The Late Night Miracles of Sept. 9

Christ's healing presence felt in the operating room

By Chaplain Jennifer Tapley
St. Joseph Medical Center

It is the miracles that count. We were just the ones chosen to tangibly convey God's love and grace, hope, faith and healing presence in the wee hours of Sept. 9 in an operating room at St. Joseph Medical Center.

It was after midnight when I was told there was a young woman who had given birth to a healthy nine-pound son and was now hemorrhaging beyond control. The medical team was working against declining odds to stop the bleeding. Her family was pacing the hallways, sobbing and angry, blaming and guilt-ridden. They were frightened that her life might pass, leaving them alone and grieving all too soon.

The surgeon communicated with the family herself and sent a nurse to give regular updates. She was honest with the family about the seriousness of the situation. The feeling was that, short of a miracle, there was little hope. The surgeon suggested prayer.

The patient's mother asked if she could talk to her daughter, as there were things she needed to say to her. The surgeon's response was surprised but affirmative. Earlier, the patient's mother told me she had been a person of faith until seven years ago when her son died. She had been angry with God ever since. "I prayed seven years ago, and he died," she said.

We entered the operating room and I saw the beautiful young woman with flowing dark hair. Her mother bent down and spoke to her daughter lovingly and firmly. Then, we prayed together for healing. The rest of the team prayed, too. The patient's mother and I prayed that God would use the team's skill and years of training to bring wholeness and healing.

After that visit to the operating room, the young woman's situation began to turn around. The medical team was able to stop the bleeding. A few hours later, she was moved to recovery, and then to intensive care. The next day, she was able to write messages to her family. Soon, she met her beautiful new son. What joy!

There were many miracles that night: a young mother was returned to her family; her mother's return to faith; and the gathering of skilled and compassionate men and women, committed to healing, who worked together seamlessly, united as the healing hands of Christ.

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Chaplain Jennifer Tapley
Chaplain Jennifer Tapley