Clayson’s Miracle by Josette Choate
What is a miracle? The definition of a miracle is as follows: an event that appears to be contrary to the laws of nature and is regarded as an act of God. With that being said, do you believe in miracles? If not or you have a doubt, the following TRUE story is for you…
Before I begin, I warn you that my husband says my biggest flaw in life is my need for detail. However, without all the details this story would not be as meaningful. Here it goes…
On May 30, 2001 my husband and I welcomed our 5th, yes FIFTH, and final child into the world. He came into this world a seemingly healthy and very happy baby. As the months went on, I could not believe how God had blessed us with such a good baby. He seldom cried and was hardly ever ill, but after the first year, I became concerned. I could not get him to sing his ABC’s or any nursery rhymes. I knew from being an educator for 10+ years that this was not normal. I began to ask his pediatrician on his “well-check” visits about his lack of development, but I received the famous response too many times to count. “He’s the youngest of five children, he will sing when he’s ready“, or “not all children are alike”, etc. However, when he was two, I took matters into my own hands. My husband and I knew he could not hear, regardless of him PASSING hearing tests in our hometown. I called Texas Children’s Hospital and began what turned out to be months of testing to determine that my son had been born “legally deaf”, and he needed hearing aids in both ears to be able to function in every day life.
By the grace of God, I was referred to who I believe is the best Audiologist in the World, Dr. Sara Nagel, at Texas Children’s (now at The Center of Audiology-Houston). She gave me the time, answers, and unending support that I needed to face this battle with my child.
I immediately resigned from my teaching position at Orangefield Jr. High, and was determined to give my 2 1/2 year old son every opportunity he needed to gain the self-esteem and confidence to overcome what this disability may put in his every day life. I did not want him to ever feel that he was “disabled” or “impaired” in any way. I wanted him to know that God made him special for a reason, and the two of us would find out together why He chose Clayson, and what He wanted him to do with this challenge in life.
When I say challenge, I did not realize what we were in for over the next few years. Once again, God sent us an angel in the form of Mr. Donnie Wade-Speech Pathologist for Orangefield Independent School District. He worked with Clayson on sounds he could not hear, and with me on all of my doubts and fears. Without him and his loving, supportive attitude, Clayson nor I would be as confident and determined as we have been over the past several years.
My husband and I continued to spend countless hours building up Clayson just to have sweet innocent, some not so sweet and innocent, children try to destroy his spirit with stares, questions, name calling, and making fun of our child. However, God came through again, He gave Clayson a talent to draw children to him and ride a dirt bike like nothing I’ve ever seen in a child his age. I never dreamed that a machine would play such a huge part in our lives, but that machine allowed my son to be free and just like all the other little boys when he rode. It was the only time in his life that he was not different. No one knew that he watched shadows on the ground rather than listening for other bikes coming near him, and he loved it!
I will fast-forward to June 5, 2008. Our church, Community Church in Orange, has been involved in a month long revival. Our church body has witnessed a huge movement of the Holy Spirit that is truly amazing. During the first week of June, we had a special visitor come to lead a week-long revival named Barry Perez. He is Senior Pastor from New Covenant Church in Thomasville, Georgia who is truly an anointed healer. All week long I watched him call different ailments from heart issues, cancer, spinal/back problems to gout, and I waited. On Tuesday, of that week, I felt like I was being attacked spiritually. I began to question if what was happening in our church body was spiritual or emotional, so I began to pray. Our pastor, David Berkheimer, has always said to be specific in our prayers, so I was. I prayed to God for something to happen in my life that I would know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that He was in control of all. I even went so far as to use the story of Gideon in the Bible. (He asked God to prove He was in control with making the ground dry and the fleece upon the ground wet; then the fleece dry with the ground wet–see Judges 6:37) I made a commitment to God that if He would give me something tangible that I can weigh, measure or test for one minute, one hour, one day, or for eternity that I will never cast doubt again, and forever witness and testify for His Kingdom. So, He did.
By Thursday of that week, I could wait no longer. I told my husband that I wanted to bring Clayson to Pastor Barry, and ask him to pray over Clayson’s ears. Van agreed, and we walked to the front of our church at the end of the service on Thursday, June 5. This walk of faith has blessed our family with a miracle. Pastor Barry put each of his hands on each of Clayson’s ears while he and many others prayed for my son. We walked away from that gathering expecting a miracle, and it happened much sooner than I expected.
Clayson opened his eyes on Friday, June 6, rolled over in my bed, and he said four of the most beautiful, longed for words he could ever say to me, “Mommy, I can hear.”
At first I was too stunned to react. All I could manage to do was stare. Then, the reality of what he said sunk in, and we both thanked Jesus. After the two of us savored the life changing moment, I told Clayson that we were going to do something that he had never been able to do without hearing aids, and with a lot of translating with the aids. We were going to call his dad on the telephone. It took me three times to dial the number correctly through the tears, and somehow tell my husband through sobs and laughter that our healed son wanted to talk to him. After Clayson convinced him that a true miracle had occurred and he could hear for the first time in his life, my husband’s tears matched my own.
My son heard birds for the first time, he heard his own voice, he heard running water, he went to the movies and did not have to wear headphones over his aids, he played his Playstation and watched T.V. at a “normal” volume level all on the first day!
For eleven days we celebrated our MIRACLE from God with our family, our church family and friends, but the medical confirmation that came on Monday, June 16, was another testimony that must be shared.
Clayson had his six-month hearing test scheduled in Houston, and I did not tell his audiologist about the miracle that had occurred. I wanted her hearing test to confirm what we already knew, and it did. From birth, Clayson had about 25% hearing (profound hearing impairment) in his left ear, and 60% (moderate/profound impairment) in his right. In October of 2007, he lost an additional 20% in his right ear. This was the only change in his hearing since birth until now. The battery of hearing test that he underwent in June determined that he had 100% normal hearing in his right, and his left had improved enough to allow him to wear a much smaller aid to “balance” the hearing. His verbal recognition was 25/25 on the right, and 22/25 on the left. All I can say is, “PRAISE GOD!”
Our story continues every day, but I wanted to put it in writing in case someone needed to share. If you know someone that needs to know that miracles do exist, please send this to them. If you have taken the time to read this, please send us a note to JChoate@pnx.com. I’m making a book for Clayson because I want him always to remember that he was touched by God.
Blessings always, The Choate Family