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Saw God in Cooper


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Saw God in the Locker Room

Pat–Scottsdale, AZ

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Saw God in the Darkest Valley


“Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil—because the Lord is with me.”

Dano–Bloomfield Hills, MI

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Saw God in The King

Michigan golfer Nick Carlson was the delayed recipient of a special memento last week — a letter from legendary golfer Arnold Palmer.

Carlson said he was amazed to receive the three-paragraph note congratulating him for being a semifinalist in the U.S. Amateur in August at Oakland Hills Country Club.

“Utter shock, really,” Carlson told The Detroit News on Thursday. “Like, I never expected it. It’s just something really cool and almost a priceless moment, in my opinion.”

Palmer sent the letter Sept. 8, a few weeks before he died Sept. 25 at the age of 87. Carlson finally received it Oct. 7 and posted a photo of it on Twitter.


“Keep up the good playing,” Palmer wrote. “I wish you the very best in whatever pursuit you choose to follow in the future.”

The sophomore said he hadn’t been back to the golf course where he works to get the note from the seven-time major champion. He told the newspaper that he has since framed the letter.

“I’ve never been able to say that I knew Mr. Palmer or met him in any fashion, and to get that 10 days [after his death] was pretty special,” Carlson said. “It’s framed and above my desk in my room. I get to look at it every day.”

Carlson, 20, made an unlikely run to reach the U.S. Amateur semifinals in his home state, entering the event ranked No. 1,981 in the world amateur rankings.


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Saw God in a Hero

Jocko–Bloomfield Hills, MI

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Saw God Short a Guy

Elle–Bloomfield Hills, MI

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Saw God 5 Days Apart

(CNN)They became known as “the real ‘Fault in Our Stars’ couple” and soon became nearly as famous as the couple in the novel and movie.

