The "also-ran" miracle, received through the intercession of soon to be Saint Mary MacKillop is making news tomorrow in the Wednesday, October 6 edition of Melbourne's newspaper, The Age. (I love getting good news from the future!)
A 19 year old is going to be attending MacKillop's canonization in Rome this weekend and his story is stunning even though it was not chosen as the second miracle for her canonization cause.
"The Simpson family's ordeal began in 1999 when Jack, then eight, collapsed at school. ''At first we thought he'd hit his head. His eyes were rolling, he couldn't stand and had no comprehension. It was unbelievably horrible,'' Mrs Simpson said yesterday.
For the first year there was no diagnosis, as his central nervous system went into meltdown, leaving him paralysed. Soon after the problem was revealed as juvenile MS - with a maximum life expectancy of five years - the family noticed lumps the size of bars of soap in his neck and groin.
''When he went to the nuclear medicine department and they put the tracer in, he was lit up like a Christmas tree. It was quite advanced, stage four Hodgkin's lymphoma.''
A friend organised novenas (nine-day prayer cycles) to Mary MacKillop at St Ambrose's Catholic Church at Woodend in 1999 and 2000, but nothing changed at first.
For Mrs Simpson the turning point came one night in 2000.
''That night I thought Jack was going to die. He seemed to be in the last stage, with the breath rattling. I thought, 'You can't keep fighting forever, you have to surrender,' and I said, 'If you want him, God, you can have him.' ''
But in the morning he was still alive. She thought he might be cured, so she stood him up, but he was still paralysed.
''That's when Mary MacKillop appeared. She helped me lift him up and get him back into bed. From then on, I knew I was never alone and her strength became mine.''
Four years later, Jack's multiple sclerosis and cancer vanished and his neurological functions began to return. .
"Andrew Kornberg, director of the neurology department at the Royal Children's Hospital, called Jack's recovery miraculous, and the Vatican agreed - not for the MS or cancer but for . . ." the return of his intellectual competency, because that has never been documented in human history.''
The story of the Woodend identical twin has not been told until now because, while the cases were being investigated by the Vatican, the family was asked to keep it secret."
Any of you have a devotion to or received a favor through the intercession of Blessed Mary MacKillop? Tell us about it.