I have physically seen the faithfulness of God-- standing on two-feet right before my eyes!
Have you ever made a decision you simply could not justify? A decision that contained no true rationality? A choice that was fueled by naivety or inexperience? An overwhelming conviction but for a reason you could not identify? For me, this was admitting 11 year old Jekonia to our hospital.
Jekonia was a startling case. He was a bright, strong-willed child without the strength to use his arms or legs. After consulting with an orthopedic surgeon, we confirmed that Jekonia had a disease known as arthrogryposis. A condition that develops in utero causing a child to be born without functioning joints.
I was shaken by stories of Jekonia’s life. He would cry every day when other children left for school—unable to attend because his legs could not bend to sit in a wheelchair. Jek would move up and down the streets on his buttocks looking for trees that had mangoes so that he could beg someone to climb it for him to be able to eat. His impoverished family was so desperate that they would walk to an orphanage with their beloved first-born child in a wheelbarrow, with no choice but to surrender him for a better life.
Luckily, that orphanage knew just where to take him. In December 2017, we said “yes” to Jekonia. To having hope where there was no logic to expect a positive outcome. To fight for a child that experienced clinicians would look at us and say “what do you really expect to do for him?”. To taking a risk and to following that gentle whisper that would tell us God could heal him.
With this being my first month practicing as a PA, I felt overwhelming pressure and insecurity in my decision to admit Jek. In blind faith, we raised over $1600 to provide a surgery that had only one goal—to allow him to bend his legs enough to sit in a wheelchair. For me this was enough. A child who could write with his toes and wanted nothing more than to learn deserved that chance and I was determined to give it to him.
On the day of Jekonia’s surgery, I had overwhelming peace that would quickly leave me when the surgeon gave me the post-op report. When the next day I would realize that Jek had lost all sensation in the foot he had always used for writing. When 4 days later he would develop compartment syndrome that would bring his healing to a near halt. When a month later he would require a skin graft that would cause him to lose 2 liters of blood and go into a critical hypertensive state. When the surgeon confirmed that the best outcome would be his leg returning to its original state.
But in God’s unbelievable grace and completely unexpected timing, Jekonia got his miracle. This warrior learned to write with his non-dominant foot, never believed in a single limitation, and last week he took an absolute leap of faith. Jekonia stood up and decided it was time to walk! He had no reason to attempt this. Apart from daily dressing changes to heal his surgical wounds we had not yet started any physical therapy. We had never even told Jekonia that standing, let alone walking would be a possibility. This child had never in his life been seen in any position other than with his legs extended in front of him. But there he was, standing right before my eyes and laughing at my surprised reaction.
As I am attempting to film this miraculous event, I witness the most remarkable exchange. Jekonia’s roommate Jacob limping across the room to grab Jekonia’s face and say the four most powerful words, “God will heal you.” Until that moment I’m not sure that I truly believed those words for Jekonia. Somewhere in my pride and discouragement I had lost that unexplainable faith in my Savior’s commitment to the life of His child.
The rest of the evening our hospital broke into absolute celebration. There was no “you were right” or “we made the right choice”. Every single person declared the faithfulness of God. Even the orthopedic surgeon exclaimed “Jesus Christ, what have you done?” In all of this, I was renewed in my belief that no child is too broken for healing. That child-like faith is what it takes to see the impossible become possible. That if you can overcome your pride, self-doubt, and the lies of the enemy that you gain access to unconceivable miracles.
By early morning Jekonia was surrounded by loved ones. People who for his whole life had only known him as a cripple. They stood astonished and in awe of what they were seeing. Best of all, Jekonia was able to see the tears of joy in his father’s eyes. He was embraced by the arms that had in desperation carried him to a place that could give him a better life. Jekonia was given an even larger hope for tomorrow. He will not just sit in a wheelchair as we once dreamed. Jekonia will stand. He will continue learning to walk and one day soon—he will be reunited with his family. All glory to our loving Savior who gives abundantly more than we could imagine.
“Take heart, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”
Are you moved by the story of Jekonia’s healing? You can offer this same hope for free, Christ-centered medical treatment to other orphaned and abandoned children by making a one-time time or recurring gift on our website, by paypal, or by mail using the following addresses:
Mail: OVI; PO Box 250; Somerset, KY 42502