67: Healing Touch

67: Healing Touch

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Touched by an Angel

Healing Touch

The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they are gone.

~George Eliot

My twenty-three-year-old son had been diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), an autoimmune disease that attacks the nervous system. His entire body was paralyzed. He was only able to shake or nod his head, and he needed breathing and feeding tubes. He was at VCU Medical Center’s Neuro ICU and had been in the hospital for forty-five days. I had taken off work to be with him, but I was running out of leave time. I needed to go back to work, but I just couldn’t leave him in this condition.

Knowing that this syndrome destroys the myelin sheath around the nerves, but it eventually grows back, I prayed that God would give me a sign that my son was on the mend. I had watched his blood pressure and heart rate go crazy on the monitors and knew this was the most critical time for him.

One day, I went to the hospital’s chapel and prayed for God to give me a sign that my son was starting to recover.

When I returned to his room, they had him sitting up in a reclining chair, which they frequently did, just to get him out of bed. I settled down to read my book. A little while later, a lady stuck her head in the room and said she was looking for William. My son’s name is William Shane, but we have always called him Shane. I figured she was a social worker or something like that and told her she had the correct room, but we called him Shane.

She came in and introduced herself. She had come from Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina because a mutual friend had asked her to come to pray for William. I told her I didn’t think I knew anyone from that area and asked who the friend was. She could not remember the name. I told her all prayers were welcome.

Shane had his hands on the arms of the chair. She placed her hand on top of his, and asked me to put my hand on hers. When I did, she placed her other hand on mine then said a prayer. She told us she would check on him later. I thanked her for coming and she left.

I sat there a while longer until the nurse came in and told me to leave the room while they got Shane back in bed. After wandering the hospital for a bit, I went back to Shane’s room and found him asleep in bed. I sat back down, picked up my book and started reading. Then the respiratory therapist came in to check on him.

All of a sudden, she motioned for me to look. She said she saw some evidence that he was breathing on his own, and was going to turn the machine off. I panicked, and she assured me that she could turn it right back on and there was no risk involved. I held my breath while she turned it off. I watched. Sure enough, the monitor showed that my son was actually breathing some on his own. I started crying, and so did she. This did not mean the battle was over, she said, but it did mean that he was on the way back.

When she left the room, I started to put together what had just happened.

I had prayed for a sign that things were improving. Then the lady came to pray for Shane. And she had just walked into our Intensive Care Unit room. Getting into the ICU usually required ringing the bell for a nurse to let you in — after you’d said who you were there to visit — and then a nurse had to check with the family in the room prior to letting the visitor enter.

When I asked the nurse if she had let anyone else into the room, she said there had been no visitors for my son except me that day. She checked with the other nurses and reported that no one knew anything about a visitor.

From that day on, Shane began to quickly improve. They exchanged his breathing tube for another that allowed him to talk. As we were talking one day, he said, “Mom, I almost died, didn’t I?” I told him that he had us all scared for a while. Then, as I told him about the lady who came to pray for him while he was asleep, he interrupted me, saying he remembered that. And he repeated parts of the conversation! Like when I had asked her which church she was from, she had said her church was non-denominational. When he said that, I remembered that she had in fact said that. Then he described the lady perfectly.

I went home that night and told my husband about this conversation. He got a strange look on his face and reminded me that Shane had been on Versed (sometimes called the forgetful drug) and did not remember any of our family visiting during that time.

Shane continued to improve and was moved to rehab shortly thereafter. I have no doubt that God sent an angel in answer to my prayers. And when she laid her hand on his, and then her other hand on mine, we were both touched by an angel.

She never appeared again, but her visit will never be forgotten… by me or by Shane.

~Teresa Keller

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