It was the summer of 2006 in Fonda, New York… that I witnessed my own miracle.
In the spring of 2006 I had a vein go bad in my right ankle. This complicated by having Deep Vein Thrombosis & Post Phlebotic Syndrome cause by a pulmonary embolism caused an ulcer to form as my ankle seemed to be rotting from the inside out.
The ulcer was about the size of a silver dollar, and no matter what my oncologist tried to do, it just would not heal. After I don’t know how many painful site surgeries that were done by a vascular surgeon I was just about to give up completely that this horrible hole in my ankle was never going to heal.
Months had gone by and I was being told by my oncologist that if this hole in my ankle didn’t start to heal, then I was risking infections followed by the possibility of gangrene which then could lead to possibility of losing my foot. Naturally I freaked out. I continued with the site surgeries no matter how painful praying that it would finally heal up.
Then in July 2006 it happened. I was at the annual Kateri Powwow in Fonda New York with my mom. A friend of mine drove up with his at the time girlfriend, (now his wife), from Syracuse to see the sights, sample the food and watch the dancers as he normally had done in the past couple of years. His girlfriend knew nothing of the story of (St.) Kateri. When they arrived, I was more than happy to tell her the the history of (St.) Kateri, as it was told to me, and how we were all standing on sacred holy ground.
I took them both up to the spring at the village archeological dig site where (St.) Kateri had lived. I explained to my friends that this was the actual spring that Kateri used to get water for her village. Not thinking about it, while I was telling them more of the story of (St.) Kateri, I had reached down and started splashing water from the spring onto my legs. Afterwards we all went back down to the Shrine to enjoy the powwow.
The next morning, I awoke as usual in my little pop-up camper. I cleaned myself up, dressed and headed to my mom’s camper right behind me for my morning ritual of coffee and gossip. As I was sitting there I felt an itching sensation on my ankle. I was picking at the scab that was there and before I realized it I had pulled the entire scab off. It was kind of like when you unconsciously pick at a mosquito bite and it starts to bleed a little. I suddenly panicked. My mother looked at me like I was nuts because of the look on my face. I held up the scab I had just picked off my ankle and told her I was afraid to look. For starters I was scared because it had never even scabbed over before. When I looked down at my bad ankle, I was in shock. It was completely healed. All that remained was a scar in the shape and size of a silver dollar.
I had no more pain, no more bandages… no more anything… it was a miracle that I attribute to (St.) Kateri. As soon as I could I contacted my oncologist and told them I needed an emergency appointment when I got back home. They wanted to know what was going on, and I told them they would find out when I arrived home in a few days.
When I went to see them, the doctor came in and asked what the emergency was. I lifted up my pant leg and said, “look at my ankle!” The doctor said, “What about it?” I said, “Remember what it looked like before I left for my vacation?” “Oh yea, that’s right.” said the doctor while poking at it in disbelief.
“Well don’t poke at it!!” I said and then went on to explain how it had healed overnight. The doctor just couldn’t believe her own eyes and called in a few others to have a look that had been following my case and preparing for the worst. Nobody could believe what they were seeing.
All these years later as I am writing this, I never had any complications from that ulcer, only a round scar that reminds me everyday of the miracles of my faith in St. Kateri.
Toby Whyland – Rich
Auburn, New York