Today’s blog is written by Janice Cappucci. Here she shares Carole Olson’s story – a word to sustain the weary.
“Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other
so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is
powerful and effective.” -James 5:16 NIV
It’s not often that hospital patients under general anesthesia can hear their doctors speaking to each other during surgery. And perhaps it’s just as unusual for a patient with a painful, paralyzing tumor on her spine to go into surgery with a total sense of peace, able to convey her utmost confidence to her surgeon beforehand.
But that’s what happened to Carole Olson after she emailed The Point requesting prayer for her upcoming surgery. It all started several years ago with painful feelings of pins and needles in her toes. Then some time later her knees started buckling. Then her hip would freeze – paralyzed with pain. “Why did you wait so long?” her neurologist asked. She really didn’t have an answer, except the hope it would resolve itself on its own.
Or maybe it was because she is a registered nurse. Nurses see it all – surgeries that work out well, where the surgeon operates on the right body part, etc. – and others that don’t.
When her neurologist expressed alarm at her CT scan, and shuffled his scheduled surgeries to get her in post haste, she knew she needed lots of prayer.
“God was in this every step of the way,” Carole said. “We have wonderful prayer warriors at The Point. They touch God.” Despite the size of the tumor and its risky entanglement of her nerve bundles – and despite feeling apprehensive about past surgeries, Carole found herself feeling completely relaxed, with no fear, and complete faith all was going to be fine.
It was more than fine, actually. So fine the doctor was stunned at what happened during surgery. The first surprise came when he saw that the tumor had actually shrunk since the CT scan. Second, even though the tumor had come so close to penetrating her spinal cord it left a dimple, it did not break through, sparing Carole a world of trouble. And then, when he set out to peel the tumor off her nerve bundles, it simply fell off clean into his hands.
He was so amazed, and spoke so loudly, Carole could hear him through the fog of anesthesia. “Look!” Carole remembers him saying. “This is like nothing I’ve ever seen before! I’m amazed!” Then Carole heard him speaking with the pathologist who examined the tumor. “He said his initial impression was it was clear – benign,” Carole said. And later lab tests confirmed that good news. “I knew all of that was God’s doing,” she said.
The effects of prayer continued after the surgery. Unlike past surgeries, Carole didn’t need so much as a Tylenol, much to the befuddlement of the nurses. One time, when she returned to her room, she found the nurses turning her room upside down. “They hadn’t ever cleaned or straightened my room before that,” Carole said, “but when I came in they were looking through a drawer.” Did they suspect she had a stash of her own pain killers hidden somewhere in the room?
It seemed like the only explanation. “They just could not believe someone with a six-inch incision could not be in pain. I know it was the prayer.”
The blessings from the Body of Christ continued after Carole returned home. “I didn’t even ask for meals,” Carole said. “The Point’s Care Team just did it. People brought the most delicious food. It was heavenly.”
Carole says unless you’ve been the recipient of that kind of care, you just don’t know what a blessing it is to receive meals. “We were totally blown away,” she said. “For two or three weeks we were well covered. It is such a blessing to have the Care Team ministry. I can’t wait till I can make meals for others.”