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The Miracle That Saved My Dad

I wouldn’t be here, if not for a twist of fate that kept my father alive.

A medical miracle that saved a dad.

I turned 33 this year, the same age my dad was when I was born—a fact my parents made sure to mention at my birthday dinner, almost as if they were hinting at something. I don’t have any kids on the way yet, but I feel like I’m as ready as I can be for the miracle of fatherhood. I’ve grown up with a pretty good model for what a father should be.

My dad always encouraged me to be my best self, explore the world, have faith in things felt but not seen, all of which helped make me who I am today. But he almost never got to be a father at all. One year before my older sister was born, he nearly lost his life.

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He was 27. For several months, he’d been having recurring stomach pains, cramps that would leave him in agony for several hours at a time. His doctor couldn’t find anything wrong—just a stomach ache, something my dad ate probably.

My dad was an athlete, a former track star and weightlifter, so he knew how to handle pain. Convinced it was nothing serious, whenever the pain flared up, he just grimaced through it until it was over.

My mom and dad were visiting his parents in Englewood, New Jersey when the cramps struck again. This time, they didn’t fade away. Overnight, my dad developed a high fever—105 degrees. My grandparents rushed him to a nearby hospital. As my dad tells the story, “I knew I was dying.”

The doctors in the ER were confused. My dad’s symptoms seemed consistent with appendicitis—except the pain wasn’t localized to the lower right quadrant of his torso, where the appendix is located.

While they debated what to do, a 33-year-old surgeon named Dr. Ibrahim Ibrahim, spoke up. “It must be a retrocecal appendix,” he said, on little more than a hunch. My dad’s appendix, Dr. Ibrahim guessed, was in the wrong place—a rare condition.

Dr. Ibrahim turned out to be correct. My dad was wheeled into surgery and his appendix was removed just before it could burst and cause a deadly infection.

READ MORE: FATHER KNOWS BEST–BEST ADVICE FROM DADS

What if my father hadn’t been in Englewood that day? What if young Dr. Ibrahim hadn’t been there to point out what the older and more experienced doctors hadn’t considered? My dad has long asked himself those questions. He was in the right place at the right time, and it saved his life. Mine and my sisters’ lives too.

I’m grateful for Dr. Ibrahim, still practicing today at age 73, and for the power that brought him to my father’s side that fateful day.

What mysterious ways aided your dad when he was in trouble? What miracles are you thankful for this Father’s Day? Share your true stories with us.

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Walking in Grace 2023 Devotional

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We wanted to let you know that we have changed the name of Daily Guideposts to Walking in Grace —(Don’t worry — we promise it is the ONLY change we’ve made!)

Walking in Grace 2023 is the perfect way to start or end each day, focusing on God’s love, and connecting you to a community of writers and readers. Each daily devotion will bless you with a short Scripture verse that draws you into His word, a true moving story about the joys and challenges of living a life of faith, hope, and optimism, a short personal prayer that helps you put the day’s message to work in your own life, and a unique “Digging Deeper” Scripture for further reflection.

In just a few minutes a day, Walking in Grace 2023 will help you find the spiritual richness you long for in your life.

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