With the simple hope of helping others, ordinary people plunged into serious health crises talk about what has made them whole again, even in the face of trauma, suffering and loss. While every approach is different, one universal truth emerges: Healing is a choice.
Stories written by Patricia McMorrow | Photographs & Video by David McLain | Produced by the CaringBridge Team
Jeff Edwards of Herman, MN, fell from roofs and crashed dirt bikes as a kid, parachuted into dangerous places with the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division and faced potential harm for 13 years as a sheriff’s deputy and SWAT-team marksman. So breaking his neck in shallow water, while on vacation in Mexico in 2015, was… Read More
Just 18 months old when a drunk driver plowed into her in the front yard of her suburban San Antonio, TX, home in 2009, Ava Lopez remembers nothing of a trauma impossible for her family to forget. And with Ava, now 11, still facing effects of a traumatic brain injury (TBI)—an imprint of her head… Read More
Letting loose in his battery-powered Dodge Ram pickup is freedom for 7-year-old Kaden Kruciak of Cibolo, TX. And if ever a kid deserved to feel the wind in his hair—and the dust and dirt of off-road driving—it’s Kaden. Diagnosed in-utero with a rare birth defect called congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH), meaning his kidneys, liver, stomach,… Read More
When her parents ask Olivia Hammond of Bryan, TX, to show what her little brother’s heart looks like, the adorable 4 year old makes the familiar shape with both hands. Then she takes half of it away. That’s a quick explanation of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), a rare and serious congenital heart defect. Deacon… Read More
When Davis O’Donnell of Fulshear, TX, was diagnosed at 4 months with retinoblastoma, cancer in both eyes, his parents, Lianne and Doug, questioned the expression, “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” “We felt really overwhelmed; this was not a world we were ready to walk into,” Lianne said. “‘Cancer’ is not a… Read More
Over four years, 6-year-old Jaxson Martinez of Uvalde, TX, endured three cancer surgeries, seven rounds of chemo, 18 radiation and immunotherapy treatments, and 40 blood and platelet transfusions. But his family’s faith never wavered. In fact, it became stronger. With Jaxson now a neuroblastoma survivor—he rang the bell to mark the end of active cancer… Read More
His body is strong, but not coordinated. His mind is strong, and it is pulling things together. His spirit is strong, and he’s keeping a good attitude. You watch that and you say, ‘Yep, he’s healing.’
I had to take care of the chickens. I had to physically go outside to be with them. They helped me forget what I was going through. It put me into the present in a different way.
For so many months, he was so sick, and unable to even move his arms and legs. He used to get mad watching his sister play because it was like, ‘Why can’t I do that?’ And now …
I would go down in my garage with a piece of paper that said, ‘c-a-n-c-e-r.’ I’d tape it to my backdrop and I’d blow it apart with my airsoft machine gun. I was killing cancer.
We thought there was no way Andre could go through this much chemo and radiation—again—and still be on the field in 2017. So to see him go out for that first practice …
I would sit down at the piano and I would just start to play. And I would really just begin to sing my way into the truth, I would begin to declare healing over my body.
My understanding of the main work of healing is receiving love, and opening up to that. Medical treatments complement that, and can support that. But the essence of healing is really opening up to love in the world.
Healing starts from within yourself. The process is aided by the surroundings and people you choose. You want to make choices that are healthy, mentally and physically, for your mind and body.