St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is known the world over for its groundbreaking research and state of the art patient care. But as Jim De La Vega reports, many patients and families say it's more than science that's on their side.
"When I'm up in the morning I'm down on my knees. That's just what I do," said Tamara Lee. With three sick children Tamara has retained her faith in God, but that's not always the case. Having a child with a catastrophic illness can cause families to suffer a crisis in faith, which is why each family at Saint Jude is given the option of spiritual support… tailored to their personal religion.
Brent Powell, Director of Chaplin Services at Saint Jude said, "If we have a Jewish family, we have contact with a Rabbi. We've recently set up a kosher kitchen here at the hospital for our families." Powell says their goal is to help families frame their faith, to provide them with positive coping strength when they need it.
Faith has played an important part in Saint Jude from the very beginning. Danny Thomas, when he was down on his luck, prayed to Saint Jude that if he would help him out he would build a shrine in his honor… and he has done that and more. An example of the faith is a magnificent piece of artwork that is in the chapel. It's a very large wood carving of the "Last Supper" that once hung in Danny Thomas' dining room. After his passing, it was donated to Saint Jude."
Chaplain Powell has been at Saint Jude for 25 years, during which time he has married patients, baptized the children of former patients and even gone to the graduation of two patients from medical school. Powell says there is one thing he's sure of: "I do feel miracles happen at St. Jude. I've witnessed miracles at St. Jude."
Visalia mom, Megan Shank agrees. "If it hadn't been for all the prayers we've had for him I don't believe he would be where he is right now. He has a "Prayers for Cash" page on Facebook and he's got almost 3,000 on there. People we don't know that have shown their support and love for him and they don't' even know him."
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