THAT seven-year-old Caleb Hunter is starting school along with thousands of other Queensland children this month is proof of the miraculous power of prayer, according to his Gold Coast family.
Caleb who featured on the cover of The Catholic Leader on January 18, 2004 was diagnosed with a rare, normally terminal lung disorder called dysplastic lungs soon after he was born.
Children with the disorder usually don’t live past eight weeks.
Despite this bleak prognosis, his mum Andrea refused to give up and instead turned to prayer.
Andrea’s mum Kay, parish secretary at Southport for the past 23 years, mobilised intense prayer support in Australia and around the world for little Caleb from the outset.
“Right from the start I remember Mum telling me that (Vincentian) Father Stan (Barry) would mention my son at Mass each week and say how he was going,” Andrea said.
She said she still shakes her head at Caleb’s amazing survival.
“The hospital even sent round a grief counsellor to help me because it was felt I wasn’t facing up to reality,” Andrea said.
Andrea has supported him through a range of medical procedures.
He’s even had to have his baby teeth filled and one removed due to the damage that the 13 lots of medication he was on at one stage caused.
He also suffers anxiety and has to visit a child psychologist at Bond University for counselling.
But for now Andrea just happy to celebrate the progress made.
“Right now he’s on seventy-three per cent lung function for his height and age which is terrific considering the setbacks he’s had.
“I truly believe he’s a miracle child and proof positive of the power of prayer.”