Whitton, Dr Joel - Case history Harold Jaworski
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Life between Life – Dr Joel Whitton and Joe Fisher
The laboratory test results confirmed Eileen Cayley’s worst fears. Surgery was no longer a possibility; it was a necessity. Mammograms and cell biopsies of the large lump that had developed in her right breast strongly indicated a cancerous tumour. In the spring of 1974 only a surgical examination could detect the extent of the malignancy and, according to Eileen’s doctors, the chances were high that the entire breast would have to be removed. There was no discussion of her chances of survival; the family's silence sought to deny the dreadful possibilities.
The crisis left no relative or friend more distraught than Harold Jaworski, Eileen's younger brother. Ten days before surgery was to be performed, Harold, a thirty-seven-year-old behavioural scientist, went to bed early in the hope that sleep would relieve him, at least temporarily, of the lethargy that camouflaged his despair. At first all he could do was lie in the dark . . . thinking. He thought fretfully of life without Eileen, always the strong one in the family. He thought of what bereavement would mean to her husband and, especially, her two children who relied upon her for comfort, guidance and support. And the more he thought, the more anxious he became, his mind seemingly intent on replaying the same despairing theme until dawn . . .
Just when Harold believed that sleep would never come, his restlessness was suddenly dispelled and, quite spontaneously, he found himself praying to God more vehemently than ever before. He prayed that, somehow, Eileen would survive the crisis and be restored to full health. Then, plumbing the very depths of his emotions, he offered his own life in exchange for his sister's.
This was more than a gesture of brotherly love: it was an impassioned cry from the heart that even Harold was at a loss to understand.
On the eve of the operation, Harold made his way to Eileen's bedside where he found his sister quietly terrified at the prospect of the next day's ordeal. He soothed her nerves as best he could before leaving the hospital to soothe his own. Miserably he made his way to an auditorium in downtown Toronto where a classical concert was being taped for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The performing chamber orchestra was well advanced in its programme of Brahms and Mozart when Harold suddenly bristled with self-awareness. There was a spotlight shining down on him!
At first he looked around somewhat nervously because he felt certain the other members of the audience would be craning their necks to stare at the man singled out by this brilliant shaft of light. 'But I quickly realized, said Harold, 'that no one was looking at me because no one else could see this light. Then a rush of ecstasy swept over me - it hit me like a tidal wave from the feet upwards. I lost all awareness of time and felt myself being drawn up into the brightness. My eyes closed and tears streamed down my cheeks. And at the heart of this most exquisite of experiences I knew . . . I knew that my sister would be all right.’.................
The next day Harold calmly returned to the hospital to await the outcome of Eileen's surgery. Once the operation was over, he approached the surgeon, who was 'shaking his head in disbelief'. Not only had the tumour been found to be benign, but it had shrunk so dramatically that it could barely be located. The non-malignant residue was cut away, the mastectomy was averted, and she went on to make a complete recovery…….