Happy Feast of St. Edmund! I wanted to share this heart-warming email I recently received with all of you. Your continued generosity in helping us fund the ministries of Enders Island touches many, many lives—often in unconventional ways...
"Greetings. I would like to share a personal story with you and hope that whoever finds this email will forward it to the appropriate people to read.
I am a retired Episcopal Priest living in Iowa whose son and his family, until recently, lived in Mystic. They now reside in Essex. I spent quite a bit of time with them at their Mystic home last summer as my 11-month-old grandson, Edward, came down with a horrific illness in his arm and needed two hospitalizations at the Yale Children's Hospital in New Haven. Since his parents had another young son at home, I traveled out to help this family. Edward's medical needs included multiple surgeries to try to save his ulna bone (largest forearm bone). Ultimately, after intensive care, drilling through his ulna, a transfusion on his first birthday, and more, it was determined that the ulna had died from its infection. How he contracted the infection was unknown. Edward was a pretty sick baby boy. Once he came home the last time after almost three months of in and out hospital stays, he needed a PICC line IV to receive daily antibiotics directly into his system and he wore an arm brace to protect his damaged arm. That PICC line lasted for months with in-home care. As you can imagine, the family was exhausted from one of them having to be in the hospital constantly while trying to balance both parents work schedules, nursing care for Edward, having a sick baby at home who slept only about an hour at a time throughout the night for months, and caring for their healthy 4 year old son as well. I was exhausted as well and during my two visits to help this family, I ended up being in Mystic for approximately 3 months. The only respite I received was during my few trips to Enders Island where I could escape for a few hours now and then. Some days I would sit under the trellis on your grounds and fall asleep with my head down on your wrought iron table in the shade. I would roam your grounds, visit your church or put my feet in the ocean at the seaside 'chapel' and feel God's presence wash over me in my worried and exhausted state. Thank you for being my refuge. I am grateful.
Fast forward to a few months ago. I'm home in Iowa and visiting with a Roman Catholic Franciscan sister about all that had transpired with Edward in CT. I also told her the story about being at Enders Island along with what I knew about St. Edmund and the relic of his arm, which was new to her, and she about jumped off her chair. "Do you not see the connection right before your eyes?" she excitedly asked me. She went on: "Edmund's preserved arm is right in the same town where Edward's arm is needing help. I suspect God is working something here." I guess I was so tired when I was in CT that it never dawned on me. She saw a similarity in the male names (Edmund-Edward), in the location of being in the same town, in one arm perfectly preserved with strong straight bones and the other arm being in need of a strong straight bone, and on and on. “It is not coincidence” she emphatically stated and so we, together, began praying to St. Edmund to help Edward’s arm. Now, as an Episcopalian, entreating to a saint is not a typical thing for me in my spiritual practices but I was touched by how this Sister connected a lot of the ‘dots’ for my grandsons’ situation. So, I prayed and conversed over the past few months with St. Edmund, asking him to help, if possible, to send healing and strength and care to my little Edward. As did my nun friend.
And here we are today. Edward turned 2 at the end of August. He is the happiest little toddler running all over the place, full of joy and smiles. He sees medical professionals on a quarterly basis to make sure all is well. His arm shows deep scars from the drains and surgeries he endured. He no longer wears a brace, has nursing care at home, nor uses special medications. He goes to day care and is as ‘normal’ as any toddler can be. I can’t express enough how thankful I am to God for Edwards healing. He will need further surgeries as his arm is curving due to the lack of an ulna but he needs to grow bigger first. The surprising thing is that the dead bone is regenerating and growing! The doctors say that bones do that, but Edward’s ulna is doing it very quickly. During his last DEXA bone scan, it was noted that his ulna is 85% dense. It used to be dead. It used to show small signs of new growth on the previous DEXA scan. And now it is alive and growing. 85% worth of ulna bone density! Beyond all our expectations.
I thank God for the miracle of bodies that grow so miraculously. But I also continue my conversations and prayers with St. Edmund to continue to ask for his protection and guidance for my little Edward and to thank Edmund for his contribution to my grandsons healing. I believe that St. Edmund had a role it that bone growth and healing! And I wanted you to know about it.
Edward is not in a family that belongs to a church or participates in organized religion. But I do and I’m convinced that St. Edmund has blessed Edward. And someday, when I visit and get Edward all to myself, I will bring him to Enders Island to meet St. Edmunds arm in person. Until then, I hope you’ll add your prayers to mine for 2 yr old Edward. And his family.
Blessings upon you and your ministries to so many. Thank you, once again, for giving me a sanctuary spot of grace and peace during challenging days.