We often say, “I’ll pray for you!” But, do we honestly believe there is power in prayer, even more power when many are praying in unison? Many responded to the call to pray for a little boy none of us knew and were part of a miracle. Here’s the story.
It was an ordinary late April day at the Frank family farm in downstate Annawan, IL. The five youngest Frank grandchildren were enjoying playing together not too far from a bonfire. Suddenly, it exploded and a ball of fire roared in their direction. As horrified adults ran toward the flames, they realized that eight-year-old Isaac had received the worst of it—second and third degree burns on his torso, face and arms. Isaac’s dad scooped up his son, ran for the family car, and called 911 on the way.
“The ambulance met them, and a second ambulance brought a burn specialist,” grandmother Mary Frank said.
Once at the hospital, however, the grim reality set in. Isaac’s burns were severe, and he cried constantly from the pain According to the Mayo Clinic, second degree burns are the most painful. Within two days, the doctors at the local hospital transferred him to Loyola University’s world-famous burn unit. The family later learned that burns don’t mature for about 72 hours, and when Isaac’s face began to swell, the local doctors were afraid his lungs would too. He needed more specialized care.
According to Mayo, when the first layer of skin has been burned through and the second layer (dermis) is also burned, the injury is called a second-degree burn. Blisters develop and the skin takes on an intensely reddened, splotchy appearance. Second-degree burns produce severe pain and swelling. Isaac’s face was covered extensively with second degree burns. It was still unknown if his eyes and ears had been permanently damaged, and he had frightening flashbacks of the accident that kept him from sleeping. Perhaps the worst part was the twice-daily, two-hour scrubs, where nurses removed dead skin to prevent scarring. Despite some anesthesia, Isaac’s pain was horrific.
When Mary heard the news, she had literally gotten on her knees and cried out to God and to the Archangel Raphael (patron of healing) to send an army of angels to help her grandson.
“I asked specifically that Isaac’s pain would be taken from him, and given to me instead. But, all we kept hearing from the hospital was bad news,” she said.
So, Mary began alerting friends, and passing the request to prayer groups. “Pray for Isaac,” the message stated. “Pray that he is free of pain.” This is when our Where Angels Walk mailing list received the message and many of our readers became prayer warriors, too.
No one is exactly sure when things started to change, but less than a week after the accident, Isaac’s appetite began to return. His attitude was more upbeat, too, and his physicians felt that since his convalescence would be long and he would probably need skin grafts, he might as well go home and have nursing care there.
“How could this be?” family members asked one another. Isaac still looked so injured. But, the little boy insisted that he could go home because…he didn’t have any pain.
Isaac did go home, and nurses came in each day to remove the dressings and to peel away more dead skin. “They apply an antibiotic ointment over the entire area,” Mary reported that same week. “There is no more fever. They check everything for infection and then they rewrap it and pull that pressure stocking over his head and face.”
About a week later, Isaac’s parents took him back to Loyola for a checkup. The surprised doctor had never seen anything like this. “Isaac, I wasn’t expecting you to look like this at all,” he said. “But, you are almost healed! You don’t have to see me anymore, unless some problem pops up.”
Just 23 days after the accident, Isaac was back in school full time, catching up on his missed days, the family reported. He has received cards, letters and gifts from all around the world, and he is amazed and grateful, and reads every one.
“No more flashbacks or nightmares of the fire,” Mary said. “He has no pain. His eyes are fine. His nose is fine…his lips and ears are fine….it looks now just like a bad sunburn. The doctors say there will be minimal to no scarring, and no skin grafts needed! And, he is laughing and being the character Isaac has always been. How awesome!”
Mary still doesn’t understand how this could be. “But, when something like this happens and your heart and mind are all scrambled with worry and helplessness, He says, ‘Be Still And Know That I Am God.’ All of these prayer partners brought us the miracle we were praying for, and we are so grateful… Unbelievable! Isaac is laughing again.”
Joan’s new book Where Angels Walk is the 25th Anniversary Edition, available now at Loyola Press.
Joan Wester Anderson has written many books on angels and miracles.
She can be reached at P.O. Box 127, Prospect Heights, IL 60070.