Miracles · Saints

How a mother’s fervent faith cured her autistic son

Admin: I posted this miracle before but I shortened the account from the book. This is the full version! It is a remarkable story of how fervent, tender, genuine, deep and constant prayer with tears, with a strong faith and hope in God, with patient and gentle perseverance, stemming from genuine heartfelt distress and deep suffering, can really accomplish amazing things, even curing completely incurable sicknesses.

Mrs Hayam Nessim Khela from Cairo writes: We had our son Bishoy on 1/11/2005; we were happy with him as he was our only son after two girls. Like any father, my husband, Mr. Adel Shawky Gerges wanted to have a son who would carry his name. He had high hopes for him.

Bishoy seemed like a normal baby until he was eight months old. Then I started to notice that he did not make any movement or utter any word like babies at his age.

I started to get worried though my mother and many people were assuring me that that was normal as some children started talking a bit late. I waited until he was a year and a half; still he did not utter the word dad or morn or even the first letters of these words. Nor did he turn to any voice when we called him.

I noticed that he was an abnormal child. I took him to Dr. Samia Samy, a pediatric psychiatrist. She told me that Bishoy was suffering from autism, a disease that makes the child create a world of his! her own. He/she becomes lonely and does not respond to other people or mix with them. Usually autistic children have little ability for concentration, little disrupted sleep and little appetite. For example, Bishoy did not eat like his sisters when they were at his age. Consequently, I did not feed him when he was awake, but rather when he was asleep. I would give him the bottle with some vegetable soup, mixed in the blender. That was his only kind of food.

He was also constantly crying for no reason. I had to carry him all the time. Hence, it was difficult to go out with him. He was also constantly sick as his immunity was weak, which is normal in the case of autistic children. One more symptom of the disease is that if he wanted anything, he would not say a word or use his hand like the other children. He would rather take me from the hand to whatever he wants. When he had a test of hearing, it proved that he could hear well, but he did not pay attention. All these symptoms confirmed the diagnosis of autism. For the illness is characterised by delays or disabilities regarding social skills and interactions such as ordinary conversation, eye contact and emotional understanding of others. This eventually leads to repetitive or severely limited activities and interests.

Knowing this, I broke down. At the beginning, I was not able to believe the report that confirmed the diagnosis. Dr. Samia Samy tried to calm me down and told me that he did not have a high percentage of autism and she would put a program for him. Still I could not accept her words. I had hopes that he might be late in talking. I waited until he was a year and ten months. Still there was not improvement and he did not utter a word.

I took him to Dr. Ehab Eid, a pediatric psychologist. No sooner had he learnt of Bishoy’s symptoms than he confirmed the diagnosis of autism. He tried to give me hope by telling me that he could join a nursery. He also told me that such children enjoy different kinds of skill and intelligence in some fields such as painting or have certain abilities like memorization. I burst into tears, feeling deeply depressed and sad.

I was blaming God and telling Him, ‘I have no one to complain to except You. You know my circumstances. In fact, we had put our hope in that child. My husband too was devastated. He was going to build a villa and was planning to have a special apartment for Bishoy. He was hoping that his son would handle his business in the future. But after knowing about his disease, he put aside all his dreams.

I registered him in one of the nurseries in the hope that he would mix with other children and eat. But he used to go there from 9 am till 3 pm without eating anything. The supervisors were astonished at his attitude.

In the meantime, we knew through a group on the internet called the “The Lost Sheep” about the miracles God performs with the prayers of the Martyr Abi Seifein and Tamav Erene. I learnt about the miracle that happened to a child called Marina. She was born blind and God was glorified and made her see.

In September 2007 I came to the convent and prayed in the church of the Martyr Abi Seifein. I entered the shrine of Tamav Erene and put Bishoy on top of it. I was asking for their blessing and crying with tears while telling them, ‘I have faith that you would pray on his behalf and God can cure Him.’

At home I did not stop praying and asking for the supplications of the Martyr and Tamav Erene. I slept feeling sure that heaven would intercede. I dreamt that I was in a big convent and I saw a nun with a bright face approaching me. It turned out to be Tamav. I told her ‘I have a problem.’ And she tenderly replied, ‘Fear not.’

I woke up feeling peaceful and confident that heaven would do something. On that very day, I heard Bishoy uttering the first letter of the words dad and mum, and the names of his sisters, Dina and Yustina. I put in front of him cubes and was surprised to see him put them together; it was as if I was watching a different child. It was as if my son had been replaced by another child.

We sat for lunch and I was surprised to see Bishoy eating with us rice, Mulukhia and chicken. I could not believe my eyes and was about to faint, for he had never eaten with us before; nor had we seen him eat while awake. Now after heaven’s interference, he was eating everything like all other normal children.

I thank God that Bishoy was totally cured in a miraculous way that astonished Dr. Ehab, for autism is generally not fully curable. Everyone at his nursery felt the change that happened to him for he started to mix with the other children and to have friends.

Ref: Tamav Erene: A monastic life kindled with love at the feet of Christ (book 3), p. 158-161

Below is a video of Mother Erene’s shrine. A great blessing. Oh what a great source of joy it was for me when I went there! In both recent trips I took to Egypt, I visited her monastery more than once on each occasion. On one occasion I spent 1 hr in her shrine then went out and treated myself to some coffee. Oh what extreme happiness!

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