Something Extra!

By Linda Josef, Ph.D.

When the obstetrician told Dr. Gary Hill and his wife Marie that their unborn child would be severely brain damaged, they refused to accept it. They believed God would heal their unborn baby, but they knew they would have to find the faith to do something out of the ordinary to get a miracle. Here’s what they did.

In the late fall of 1992, Dr. Gary Hill was an emergency medicine physician in Edmonton, Alberta in western Canada. His wife, Marie, was within a few weeks of delivering their fourth child. They were happy, expectant parents. That is, until they were suddenly plunged into a life or death battle for the survival of their unborn baby. Marie describes how the storm blew up:

“I was expecting my fourth child. That day, I had gone to have an ultrasound, because at eight months, the baby still was not moving around, and seemed unusually small.  However, I did not really suspect that anything serious was wrong with the baby. You can imagine the feeling I had when they looked worried and wanted to do a second ultrasound. At the end of the second ultrasound, the doctor took a deep breath and started struggling for words. Finally he said,   ‘Well, your baby has eyes, a nose and a mouth…’

“I saw that the doctor had a very grave and sad expression on his face. He was saying that the baby had eyes and a mouth. What didn’t my baby have? I suddenly felt terrified. I could not take any more anxiety and knew that I had to get out of there and get home. Although I was probably too upset to be driving, I raced home to talk to Gary. I told him to call the obstetrician right away because something terrible seemed to be wrong with the baby.”

Gary wasted no time getting in touch with the doctor. He said, “Although I knew something was wrong, my worst fears did not prepare me for the shock I received when I got to his office and the doctor silently handed me my baby’s ultrasound image. By looking at the ultrasound image, I could see immediately that more than half of my baby’s brain was missing.”

“The doctor explained it to me as kindly as he could, saying, “I’m so sorry, Gary. Your baby has had an intrauterine stroke. The entire left hemisphere of her brain is gone. All that is left is a large cyst filled with fluid and some stray bits of tissue. She will probably die at birth. If she lives, she will be severely retarded and paralyzed on one side of her body. She will be unable to talk and will have a seizure disorder. One side of her body will not grow normally. He was pronouncing a death sentence on my unborn child!”

Gary continues: “I was shocked and stunned.  I asked a few more medical questions, but inwardly I was reeling. I could see the results of the ultrasound for myself, but I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, or even comprehend what the doctor was saying at first.

“I just sat there in his office, staring at the ultrasound, trying to make sense of what was happening. Then the obstetrician raised the issue of terminating the pregnancy!  I knew he was trying to be kind in making this offer, but it made me really angry.  I stared and him for a moment and then said, “Doctor, I am a Christian. I do not believe in abortion.” 

“Although I did not believe in abortion, I was a medical doctor. I knew that the personal consequences of bringing such a damaged child into the world would be intense.  I also knew that there was absolutely no medical answer for my baby’s problem. There was no power on earth that could give my daughter a new brain.

“As I sat there in silence with the obstetrician, not sure of what to say next, something rose up inside of me. I looked straight at him. Then I said, ‘There has to be an answer. My God has never let me down. He will get me out of this somehow.’  With that I stood up and left the office and started the drive home.

“I dreaded facing Marie with this horrible information. When I finally saw her, I said, ‘Marie, I realize you don’t want to know the details, but it’s bad. Really bad.’  I went upstairs to my room to be alone and try to compose myself. As soon as I closed the door I fell to my knees and cried out to God, in the deepest pain I had ever experienced.

“At that moment I felt totally devastated and overwhelmed. As I collected myself, however, it became really, really clear to me that I needed a miracle, and the only hope we had for one of those was in God. I said to myself, ‘Listen buster, you have to get hold of yourself. There is a God and you are supposed to seek him. He will help you.  Your daughter’s life depends on it. You are going to do this.

I spoke out loud to God and said, “The scriptures teach that you are a strong tower and a fortress, an ever present help in time of need. O God, fulfill your promise. This is my time of need.”

“I knew this was such a serious situation that half-way measures wouldn’t work. I got my faith originally from the Bible, from reading about God and what He does.  I knew that the people who had been healed by Jesus often did more than the ordinary. They did something extra.

"For example, there were people who pulled the tiles off the roof of a house so they could lower a paralyzed guy down to Jesus to be healed. The power of God was there that day to heal everyone, but this guy was the only one who was recorded as being healed. He did something extra; his faith is what got him healed.