Katie Donovan and Dalton Prager — like Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters, the teenagers in the 2014 film — fell in love even though they knew the other could die at any time.
The real-life couple also shared a diagnosis of cystic fibrosis. Adding to their drama was the fact that Katie’s doctors had directed her not to meet up with Dalton, because he had a highly contagious infection, and if she caught it, her life could be drastically shortened.
She defied her doctors and went on a date with Dalton, and two years later, they married when they were both 20.
Katie did catch Dalton’s infection. She died September 22. Dalton died on September 17.
Their love story captivated readers.
A real ‘Fault in Our Stars’ couple
But their story was more than just a touching and tragic tale that went viral on the Internet. Katie and Dalton’s story teaches us lessons about love and medicine.
You get to make a choice that might hasten your death
For the most part, online bystanders were supportive of Katie and Dalton, wishing them well and praying for them after they died. But there were also haters, because of Katie’s choice to meet up with Dalton even though he had that infection.
The average life expectancy for a cystic fibrosis patient who reaches adulthood is 37, according to the National Library of Medicine. Katie died at 26.
“There’s bullies behind names on the Internet that are like, ‘You’re so stupid,’ ” she said.
Less than a week before she died, Katie sat down for an interview with CNN at her home in Flemingsburg, Kentucky, and said she never regretted meeting up with Dalton.
“I’d rather have five years of being in love and just really completely happy than 20 years of not having anybody and just having nothing,” she said.
Dr. Chris Feudtner, an ethicist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said the haters are wrong, and Katie had the right to make a decision that would probably shorten her life.
“We honor people’s ability to make decisions for themselves,” he said.
He mentioned that his elderly mother, for example, wants to stay alone in her home instead of moving into assisted living, even though living at home increases the chances she could fall and no one would be immediately available to help her. He said his family is still working it out, but his mother might get her wish.
“We let people make decisions about how they want to live even in the face of pretty substantial risk,” he said.
Medicaid sometimes fails the very sick
CNN first brought Katie and Dalton’s story to light in April 2015 because she was having trouble getting a lung transplant.
Doctors in her home state of Kentucky were reluctant to give her the transplant. They wanted her to go to a larger program at the University of Pittsburgh that had more experience performing transplants for people with infections.
Kentucky Medicaid had refused to pay for her to have a lung transplant in another state. It agreed after CNN published its story.
Dr. Pam Shaw, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Kansas Medical Center, said Medicaid, which operates independently in each state, often won’t pay for care in another state, even when it’s clear the patient would be much better off.
“Unfortunately, this is quite common,” said Shaw, a member of the board of the directors of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
“Our hospital is 1,000 feet from the Missouri state line, and we won’t accept Missouri Medicaid, even though for some medical problems, we have the best services for children,” she said. “It just breaks my heart to tell a family ‘I can’t take care of you because you live in Missouri.’ ”
Shaw suggested that the government change Medicaid so it’s more like Medicare, the insurance program for the elderly that’s run by the federal government, not state governments.
“I know that’s pie in the sky, but it would be a lot better for patients, their families and the physicians who care for them,” she said.
It’s a real phenomenon: Spouses often die close together
Katie and Dalton died just five days apart, and several studies show this isn’t unusual. Researchers call it “the widowhood effect.”
Studies have found that an elderly person’s chance of dying increases by as much as 90% in the three months after his or her spouse dies, according to a 2008 study by researchers at Harvard and the University of Wisconsin.
The physiological reason for this — what actually is happening inside someone’s body — is pretty much a mystery.
“Broken heart syndrome,” technically called stress-induced cardiomyopathy, is one explanation. It’s the heart’s reaction to a surge of stress hormones that can be caused by the loss of a loved one, a divorce, a betrayal or any similar traumatic event.
But not all spouses die of this particular problem. The 2008 study found that after losing a spouse, people die within just a few months of all sorts of diseases, including diabetes, infections and cancer.
Part of it might be practical, said Dr. Eric DeJonge, director of Total Elder Care at Medstar Hospital and associate professor of medicine at Georgetown University Hospital.
“Elderly couples often become ‘co-dependent’ on each other for cognitive or physical daily functions,” he wrote in an email. “When that support gets knocked out, it can destabilize the survivor.”
Dr. Christine Todd, an assistant professor of internal medicine and chairwoman of the department of medical humanities at Southern Illinois University, said she thinks it also has to do with the effect that emotions have on the immune system, especially on someone who’s already in fragile health.
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“Grief plus depression has a very dynamic effect,” she said. “Stress hormones and depression affect all your organs; it’s enough to shut things down.”
The tragic end of the Pragers’ love story touched millions around the world.
Dalton was doing relatively well after his transplant in November 2014. But just as Katie’s health was declining this fall, he caught pneumonia.
Still, his family hoped he’d beat the infection and get out of the hospital in time to visit Katie at home before she died.
Family members never expected he would die before her, and when he did, Katie was “devasted,” said her mother, Debra Donovan.
“She’s just in shock,” Donovan said the day Dalton died. “And she hasn’t felt well today.”


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Saw God in Every Breath

As a child, Detroit Tigers pitcher Matt Boyd almost died several times.

He was hospitalized six times at Seattle Children’s Hospital due to severe asthma.

“Children’s Hospital saved my life when I was younger,” he said. “I spent a lot of time there.”

On Monday, a day before his latest start, Boyd and his wife, Ashley, visited Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit, as a way to give back. But this was more than an athlete making a PR appearance.

This was a wonderful example of a sick kid who fought, literally, for every breath, and that kid kept fighting and got better and grew up and came out the other side, becoming a professional athlete. Boyd is a guy who represents hope and possibility to all of those children.

Boyd understands what those kids are going through. How every one of them has an amazing story. You want to talk about a hero? Go meet one of those kids fighting for his or her life, as the families deal with unimaginable stress. But still, amid the nightmare, the whole place can turn into something special — a large, extended family.

While visiting kids struggling with asthma, somebody told Boyd about Karai Moore, a 12-year-old from Detroit, who is a huge Tigers fan.


During the first week of August, Karai played in an all-star baseball game at the Eagle Sports Club in Detroit. A week later, he was diagnosed with a flesh-eating bacteria. In mid-August, his left leg was amputated above the knee. And on Monday, doctors had to perform an operation to clean out the wound.

