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In the Pipeline: Miracle at hole No. 6

September 17, 2012|By Chris Epting
(Courtesy Chris…)

I can never again drive past hole No. 6 of Meadowlark Golf Club (on Heil Avenue between Graham and Springdale streets) without thinking about Bradley Smith.

At Mass at St. Bonaventure several weeks ago, Father Angelos Sebastian (whom I've written about in this column) spoke of an incident that had happened several days earlier. Bradley, a 10-year old boy, had been struck in the skull by a golf ball while attending golf camp ay Meadowlark. Right at hole No. 6.

Fr. Angelos described the intense severity of Bradley's condition and how he himself was brought to tears after returning from the hospital. That's just how grave things were. That's just how hopeless it all seemed.

But then, to a standing ovation, he introduced the young man and his family. They were at Mass. As we soon heard, something miraculous had happened. The priest said it. The doctors had said it. And Bradley's mom, Tara, had said it, in a series of emotional and descriptive emails that started circulating so quickly, they soon became the stuff of legend.

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I'd love to include all of the passages, but here are some excerpts from their ordeal.

"When I arrived, there were four fire engines and a lot of people standing around, quiet and somber. Some sweet boys jumped me into a golf cart and as we rode up to Bradley, the medics were working on him on the ground. It was a horrific sight. Bradley was laying with vomit around his head, one arm limp and the other flailing, his body convulsing, his eyes open but not tracking. He was pawing at his head and his lower body was completely limp. For a moment, the ground beneath my feet felt like it was falling away and I thought I might die on the spot. Then, in a split second, the decision was made that there was no control, but God could do this. The only objective was to pull Bradley out from wherever he was slipping away. 'OK, God, we are going to do this.'

"I was asking the medics: 'Can you tell me what is happening?' They were pensive, quiet. One medic: 'We are doing our best.' The heaviness was deep. Bradley wasn't moving at all. Our ever-active boy was hanging and limp on the stretcher. Someone on the medic team was communicating to the hospital in terms not entirely recognizable, but clearly serious. One word: severe. God, through you all things are possible. We began closing in on the UCI Trauma Center. Time seemed so slow. I was praying out loud. The young medic driver sitting next to me turned his head. 'You believe in Jesus?' he asked.

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