14: Never Walk Again?

14: Never Walk Again?

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hope & Miracles

Never Walk Again?

When the world says, “Give up,” Hope whispers, “Try it one more time.”

~Author Unknown

As I lay in my hospital bed after surgery, I tried to comprehend the doctor’s verdict. “You will never walk again.” Never walk again? It sounded like a death sentence. Even though I was already eighty-nine years old, I was not ready to stop living a full life. I turned on my side and cried out to God for mercy. “Please, Lord, I need a miracle.”

Two weeks earlier I had gone to my great-nephew’s wedding in California. While leaving the hotel pool area one day, I tried to push open a door to the hallway, not realizing that it was locked. That’s when I suddenly fell backwards onto the cement floor. Pain seared through my body. My niece and nephew rushed to my side. “Are you okay?” they asked. I was too stunned to answer just then, but I was hoping that I had not been seriously injured. Quickly, they helped me up and took me back to my hotel room. Since I could still move around, I wasn’t too concerned and believed I would be fine for the wedding in two days.

Even though I had to sleep in a chair, I managed with some help to make it to the rehearsal dinner the next day. The following day, I was still able to attend the wedding. Yet after the reception I couldn’t get up from the chair. I knew something was seriously wrong and I needed to get back home to see my own doctor.

My daughter took me back to my hometown and rushed me to the local hospital. My pain was so severe by that time that the medical staff couldn’t get me into the correct position to take an X-ray. After keeping me in the hospital overnight for observation, the doctor, unable to determine a cause, sent me home. However, the next few days I was in so much pain I had a hard time getting out of bed.

“Lord, what’s happening to me?” I cried out again and again. “Please, heal my body.”

When the pain continued to worsen, my daughter had an ambulance take me back to the hospital where an X-ray revealed that I had fractured three vertebrae. Right away I was transferred to a larger hospital where a specialist advised immediate back surgery. “It’s a delicate surgery and at her age she may not survive,” the doctor had told my family. Yet I had survived, although the surgery had not improved my condition. That’s when the doctor had told me that I would never walk again. “Am I to live the rest of my life in a wheelchair as an invalid?” I now agonized. Somehow I couldn’t accept that verdict. There had to be a way that I could walk again, even at my age.

I believed that God was a God of miracles and I knew God could heal my body. But I realized that I also had to do my part, so right then I determined to at least work at trying to walk again. Rehabilitation exercises taught me to stand. I worked hard at holding onto bars, hoping my feet would move just a little on their own. But they didn’t. At first I was somewhat discouraged. Should I just give up and accept the medical prognosis? Then, these words from the Bible suddenly popped into my mind and filled my heart with renewed faith and hope: “Everything is possible for one who believes” (Mark 9:23, NIV).

“I’ll walk again. I’ll show everyone,” I told my visitors. They smiled but they didn’t seem to believe me. They prayed for me, mostly that I would accept life in a wheelchair. But I kept praying that the Lord would give me the strength to keep trying to walk again.

How I longed to go outdoors, to walk along the streets, to do all those things I had been able to do before the accident. What would my future be like not being able to walk? My imagination ran wild, but I didn’t want to dwell on it. I had to be positive about my future. I had had my share of challenges, but none as formidable as this and I was not one to give up easily.

Determination to walk again filled me with energy. I worked hard during my exercises each morning. As I willed my feet to move little by little, I finally was able to push my feet forward while standing in a walker. I was so encouraged that I tried even harder. My faith and courage soared as week by week I felt some improvement. Within a few months I could take one step at a time when holding onto my walker. Then two steps. Now I knew that if only I would work at it hard enough, I would achieve what the doctors thought was impossible. A year and four months after the accident, I was finally able to walk around the room holding onto a walker. How excited I was, knowing this was the first step toward a normal lifestyle.

Today, two years after the accident, I can walk well even outside on the street holding onto a walker. The broken vertebrae have healed. Now I am looking forward to the future with hope and a thankful heart. “A miracle,” the staff told me. I agreed. I knew that with faith, determination, courage, and hard work anything is possible.

~Beulah Dobson

You are currently enjoying a preview of this book.

Sign up here to get a Chicken Soup for the Soul story emailed to you every day for free!

Please note: Our premium story access has been discontinued (see more info).

view counter

More stories from our partners