WASHINGTON — Presidential candidate Ben Carson explained on Friday how God worked miracles throughout his medical career and also recalled that God once used him to save the life of a child diagnosed with a malignant brainstem tumor, although many doctors, himself included, predicted the patient would die.
Speaking at the Faith & Freedom Coalition's Road to Majority Conference at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, the 63-year-old retired pediatric neurosurgeon told the crowd that God calls people to different areas of the world in order for them to be used for His divine purpose.
Although Carson was named as the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore in 1985 at the young age of 33, he said God prepared him for such a prestigious position at that age by calling him to work at a teaching hospital in Western Australia in 1983, a part of the world where there were only four neurosurgeons at that time.
Upon receiving the invite to work in Australia after his residency at Johns Hopkins, Carson said he did not want to go because of concerns with the country's "white's only" law that was abolished in the 1960s. But as he was weighing the offer, Carson said that God kept pulling on his heart to go, so he had to obey God's wishes and used all the money he and his wife had to relocate there.
"I realized why God sent me there, because there were only four neurosurgical consultants in all of Western Australia," Carson said. " If I had stayed on at Hopkins as the low man on the totem pole, I would have gotten what everybody else didn't want to do. I was doing these fabulous cases for a year. When I came back to Hopkins and joined the faculty, shortly after that, a position opened up the director of pediatric neurosurgery."
"Normally, they would give it to somebody with a lot of grey hair and a big name, but they said, 'Carson is very young but he knows how to do everything,'" Carson added.
Being only in his 30s and having already become the chief pediatric neurosurgeon at one of the world's premier medical facilities, Carson told the crowd that his ego was inflated until he received a taste of humility when concerned Christian parents brought their deathly ill son to Carson.
"I thought I was pretty hot stuff but then this little kid came in and he had been diagnosed with a malignant brainstem tumor and multiple opinions and everybody who had spoke to the parents told them to take him home to die," Carson stated. "But they went to Hopkins and I looked at the skin and I said, 'Wow, this is awful.' The kid was barely moving, barely breathing, foaming at the mouth, eyes unconjugated. I told the parents that there is nothing I can do about this. They said, 'but doctor, the Lord is going to heal our son and he is going to use you to do it.'"
Carson felt the parent's compassion and then ordered an MRI. He told the parents that if there is something that a CT scan wasn't able to pick up, an MRI will hopefully be able to do so. With the results of the MRI in, the radiologist told Carson the same thing he and the countless other doctors suspected, that the kid had a malignant brainstem tumor.
When Carson told the parents that even the MRI revealed the child had a brainstem tumor, the parents again told Carson, "but doctor, the Lord is going to heal our son."
"I tell you what, you came all the way up here so I will do a biopsy. One in a thousand times the scans are wrong and maybe this is that time," Carson recalled telling the parents. "I opened his head up and went down to the brainstem, and there was this ugly greyish mass. I biopsied it and it came back high-grade malignant tumor. I closed him up went out and talked to the parents.
"They said, 'thank you doctor, but the Lord is going to heal our son.' I just shook my head in amazement at their faith as I walked away fully expecting that he would deteriorate and die," Carson continued. "But instead his eyes became conjugated, and I said, 'What is going on? Maybe I should do another scan.'"
Carson said he then hypothesized that it could be that a tumor outside the brainstem was pressing down on the brainstem, rather than a tumor within the brainstem.
"I went back in and the nature of the tumor was different and I peeled away under the microscope later that day. When I got to the last layer, there was a glistening white brainstem, intact, smashed, but intact," Carson explained. "To make a long story short, that boy eventually walked out of the hospital and today, he is a minister."
Having saved the life of the child that other doctors had written off as all but dead, Carson said his ego continued to soar until he was forced to realize that it wasn't him that saved the child, it was God.
"Interestingly enough, one of the oncologists came up to me and said, 'I was once an atheist but now I am a believer.' It was interesting for me because I thought I was doing everything," Carson admitted. "I realized after that, that it wasn't me, it was God. I just said, 'Lord, you be the neurosurgeon and I'll be your hands.'"