Karai was still groggy from the anesthesia when Boyd and his wife entered the room.

“He was sleepy,” said Ashley Boyd. “His eyes were half open. They said, ‘We have Matt Boyd here. He plays for the Tigers.’

“And his eyes lit up and got wide. He was like, ‘What? Really.’ ”

“Who is your favorite player from the Tigers?” Matt Boyd asked.

“Miguel Cabrera,” Karai responded bluntly, as an honest, heavily medicated 12-year-old will do.

“It was a good answer,” Ashley Boyd said with a smile. “Clearly, he’s been through a lot. And he still has a long road. But he had the best attitude.”
‘Keeping it positive’

It’s frightening how everything can flip in a blink.

A week after ending his baseball season, Karai was acting strange. His leg hurt and swelled up. Here was a three-sport athlete — the quarterback on the flag football team, the point guard on the basketball team and the second baseman on the baseball team — and he couldn’t walk.

Charmaine Norman took her son to the hospital.

About an hour after arriving, Karai was rushed into surgery. He had necrotizing fasciitis, a rare infection eating away his body.

“I was terrified,” Norman said. “I had never heard of this.”

Karai went through a series of operations and procedures.

“They don’t know what caused it,” said his father, Dakarai Moore of Detroit. “It’s real hard but I couldn’t be mad at anybody. This is so rare. It came out of nowhere.”

The disease spread to his bone and his life was in danger. The only option was to amputate his left leg above the knee.

“We told him why we had to do what we had to do,” Norman said. “It was either his leg versus his life. We love him. It’s what we had to do to save him. We didn’t do this to hurt you or anything. We asked if he understands and he said yes.”

“It was life over limb,” Dakarai Moore said. “He understood it. I told him, ‘Look, you were real sick when you came to this hospital. They said you weren’t going to make it.’ ”

Karai has been visited by two people who have had a limb amputated.

“He asks questions,” Norman said. “They were telling him, you can still continue living life. He can continue to do whatever he wants. We tell him that every day, keeping it positive.”
Karai has never felt sorry for himself. “No, no,” Dakarai Moore said. “We don’t preach that. He can’t see no chinks in the armor. Everybody has to be strong around him. It’s all positive. Nothing negative can even come around. None of that.”

Norman has not seen her son cry since he arrived in the hospital.

“Me and his dad were broke up,” Norman said. “But he was fighting through it. He’s still a kid. He might have his moments. I tell him, it’s OK if you feel like you want to be mad, you can do that. Don’t hold nothing in. Just let it out. But he’s awesome. He’s an amazing kid.”

It is unclear how much longer he will be in the hospital. Eventually, they will work to get him a prosthetic leg.

“Now, our No. 1 focus is him getting a skin graft over the wound,” Norman said.

A Go Fund Me account was set up to help pay for expenses. And they have made up T-shirts: “#Karai Strong” to raise awareness about the disease.

“Karai Strong, that means something,” Dakarai Moore said. “This kid is small in stature, but his heart is so big. I can’t even describe it.”

They gave one of the T-shirts to Boyd.

On Tuesday night, Boyd wore it under his uniform while pitching in Comerica Park.

Karai sat in his hospital room, watching the game on television. He spotted the black shirt under the Tigers’ jersey.

“I felt happy,” he said. “I felt good when he was wearing it.”

After the game, Boyd was disappointed after suffering the loss but he was still wearing that shirt, standing by his locker, as he talked to the media.

“It was an honor to meet Karai,” Boyd said. “He was so optimistic. He had a smile on his face, despite coming out of surgery. I just want to let him know we are praying for him.”

“He’s getting better day by day,” Dakarai Moore said.

“It was a nightmare when we came in,” Norman said, “and now it’s a blessing from God that he’s still here.”

Pat–Scottsdale, AZ

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Saw God in the Man in the Red Bandana

Pat–Scottsdale, AZ

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Saw God in the Family


Ann–The Villages, FL

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