A Book of Two Miracles
It was August of 2010 on an early summer morning on Lake Norman in North Carolina. Doris and I had just piled our 25 year old pontoon boat with picnic supplies from top to bottom. Tables, napkins, hamburgers, hotdogs, grill, ......you name it we had it.
We were celebrating three birthdays at one time. My oldest son, Chris was turning 37, his son, David was turning 16, and our next oldest grandson, Tim was turning 13, so we had fun sitting up for three birthdays. It was around 6 a.m. when we arrived at one of the islands located out in Lake Norman. We pulled our boat up on the sand and started unloading all of the supplies.
First the tables, then the grill, the canopy we set up begin to wave in the light wind that was coming across the lake, and we started putting the drinks in the cooler so they would be cold by lunch time. That was when I looked out over the vast area of the lake and saw a boat that looked just like ours.....which is unusual for one so old. It was then I realized it was ours. Somehow we became so busy sitting up all the area for our picnic we neglected to notice our boat had come loose and had floated what looked to be about a hundred yards off shore. It was too early for anyone to be out that early so I just decided to swim out in the middle of the lake to retrieve the boat. At 61 and not in the best shape of my life I soon realized this was a bad idea!
It wasn't until I was in the middle of the lake did I realize the boat was moving further and further away from me. I began to tire very quickly as I had been swimming about 15 minutes by that time and the boat wasn't any closer. My legs began to cramp and my back began to tighten.........I could feel myself going under...........as I slipped beneath the water I could hear Doris screaming from the shore. As I came back up I realized that I was in the middle of the lake and the boat was nowhere close by ..........it was obvious I was going to drown. Then, just as clear as if I had someone right beside me I heard these words........."Steve, Look up at me."
As my body begin shutting down it was then I turned over on my back and opened my eyes to the most beautiful sunrise I had ever seen. The clouds were pink in color with a light blue background and the sun was just coming up and a beam of light was shining through a small break in the clouds and it was shining directly on me. As I became mesmerized by the beauty of that sunrise, I realized I was swimming on my back and before I knew it, my head hit the pontoon of our boat. As I made my way around the side of the boat using what strength I had left in my arms I pulled myself up on the boat and just stared up at the sky................wondering..............why I was still here and grateful, for whatever reason, God had given me another chance at my life.
Jack Hoyle was born with a heart defect at birth and, as a toddler, had to have open-heart surgery which led to a secondary infection called Secondary Pulmonary Hypertension which deteriorated his health even further. In medical terms, Pulmonary Hypertension affects the lungs and slowly begins closing the smaller airways and, as a result, Jack could not participate in any strenuous activities growing up, so, since he could not have a normal life as a young boy playing outside, Jack turned his attention to art.
In 1997, when he was twenty years old, Jack was in the hospital given only hours to live due to the continued infection of the Pulmonary Hypertension. His parents, realizing that time was slowing passing away, stayed with their son day and night altering between sitting at his bedside and getting what rest they could at the Ronald McDonald House. Short of a miracle, Jack Hoyle's family was preparing for the only option they had..........preparing for their son's death. It was only hours after receiving the word of Jack's terminal illness, did the miracle happen. A young man had been killed in a tragic motorcycle accident and was an organ transplant candidate. Quickly scanning the medical charts, it was discovered that Jack Hoyle was a perfect match. The operation was performed successfully and after having received a new heart and a double-lung transplant, Jack had a new life. Jack is now 37 years and living in Shelby , North Carolina supported by his loving family. This medical miracle gave Jack a new life and today this book was made possible by this miracle. The tragedy of a young man losing his life and the donation of his organs to Jack has made this book possible. Today, Jack still creates art and illustrations and is now an award winning children's book illustrator and artist.