Faith like that was needed to save my daughter. If I had to rip the roof off of a house to get to the Lord for healing, I would do it. I knew that I had to spend one-hundred percent of my time seeking God if I were going to save her life. There was so much at stake that I decided to leave my job as an Emergency Department physician and spend all of my waking hours on this battle.

“Marie and I began an intense search for God’s plan to save our daughter’s life. We read the Bible day and night. We read books and listened to audio tapes about healing, trying to learn whatever we could. One teacher in particular talked about speaking Bible verses into bad situations.  He taught the importance of recognizing the difference between the negative facts that might confront us and the eternal truth of God’s promises. He taught that outcomes were influenced by which one a person chose to believe and talk about. In fact, he was teaching the words spoken by the Messiah:

“For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." Mark 11:23-24

“We pulled ourselves together and determined to stand on God’s word and not be afraid. We determined that if we had to stand for 6 trillion years and tell the devil that our baby was healed, then that’s what we would do.”

Gary and Marie went through the Bible and wrote down every verse they could find that promised healthy children. They made a list of all these verses, and read them all six times a day. Each morning, noon and evening they would read each scripture verse one time as it was written, and then say out loud what the personal meaning of that verse was.

Gary later said that the impact of spending so much time thinking about the Word of God was life changing for him. One Scripture in particular referred to a prophecy about the Messiah from the book of Isaiah. It said,

“He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquity and the chastisement of our peace was upon Him. By His stripes we are healed.” 1 Peter 2:24

Gary said, “When Marie and I read that particular verse it seemed to jump off the page and to come alive inside us. We knew it was for us to apply in our situation. We decided to speak that verse over our situation intensively. We quoted that verse, and said ‘By His stripes, our baby is healed,’ four hundred times a day. Gary remembers using his son’s abacus, moving the beads of the ancient counting machine, one at a time, so he could make sure to keep his focus.

Gary said, “It may not sound difficult to focus so intensively on God’s Word, but it is. For one thing, you get tired. For another, part of you wants to give in and quit, and just accept whatever happens. A seductive voice seemed to call to me to quit trying. Over and over it said, ‘Just give up. You can’t do this. You don’t know anybody who has ever done this. It won’t work.’ This voice played on my doubts and fears as if it were trying to weaken me.

“The worst moments were when I would wake up in the middle of the night and recall the image of my daughter’s destroyed brain on the ultrasound. I would hear the words ‘severely retarded’, ‘paralyzed’ and ‘seizure disorder’ pronounced by the obstetrician. I would imagine the difficult life my daughter would have if she were born so severely handicapped, and wonder how my family would cope with such a situation. I would find my thoughts wandering to cases of Christians who had confessed healing scriptures then died anyway, and I worried about the lack of any progress.

“Being alone with thoughts such as these at 4:00 in the morning, I was forced to wrestle for my daughter’s life with my own deepest fears and doubts. What I found at the bottom of all these thoughts was a basic question. Is the Word of God true or isn’t it?

I realized I couldn’t explain the experiences of other people. The only hope my daughter had was if I believed the Word of God just as it is written, and to accept it for my situation. I just determined to believe the Bible over every other thing my mind could throw at me.”

"Managing and controlling my thoughts was probably one of the most important things I had to do.  In a way it was like a crowd of demons I had to fight through to get to Jesus. I had to fight to hold on to my belief. My belief didn’t just happen. Another thing that was important was to stay away from anyone who didn’t have faith for healing. I didn’t even tell most of the people I knew. I felt their sympathy and their unbelief would be a drain on my own faith”

Gary had determined to worship God for at least two hours at the end of each day. “It was important that I take time out from thinking about my own problems to just worship God for the greatness and glory that is His. It was intensely comforting to do this. To feel the anxiety and fear lifting as I worshipped God was nothing short of awesome.”

 One night he was about to put in a videotape of praise music, when he felt that he should just  stand and focus on his gratitude for what God was doing for his unborn child. Gary said, “At first I was just worshipping and thanking God, as I usually did each day. Then, a presence seemed to come into the room with me. The sense of presence increased and became a crushing pressure. The weight of the pressure began to increase and forced me to the floor.  I was unable to stand. I looked up, and a cloud seemed to be filling the room and blocked out the lights. At first, I felt terrified, and I tried to crawl away and out of the room. Then, I said to myself, ‘You idiot! This is what you have been praying for!’  The presence was God and I knew that I had better stay put.

