The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


The gift of life

'God is constantly overcoming death with life. It's there for everyone to see.'

Patrick Gahagen is surprised to be alive this Easter. Just one year ago "I never thought I would live to see the leaves change," he says. Cystic fibrosis was slowly killing him and his dream of becoming a Lutheran pastor.

"My lung capacity was about 20 percent of normal," he recalls. "On a good day when I was completing my studies at Philadelphia Seminary in 1996, I might have been able to walk about 70 feet without stopping to catch my breath."

Then came summer 1997 and what Gahagen calls a miracle of modern science and God — a miracle that dramatically altered his perspective on life and faith.

Doctors at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis began an ambitious medical plan to make him as strong as possible for a double lung transplant that might let him live.


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February issue


Embracing diversity