISTIAN SCIENCE NURSING CARE AFTER SERIOUS ACCIDENTS

From the October 24, 2005 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

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I was involved in a serious automobile accident a few years ago and was taken to a local hospital. I was able to ask someone to call a Christian Science practitioner for me when I first entered the hospital, and he agreed to pray for me. After examinations and X-rays by the emergency room doctors and an area specialist who had been summoned, I was told I had broken my neck in two places. As I listened to the description of what my treatment would entail—complete immobilization and major surgery with an extended hospital stay, all with no guarantee of success—I prayed to do what was wise and necessary for myself.

It became very clear to me that I wanted to rely on Christian Science to achieve this healing. I assured the various hospital workers that I appreciated their care and concern, and asked to be taken home. After that request was soundly denied, I asked to be taken to a local Christian Science nursing facility. Once again, the doctors told me they felt that my injuries were far too serious for treatment through prayer alone and said medical treatment was my only viable option. I could choose to have surgery immediately or wait until the following morning. I was then left alone in the room, still taped to an immobilization board, to ponder which of these two options I preferred.

The first thing that came to me as I lay there praying was the Bible story of Paul and Silas, who, when locked in a prison, sang hymns and praises to God, and the prison doors immediately opened (see Acts 16:19-26). The story told me that no matter how dire or impossible my situation might appear, God could provide a way out. Just a few moments later, to my complete surprise, the chief medical nurse put her head into my room and asked if there was a specific place where I could be taken. I was astonished because just moments before, in her presence, I had been told that I could not leave the hospital under any circumstances. I can't tell you how grateful I was to have a place to go and gave her the name of the Christian Science nursing facility.

With that decided, one of the Christian Science nurses from a nearby facility, who was also a member of my branch Church of Christ, Scientist, came to help make arrangements for my transfer. I had been told I could not leave the hospital under any circumstances because no ambulance would accept the liability of moving someone in my condition. The Christian Science nurse's clarity of thought and persistence helped break through the impasse of this situation. She worked closely with the head medical nurse, and after four hours of calling various ambulance companies, one was finally located. I was able to stay clearheaded, calm, and comfortable the whole time, and appreciative that the medical personnel were acting out of their training and concern.

In the ambulance ride to the facility, I made a promise to myself that I would not "will" my way to freedom, but humbly listen to God to find recovery through a greater understanding of Him and His laws, even if this meant I had to lie quietly for a long period of time.

I arrived at the facility very late at night and immediately felt such love and care from the Christian Science nurses and staff members. The hospital had emphasized that the nature and degree of care was of paramount importance because any mishandling would have dire consequences. The staff at the facility was well trained and handled the specifics of my case with great skill and expertise. I was taken off the immobilization board, the brace was removed, and my clothes cut off. They placed me on a hospital bed with supports to keep my neck from moving. Right away a Christian Science nurse was stationed in my room, and during the first few days of my stay, a staff member was assigned to me 24 hours a day. It was so comforting those first few nights to have this level of care. One of my most precious recollections is waking that first night to find a Christian Science nurse sitting quietly by a small table in my room, reading the Bible and Science and Health and praying while I slept. I also stayed in close contact with the Christian Science practitioner who was praying for me, and the Christian Science nurses would hold a phone to my ear during my frequent phone conversations with him.

The facility offered a safe haven for me from fear-instilling predictions about my condition and provided me with the spiritual support I needed, in addition to the physical care. During those first days, I prayed to feel God's love for me more deeply and consistently. I have always loved God, but had never really felt how much God loved me. This had been especially true since the untimely death of my husband just two months earlier. The tender care of the Christian Science nurses gave me the quiet that I needed, as I deepened my understanding of the unbreakable connection between God and me, and His great love for all His creation.

Healing came naturally and gently. Although I experienced some pain upon my arrival at the facility, after continued conscientious prayer and study, and the prayerful support of the Christian Science practitioner, within a day and a half the pain completely left. I felt well enough to have the hospital bed moved to a sitting position for a portion of the day. Over the next few days, I went from using a wheelchair to walking with assistance. And finally, just one week after I arrived, I took my first unassisted walk down the hallway. Two weeks to the day after I first arrived at the facility, I decided to go home.

As I lived alone, I requested the assistance of a Christian Science visiting nurse for three days, to help with cooking and bathing, and for a week I used a rented hospital bed. Injuries I had sustained in the accident to my knee, tailbone, and arm were also healed within a short period of time, and within a month I began jogging again!

Like the lame man in the Bible, I was "walking, and leaping, and praising God" (Acts 3:8). Instead of undergoing the prescribed surgery and six months of recovery, I completely recovered in one month. There was not one negative aftereffect from the accident.

Before this experience, I had not realized the depth of the support offered by Christian Science nursing facilities, Christian Science nurses, and Christian Science practitioners. Indeed, those who are relying on Christianly scientific prayer for healing, are not left without human aid. I also learned how important it is to be still and feel God's presence. This strengthened my understanding of the power of divine Love to heal any human condition.


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