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By Andrea Johnson

When my nephew Eli was born November 4, 2001, my siblings and I were beyond excited. We hadn’t had a baby in the family for awhile. Our “baby” brother, Austin, and his wife, Patty, had spoiled all of our kids, and we knew they would make great parents.

We all oohed and awed over Eli, admiring his big, beautiful eyes and perfectly shaped head, but a few weeks later he became unable to keep his formula down. His parents tried all the doctors’ recommendations, but soon discovered he needed surgery to treat a condition known as pyloric stenosis, a physical defect that blocks food from entering the small intestine.

Eli today (2017)

Eli McCracken today (2017)

When my mom and I arrived at the hospital, we both fought back tears. Our little buddy looked like the photos of starving babies in developing countries. The surgery went well, and Austin and Patty took their bundled treasure back home. But ten days later as my brother was changing Eli’s diaper, his little t-shirt suddenly turned crimson. His incision had come undone. His stomach split open and his intestines burst free of his abdomen. Austin grabbed a towel in a vain attempt to hold them in, and soon Eli was being rushed by ambulance to the hospital. His parents will never forget seeing their baby boy being pushed on a little gurney through the doorways, his intestines beside his body. They spent Christmas in the hospital.

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Amazingly, doctors were able to save Eli and repair his body. We were more than grateful, but the poor little guy often suffered severe stomach pains causing him to cry out in pain, a condition doctors said he would have to live with as a result of his intestines being outside his body for so long.

A few weeks later Eli was having problems keeping formula down again. It was a Friday and the doctor advised just “watching it” over the weekend. I was upset, feeling something needed to be done immediately. We all prayed for Eli that weekend, and incredibly, he was healed. Not only did he start keeping food down, God also healed him of his excruciating pains.

Today Eli, fifteen, is an amazing athlete who never sits still. His favorite sports are wrestling and baseball. You would never know, save a scar, how close he came to death. Sometimes God heals by using doctors as His tools. Sometimes He heals miraculously without them. He did both with Eli. We are more than grateful.

About The Author

Andrea Johnson
Managing Editor

In her spare time you will most likely find Andrea Johnson with family or friends, or outdoors hiking. She and her husband, Dennis, are blessed with four children and five grandchildren.