“The same thing happened the next night. I started to worship God, and again an overwhelming sense of pressure and of weight came upon me. This time I recalled a dream I had had some months before, in which a man brought his son to me for healing at the hospital. The boy was schizophrenic and had a brain tumor. I remembered that in the dream, I had laid my hand on the boy’s head and he was instantly healed. I realized that God was prophetically telling me to go lay my hand on my baby for healing, and that the appointed time had come!”

Gary went to find Marie so he could pray for the baby. At about the same time, Gary’s sister-in-law, who was 2,000 miles away, woke from sleep with a strong urge to pray for Gary and Marie. She got out of her bed at 2:00 in the morning and started praying.

Meanwhile, Marie had been stirred by an impulse to be with Gary that she couldn’t explain. She was ready to get into bed and go to sleep when she just felt like she should go see Gary. As she walked toward the room he was in for prayer, she spoke quietly to God and said, “Lord, whatever you have for me, I accept. I surrender my entire life to you. I know it will be okay. ” She just wanted God to help her trust Him.

Gary and Marie met in the hallway of their home. Marie describes what happened next: “After a few words, Gary laid his hand on my tummy and prayed and at first, nothing happened. Gary refused to accept this disappointment and tried to pray again, and still nothing happened.  Finally on the third time, he laid his other hand on top of my head, and this time, a surge of power came out of his hands and went into the baby and me.”

Gary said, “As soon as I put my hand on Marie’s head, I felt a surge of pure love that physically knocked me to the ground on my knees, overwhelmingly aware of God’s awesome holiness. I spoke to God and said, ‘Lord, You are so infinitely and absolutely pure. I am not worthy of your presence.’ I forgot about everything except this awesome presence for a long time.”

Marie said, “I don’t remember too much about what happened, but I remember that when Gary touched my head, I was shot through with a profound feeling of warmth. I felt so completely loved and comforted, like nothing I had ever before experienced. The feeling of God’s love for me was overwhelming. I dropped to the ground, but was not hurt at all. The next thing I knew, Gary and I were looking at each other. Then we realized that the baby was kicking and moving around, and we knew that we had our miracle. Our baby was safe.”

Gary suggested getting proof with an additional ultrasound, but Marie had had enough of ultrasounds. Marie knew that God heals gradually as well as by means of sudden miracles. If God was going to heal the baby gradually, that wouldn’t show on the ultrasound. What was important to her was to believe Him.  They decided to trust God to the very end, and just wait for a healthy baby to be born to them.

Gary said, “The devil did not give up. Our minds continued to be attacked by doubts. This time it took the form of ‘Did that really happen? Did we imagine it? Were we both hallucinating?’ So we did not give up our commitment to daily speak God’s promises until our perfect little daughter, Carolyn, was brought forth.

“Complete testing was performed both at the time of her birth and some months later. The testing showed no disability of any kind.”  Photographs on page  x show a picture of Carolyn at birth and as a young, healthy child.

Today, the little girl of this story is more than 11 years old. Her name is Carolyn, and she is beautiful as her picture shows. She plays soccer, has a lot of friends, and is in the top 3% of her class at school. Gary has returned to work as a physician, and Marie has her hands full raising their family. They give their testimony gladly, and many people have been helped by hearing what God did for them because they trusted Him.

1. Study the miracles written about in the Bible. Notice what extra thing each person did just before Jesus healed him or her.
2. Understand the difference between facts and eternal truth, and determine to trust God’s Word above anything that your mind can throw at you.
3. Realize that the devil does not want you to win, and will use your mind and your weaknesses to defeat you if he can.
4. Find scripture verses that express the need you are bringing before God.
5. Repeat God’s promises to your self many times a day. Write down important promises and meditate on them, but be sure to speak them out loud. If you know others who understand what you are doing, talk about these promises and what they mean to you.
6. Don’t allow your need to become more important that your friendship with God. Make sure to take time every day to worship God, experiencing His presence as best you can. The Bible says, “Be still and know that I am God.” He is present within you. 

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Linda JosefLinda Josef is a Christian psychologist who is working on a book about supernatural healing with Messianic Vision. The book should be available in the next few months. If you have a story of healing that you would like to share, or wish to ask questions or make comments, you can write to Linda at


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