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33 Days to Merciful Love

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Brady being released from the hospital right at the 3 o’clock hour.

Thirty Operations Later

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Cheryl Thompson (Brady’s mom) with Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, when she came to visit the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy.

By Joan Lamar (Jun 20, 2016)
Brady Thompson, 12, is no stranger to hospitals. A scalding accident at age 2 has required Brady to undergo 30 operations at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Boston, Massachusetts, over the last 10 years. In fact, his last operation, to deal with tight and tense scarring from his earlier injuries, took place this past February. It was a routine surgery, so Brady's dad, Jeff, traveled with him from their home in Ottawa, Canada. Brady's mom, Cheryl, and his four siblings remained home.

On the day of Brady's surgery, Cheryl was at her parish, St. Maurice, in Ottawa, to bring their youngest son to Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Once his class began, she went into the Adoration Chapel and began praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet for Brady. She said that as she was praying, she saw rays of blood and water emanating from the Lord's side, through the Eucharistic Host, and she felt as if the rays from Jesus' Heart were the lasers that were treating Brady at that moment in surgery. That was such a powerful experience, she said.

The day after Brady returned home from Boston, he came down with a fever. A couple days passed, and he got sicker. Finally, by day four, Cheryl and Jeff brought him back to the hospital — this time to the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario — because they thought he might be dehydrated and in need of fluids. The medical staff was not sure what was wrong with Brady, but they immediately told his parents their son was extremely sick. They soon diagnosed him with a severe staph infection, and he was septic. He also had severe toxic shock syndrome and acute respiratory distress syndrome.

It is a testament to Cheryl's faith, but before she could even be afraid for Brady, she was already being comforted by the Lord's Divine Mercy.

"Because whenever there was blood, there was water," she said, "and as Brady was admitted, I got splashed by the IV water just as he was about to cough up blood."

Within hours of being admitted, the doctor spoke to Cheryl and Jeff and told them they needed to be prepared for the worst. "We are doing everything we can," the doctor said, "but even if he survives, he may have some digits or hands or feet amputated." The doctor explained that Brady's body was trying to keep core functions going but that the extremities were deprived of blood and oxygen.

"They were already starting to turn color — a deep purple, going black," Cheryl recounted.

The doctor told Cheryl and Jeff that if they wanted to ask a priest to anoint Brady, they shouldn't wait. Tomorrow may be too late, he advised.

Cheryl called the emergency line at her parish and spoke with her pastor, who offered to come out immediately. It turns out, that night, Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, a world-renowned Divine Mercy expert, was giving a parish Lenten mission at her church, so she asked her pastor to come to the hospital after the Mass. Father Seraphim then offered the Mass for Brady's healing. After Mass, her pastor, Fr. John Likozar, CC, rushed to the hospital through a storm to anoint Brady. "He was still gravely ill, but we knew the Lord's healing was with him," Cheryl said.

And the message of mercy was resoundingly felt throughout. That evening, a couple who are close friends with the Thompsons were praying for Brady's healing, and as they prayed, they opened St. Faustina's Diary, and were led to passage 441 in which Jesus says to Faustina "These rays of mercy will pass through you, just as they have passed through this Host, and they will go out through all the world." Cheryl had received this same message in prayer five days before!

Blood and water were so present throughout this ordeal, Cheryl said. She explained that Brady was very thirsty for two days because he was intubated, so he would gesture that his mouth felt very dry. The nurse would syringe water into his mouth and then suction it out. But what was suctioned out was blood. "In would go the water. Out would come the blood," Cheryl said. She said that because they were able to see this difficulty with eyes of faith, she felt strengthened by our Lady, who watched her own Son suffer. They knew that the Lord was present, even in these dark moments.

Brady was given antibiotics through an IV every four hours for the next 10 days to fight the infections that were riddling his body. After a couple of days, the tube was taken out. He was released from the intensive care unit several days later. Day by day he got stronger, Cheryl said. And on March 7, during the 3 o'clock hour — the Hour of Great Mercy when Christ died on the Cross — Brady was discharged from the hospital.

Cheryl said that more than a few doctors and nurses said they didn't expect Brady to survive. One of the doctors who treated him told Brady, "I see you have faith in the Lord. I, too, have faith in Jesus. You were not going to make it, and I believe the Lord saved you from this because He is going to do great things through you."

Brady is different now, Cheryl said. She feels that he has matured through this, and she sees that the Lord has not neglected his soul and spirit in his healing. "You don't go looking for this to happen to you," Cheryl said, "but I feel humbled to have had this opportunity to grow in faith. It's all Divine Mercy."

As a way to give thanks to the Lord for His mercy in healing Brady, Cheryl and three of her friends recently visited the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. She can't wait to return to the Shrine with Brady, her husband Jeff, and their other four children.

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julie - ohio - Jun 22, 2016

thank you for sharing your story.

Klp - Jun 21, 2016

Lord Jesus, I have trust in you! Please grant a full recovery to Alex C's back operation and may the Holy Spirit guide him to be reasonable with money. Please bless him and my daughter in their new house. Also, bless my son for a good internship! Thank you, our God and Savior!

Yvonne - Jun 21, 2016

All Praise and Glory to God !
He sure is merciful and the Greatest Healer. Awesome testimony of little Brady. We wish him good health and pray that he will grow into a strong boy always praising and thanking his Master.

Betty - Jun 20, 2016

Thank you Jesus! Praise you Jesus !
Have mercy on us sinners Lord and strengthen our faith.

Andy - Jun 20, 2016

They say God works in mysterious ways. Often the results are very tangible, but his ways, of getting results, are far beyond our understanding. Praise be to God.

Mischelle - Jun 20, 2016

Indeed, anyone who turns to your mercy will never be refused

Mary-Joan Ochibe - Jun 20, 2016

O Blood and Water which gushed forth from The Heart of Jesus as a fount of Mercy for us, I TRUST IN YOU! JESUS I TRUST IN YOU. Thank you Lord for healing Brady.

Klp - Jun 20, 2016

Eternal Father, we sinners are not worthy of you, but for the sake of the sorrowful passion of Christ, have mercy on my family and the whole world!

Claire Simmons - Jun 20, 2016

Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ! Thank you for your intersession to your Son, beloved Blessed Virgin Mary!