By Dr. Michael J. Kellis, DO, FAOASM, Precision Orthopaedic Specialties, Inc.
I recently overheard a few colleagues debating the topic of miracles. One physician stated that there were no such things as miracles. The other said that they exist in the minds of some patients, and that’s why they improved “miraculously.”
Unfortunately, there was no mention of God in their dialogue. They simply attributed any spontaneous remission of disease to the patient’s own ability to heal. When did God disappear from medicine?
Over the course of my medical career, I have seen people spontaneously “heal” when their physicians gave them no chance of survival. After interviewing literally hundreds of patients with diseases that normally either kill or disfigure, I discovered one common denominator in all of them, their faith in God. How they perceived their Creator determined their recovery.
One particular patient whom I vividly recall was assigned to me as a lowly medical student. The child was merely six years old and dying of an “incurable” cancer. The attending physicians told me that my goal was to simply keep the child comfortable, since there was no cure for his disease. What I remembered the most from this young patient was his unrelenting faith in God, even when his parents and physicians told him that there was no hope.
One evening while doing my late night rounds, I saw the child up in his bed laughing hysterically! I asked him if he was in any kind of pain, or if he had any problems from his medication. He answered that Jesus was in his room, and that He would cure him of his disease. I thought that the medication was causing hallucinations. Over the course of the next two weeks, I saw a lifeless six-year-old child become vibrant and healthy without the help of his physicians. As he left the hospital, he winked at me and said, “ I told you so!” Ironically, his attending physicians called it a “spontaneous remission.”
We as physicians must remember that the power to heal is not in our hands, but in God’s. We should never assume that there is no hope. There is always hope as long as we believe. The true worth of a physician is not only in his or her knowledge, but in their ability to instill a ray of hope into each patient. Patients must realize that their health and recovery from disease are not determined by their doctors. It is ultimately in their hands, cradled by God.
Ernest Renan, the famed writer, once said, “Experience shows, without exception, that miracles occur only in times and in countries in which miracles are believed in.” I think it is time that both physicians and patients learn from a six-year-old child that we must believe in miracles. Yes, my fellow physicians, miracles do happen.