That’s the astonishing statement of the doctor who treated a young girl whose extraordinary recovery from a deadly auto-immune disorder is now being investigated as a miracle — one that could nudge the fabled Fr. Emil Kapaun closer to sainthood.
On Dec. 4, as the hospital staff put Avery through physical therapy that caused her almost torturous pain, she stood up, a sight that no doctor had dared hope for.
By that time, because of the e-mails the Gerlemans were getting, they knew that people and prayer chains all over the world were praying for her; in Italy, in England, and other places far and wide.
People in many churches in Wichita were praying to Kapaun and Jesus and many of the saints. Avery’s Wichita Attack soccer team, including the Protestant players, were saying rosaries for her with their Catholic teammates.
Other parents in Wesley Medical Center’s pediatric intensive care unit, struggling to help keep their own children alive, were praying for Avery.
Every day now she became more awake and aware, and Smith and Hilgenfeld and other doctors kept finding surprises.
Later, after they scanned her lungs and kidneys, they saw what seemed impossible: no scarring, not much tissue damage. It was like peering into a building after it burned and seeing no burn marks on the walls. It did not make sense.Her lungs had been so destroyed that Smith had told the parents that Avery, if she survived, would have to be on oxygen for the rest of her life.
But six months after Avery walked out of Wesley, she was playing competitive soccer again.
Was it a miracle?
“I don’t know, but I think so,” Avery said. “I think it was, but I struggle with what I think about.
“It seems weird: Why would God choose me?”
Her parents told her that perhaps her story was meant to show skeptics about God’s glory.
But after thinking about her survival for a long time, Avery, now 17, told her parents this year, with one year to go in high school, that she wanted to turn the meaning of her survival into something more tangible.
She said she would become a doctor or a nurse, and spend the rest of her life helping the sick.
It’s a remarkable story. Read the rest.
And for more on Fr. Kapaun, check out this website.