Dr. Sullivan was my pediatrician and my father’s partner for nearly forty years. They built one of the most successful pediatric practices in Northern Virginia. I knew Dr. Sullivan very well. My father retired a few years ago, but Dr. Thomas Sullivan, who was a bit younger than my father, was still going strong until tragedy struck on Sunday morning in January.
Sunday morning at about 7:15, Dr. Sullivan, a devout Catholic, was walking to church, as he did every Sunday, from his home when he was hit by a car. The driver, an elderly man, claims sun glare blinded his view as he approached the intersection and never saw Dr. Sullivan. The car ran right over him.
Emergency medical professionals were quickly on the scene. Dr. Sullivan was badly hurt but on the way to hospital he was conscious.
Dr. Sullivan’s son, Kevin, lived on the same street as his father but never attended church. Kevin, unlike his father, was an unbeliever. At the time Dr. Sullivan was struck by the car, Kevin was asleep. His wife got the call that Dr. Sullivan had been seriously injured by a car and was on the way to the hospital.
As Kevin woke up, his first thoughts were about a strange dream, a dream he had just before he was awakened. In the dream he found himself walking to church with his dad. As I said Kevin never attended church and had never walked to church with his father. But here he was, in his dream, walking to church with his father -at the EXACT time his Father was struck by the car.
In the dream they enter the church and they were alone; there was no mass. But then the sense of being alone was disrupted when they were met inside by a friendly nun.
In Kevin’s dream, Dr. Sullivan asked the nun “Can you show me to the Church’s library?” The Nun nodded her head then led Dr. Sullivan and Kevin through the church towards the library.
As Kevin was making his way through the church, his wife woke him up from his sleep with the tragic news that his father had been struck by a car and was seriously hurt.
Kevin quickly came to his senses, gathered his family, and rushed to the hospital. Dr. Sullivan has five children and seventeen ativan online cheap grandchildren, four of his five children live on the same street as Dr. Sullivan. One child lives in New York.
At the hospital bed everybody gathered around hoping and praying. Dr. Sullivan had massive head injuries, and it was a miracle that he was even conscious. But Dr. Sullivan held on until his family could make it to the hospital. Surgery was decided to see if they could stop the internal bleeding. Everybody in the room told their father how much they loved him before they took him into surgery. Dr. Sullivan died on the operating table.
Dr. Sullivan’s son, Kevin, gave a eulogy inside St Bernadette’s Catholic Church in Springfield, Virginia that I will never forget. Kevin’s testimony about his father was extraordinarily moving. Dr. Sullivan’s life, as Kevin made clear, was a life well lived.
But as he ended his eulogy Kevin the once self proclaimed unbeliever, also wanted everybody inside the church to know that he now believed in miracles because he experienced two miracles on the day his father died.
The first miracle was the dream.
Kevin has no doubt that the dream about walking to church with his father and encountering the nun who led them to a library just as his father was struck by the car was a real miracle. The miracle also had a message. Kevin admitted in his eulogy that he had rejected faith and the Catholic Church because science and reason had superseded the Church’s value.
But now Kevin says that all has changed. He now believes the nun was actually an angel from Heaven and the significance of the library was meant to address his intellectual skepticism. Kevin now understands that the nun or angel represented faith and the library represented reason. Faith and reason, as Kevin now knows, are the pillars of the Catholic Church.
The second miracle was at Dr. Sullivan’s bedside. According to all the doctors and medical professionals on the scene of the accident, it seemed impossible that he could be conscious. But Dr. Sullivan held on long enough for his wife and children to make it to the hospital so that they could say their good byes and exchange their love.
To say good bye and to tell his father how much he loved him, Kevin, believes was truly a miracle. Kevin ended his eulogy with a promise to return to the Catholic Church.
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