The Power of Prayer
“I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God. It changes me.” – C.S. Lewis
Time stopped for the Clark family in April of 2017.
Daughter Caroline was closing out her junior year of high school, her eyes set on the podium in the state discus competition, but her goals quickly changed when she had first one seizure, then a second.
The MRI her doctor ordered revealed the cause of the seizures: a brain tumor. Caroline needed surgery—quickly. It was the call every parent worries about receiving, Greg Clark, Caroline’s dad, said. A flurry of medical tests followed, and the last stop before surgery was the Preoperative Evaluation Clinic at Floyd Medical Center.
Sixteen-year-old Caroline and her family knew where her tumor was. They didn’t know whether it was malignant or benign. The unknowns fueled their collective anxiety, battling against a faith that aimed to keep them strong.
Sometimes the universe, or if your faith allows it, God, aligns people and places in a way that is nothing short of beautiful. In this case, the beauty came in the form of Rhonda Argo.
Rhonda works in the Preoperative Evaluation Clinic. She and the Clarks had become friends through their daughters. Rhonda knew Caroline’s diagnosis, and she had prepared for the teenager’s appointment.
The appointment went smoothly. Caroline was cleared for surgery, but before she was dismissed, Rhonda and the rest of the staff had one last request. Rhonda had rallied Caroline’s care team to meet in her room. There, in the sterile space of lab tests and stethoscopes, 11 Floyd employees gathered around the Clarks, and they prayed.
That prayer was good medicine. It provided an added measure of assurance that Caroline’s care was in the hands of experts, and, Greg said, and a reminder that their heavenly Father was actively looking after her. That time of prayer, he said, literally and tangibly lightened the weight of the anxiety his family had been feeling. There could not have been a more meaningful or impactful gesture of faith and caring.
Caroline’s surgery was a success. Her tumor was benign. Caroline returned to the field for her senior season, finished second in the state in discus throw and graduated near the top of her class. Today, she is finishing up her freshman year at the University of Georgia and has no ill effects from her tumor or her surgery.
Greg has a photo on his phone that one of the clinic employees took the day they prayed over Caroline. He keeps it as a reminder that life is good and that the care provided at Floyd goes more deeply than an MRI or a blood test. The Preoperative Evaluation Clinic is a critical piece of the care that Floyd provides, Greg said. The staff not only prepares patients and their families for the physical part of their surgery journey, but the staff also addresses the emotional and spiritual support that is just as important. It is care that extends to the heart and the soul.