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A Testimony to the healing hand of God

Breathing Strength
700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0
3/ 20 02 03 /2 00 08 2 /0 4/ 20 22 02 /0 4/ 20 06 02 /0 5/ 20 02 20 /0 5/ 20 03 02 /0 6/ 20 02 17 /0 6/ 20 01 02 /0 7/ 20 02 15 /0 7/ 20 29 02 /0 7/ 20 02 25 /
Breathing (pre healing) l/min Breathing (post healing) l/min Steroid (Prednisolone) mg

In a sense the chart above says it all but let me explain what it means. Back in November 2001 I caught a virus which left me, for a short period with a very hoarse voice. As a Christian I have always endeavoured to take whatever opportunity is there to spread Gods word. I found myself leading worship at Hospital Bridge Chapel in Boston and having to get someone else to read from the Bible for me because, although I could speak in bursts, I could not read well enough to be understood. Then everything improved but within 2 weeks I was short of breath and wheezing badly with what seemed like a bout of bronchitis. I have often sufferer from Asthma but the inhaler I have did not work. As I was going off to my sons wedding on the Prairies in Canada over the New Year period, with possible low temperatures of -30 deg C, I went to the doctors for an antibiotic to relieve the problem. They had no effect. Having struggled through the cold of Manitoba I went again to the doctors on my return, more antibiotics and an x-ray which, according to the radiologist identified sarcoidosis, a sort of calcification of part of my lungs. I was told of this over the phone without any explanation of what it was. I had never heard of it but the medical books say it is debilitating. A colleague, who I later found out, also suffered and explained it to me. So back to the doctors. At the end of January, after another ineffective dose of antibiotic, I got a puncture on a lonely road near Loughborough. I was unable to change the wheel without several rests. Due back at the doctors again that night, I told him I could not continue like this. Resting I was fine but the moment I exerted myself I was breathless. He prescribed a short course of Prednisolone, a steroid; it was like a new lease of life. The next day I could breathe almost normally. Great, I thought, but the improvement was temporary. The effects lasted for a few weeks. Many more consultations leading to a chest specialist at hospitals in Lincoln and then a CT scan which showed inflation of tissue in the centre of my chest seriously restricting my windpipe led me to another hospital, this time in Nottingham and a preliminary diagnosiscancer. How that word hits you. A passing comment from the surgeon, a life sentence for the

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patient. At that moment I never even thought of recovery or treatment, I just thought, well thats it, I will not see my grandchildren, and Mary will have to make do on a widows pension. And I was supposed to have faith. I had preached about faith from the pulpit but now at the lowest point of my life so far, I lost faith, at least my faith in recovery. I still had my Lord. Folk from church were coming up to me and telling me that my illness would bring glory to God. I hung on but deep down I doubted what I was being told about getting better. The chest specialist had given me a breathing monitor, the results over a long period resulted in the chart on the previous page. This was to become my measure of desperations and also proof of the miracle that was to come. Over a period I was prescribed more prednisolone and the effects are obvious from the chart, relief followed by despair. You can see this by the red line. The drug worked but this was not a drug you could take for ever. As soon as I stopped taking it my breathing rate fell to critical. Below 300 litres/minute and you are in trouble. So I ended up in hospital for an operation, a mediansternoscopy or something like that. An endoscope down my neck between my windpipe and chest wall to get a sample of tissue to analyse. But the anaesthetist cancelled it. I was not well enough, my breathing was critical and as a result my blood oxygen level was well down. But this delay meant I would be able to attend a healing service at Zion the following week. This to me was a sign of Gods hand. The healing service came and I had the courage, with Mary to step out to the front and ask. I think that this public asking, in my case was essential. I could not hide the emotion. I was in a strange state, still little faith in healing but absolute faith in the healer-God, my loving Father. But I knew in that moment that I had been healed. Two weeks later I was under the surgeon for the operation and I told him he would not find anything. He did, but not enough to get a firm diagnosis. Even my surgeon was having thoughts about divine healing but he said the current dose of prednisolone was responsible for my apparent recovery. But the diagnosis from the tissue he managed to take was possible B cell low grade lymphoma. Low grade cancers are dangerous, they spread before showing themselves. Anyway, he wanted to operate again, this time by collapsing a lung to gain access to tissue, which another CAT scan showed to now be only around the base of the lymph gland and inaccessible except by taking this drastic action. I went along with him. By now I had weaned myself off the steroid and was still breathing fine. The change in colour of the line on the chart marks the change after the healing service. During the operation more tissue was taken from the area around the lymph and I awaited diagnosis. A week later, on the way to Pilgrim Hospital for an X-Ray, my surgeon rang me on my mobile phone. He had told me he would never give a diagnosis over the telephone so I held my breath wondering what he was going to say. Then I heard his words, A benign inflation. I did not have cancer and he could not wait to tell me. I still get a little short of breath every now and then, the asthma is still there but the inhaler now works. It was different back in December when the inhaler did not work at all. The change in colour of the line on the chart indicates the healing service. It shows that the devil had a last fling, often the case when Gods works. The devil takes one last chance to turn us his way. I turned him down for my Lord. It was about 6.40pm on the evening of 28 April 2002, when every one else was singing the hymn Freely, freely, you have received, freely freely give, go in my name and because you believe, others will now that I live. Me, God was acting on me. I could not sing those words, but I felt them. At about 7.00 that evening in front of many, God worked a miracle. A prayer: Hear I am, wholly available, Lord, act in my life and fill me with your glorious wholeness, Amen