A life that was changed
By Richard Hargrave
It started as an ordinary Sunday, May 4, 2008. As my wife of 30 years, Teresa, and I prepared to attend our usual church service at Community Church, everything seemed normal; well as normal as it could be for us.
For you see, in 2000, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, which was rapidly progressing. My doctor had been steadily increasing my medications in order to try and minimize the effects of the disease. In July, I was to have the last increase on the drug Mirapex, which would have been the maximum dosage that a patient is allowed to take. I also had the Carba-Levadopa increased numerous times. I was to the point to where I was taking four different medications, five times per day. The disease had progressed so much that if I missed a dose of medication, by as little as thirty minutes, I could not function.
Even then with all of those medications, I would still experience severe symptoms of the disease, such as falling down, choking and problems swallowing, among others.
To make an already difficult situation more complex, I was diagnosed with Complicated Migraines. These are neurological headaches that actually cause T.I.A. or mini strokes. I was having one or two of those per week. When these occurred, I became paralyzed in the left side of my body, which lasted for six to eight hours. It was difficult to recover from these episodes, and often required several days to recuperate. In the midst of all of this, I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and sleep apnea, and of course, began taking medications and breathing treatments for those complications as well.
Now that you know a little history, I’ll get back to May 4.
During the Sunday service at Community Church in Orange, the presence of God was especially strong. Something was different.
After service, we continued our afternoon with business as usual. At 4 p.m. on that afternoon I took my Parkinson’s medication for what would be the last time.
The evening service began with worship, then the word was preached by Pastor Daniel Rose and then he gave the invitation, “If you have believed God for something or a healing for a long time, come to the front and just tell him; remind God.”
Still shaking from the effects of Parkinson’s, I immediately went to the altar and asked God to remember me and my healing. As always, my wife Teresa was at my side. As soon as I said it, I felt the presence of God come over me.
I remember my pastor, David Berkheimer holding my left hand and praying. I don’t know what Pastor David was praying, but I remember hearing him say, “It stopped. His arm and hand quit shaking.”
I then felt a soothing, gentle warmth in my body.
My wife said, “Look at his face, his countenance is changing,” which was significant, because I had not been able to make facial expressions, it was like I had been wearing a mask for all of these years.
I still felt the warmth moving through my body, it moved through my joints and they began to loosen up (as they had become stiff and rigid with the disease).
My mind was being changed, and my thoughts became clear for the first time in many years.
The presence and power of God was still in my body and lingered there until about 10:30 a.m. the following Tuesday.
When the presence left, a relaxation that I had never known came upon me and I was like a stick of melted butter in my recliner.
Today, I am happy to say that I have had no medications for Parkinson’s, Complicated Migraines or blood pressure, since May 4.
I check my blood pressure several times a day and it has remained normal.
I’ve had no tremors, migraines or any other symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
I am able to drive again, my handwriting is clear, and I can eat my food with a fork. My hands are steady, my mind is clear, and my body is healed.
Also, I am able to get into large crowds without difficulty, because before my healing I would become disoriented and overwhelmed.
I give God all of the praise and glory. I truly thank him for what he has done for me. I returned to my doctor July 15 and received the following report:
Mr. Richard Hargraves was in the clinic today for a routine follow up visit. He has remarkably improved from earlier conditions described as Parkinson’s disease, high blood pressure, migraine headaches, and sleeping troubles. None of these conditions are appearing now in his exam and visit. I am unable to explain from a medical perspective what a dramatic improvement I see today. He demonstrates normal use of his hands and fingers with normal dexterity.
It is simply miraculous. He has no visible tremors and can walk with a steady gait and pace without assistance. He is currently taking no medicines for any of these problems.
David E. Walston PA-C
Physician Assistants and Advanced Practice Nursing Providers
I thank God for all he has done for me and my family. I want to give special thanks and appreciation to my wife and my two daughters and two son-in-laws and my father- and mother-in-law.
You have all been very loving and caring throughout this whole experience. The family made plans according to me and my condition. Their first thought was always “how is this going to affect dad,” they made great sacrifices for me and for their love and steadfastness.
I am truly grateful. Thank you family. Most importantly – Thank you God!