The summer I was fifteen years old, I became very ill, eventually...

The summer I was fifteen years old, I became very ill, eventually losing the use of my legs. My father, who was not a Christian Scientist, insisted that I be taken to a hospital. When I arrived there, a tube was put in my trachea and I was placed in an iron lung because my lungs were paralyzed as well as my legs. The doctor said it was the worst case of polio Los Angeles General Hospital had seen that year, and gave my parents little hope that I would survive the night.

I don't recall that any medication was given, but I do remember that I held to a verse from the Bible: "In him we live, and move, and have our being" (Acts 17:28). I also prayed using the words of a hymn that starts "In atmosphere of Love divine,/ We live, and move, and breathe" (Christian Science Hymnal, No. 144).

Afterward my mother told me that she spent the whole night in prayer, too, praying especially with the Lord's Prayer, with its spiritual interpretation from Science and Health. She concentrated on the meaning of each word. Toward morning this part of another hymn came to her: "And understanding prayer is fully answered,/ When trustingly we turn to God aright" (No. 426). With that message she gained peace. When my parents went back to the hospital, the doctor gave them the high sign, indicating that I had made it through. Later he told them that he wished everyone had what we had, because it certainly did work, and all the doctors could do was wait and hope.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

November 11, 1996

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.