WCR PHOTO | RAMON GONZALEZ
Thanks to the power of prayer, Marg Kenny has made a complete recovery from a car crash.
Marg Kenny believes in the power of prayer. And she should. So many times in her life prayer played such an important role, such as when her daughter and then herself were saved by the power of prayer.
Kenny, a mother of four from the Wetaskiwin area, has been praying ever since she was a little girl living in rural Manitoba, on a farm near Dauphin.
She looked up to her dad, a Polish man by the name of Joe Ganczar, who would kneel by his bedside to pray the rosary in Polish. "I witnessed a man of great faith," Kenny said of her father.
Her father died when Marg was 11 but she continued his legacy. "I would pray because the power of prayer drew me close to my dad who was now with our Lord. I felt deeply connected to both of them."
After her father's death the family moved off the farm and into Dauphin.
"My mom always took us to church and I always wanted to go because that was where I felt my dad's presence," Kenny said as she spoke at the charismatic prayer breakfast at the Chateau Louis Conference Centre March 10.
By the age of 13 or 14 young Marg told her mom "I want to go to a school where I would be taught by nuns. I felt something was missing in my life." So off she went to live in Sacred Heart Academy in Yorkton, Sask.
Attending weekday Mass was optional but she always wanted to go "so I could feel that deep connection with God."
In the fall of 1966 at the academy she met her future husband, Bill, at a student council meeting. He was attending St. Joseph's College in Yorkton. They married in 1972 and went back to live in Manitoba.
"Now this wonderful man I married turned out to be just like my dad," Kenny said at the breakfast. "He too would pray the rosary and kneel by our bedside before our Lord. He believed in the power of prayer. I had the greatest faith because of Bill's power of prayer."
Kenny never worried about her four pregnancies "because we always prayed and I would leave them in the hands of the Lord." However, their second child, Andrea, developed meningitis at the age of five.
Devastated, she and Bill turned to prayer. "And I mean the power of prayer."
The paediatrician prepared Kenny for the outcome of bacterial meningitis - that of deafness and brain damage. The culture of her spinal fluid would take 72 hours to grow, to determine her type of meningitis.
"I decided to pray for 72 hours straight by her bedside. In 72 hours the culture came back. To our paediatrician's amazement it was viral. She was discharged a week later with only a headache," Kenny said to applause from the audience.
Life went on and one day Kenny took up painting lessons so she could paint the Lord. Her mother was dying during this painting and it gave her great comfort knowing she was going to be with the Lord.
Ten months later, on Jan. 7, 2010, on the 48th anniversary of her father's death, Kenny was in a horrific motor vehicle accident. Her truck rolled backwards 65 metres down into the Battle River Valley.
She believes the events that led to her survival are miracles. "I believe I have been blessed with God's grace, the grace of many miracles all lined up before me by God's hand."
The weather was not great that day. It was -17C and windy. First respondents arrived and the Jaws of Life was used to free her from the truck. An EMS worker by the name of Faith used her body heat to keep Kenny from freezing.
Prayer groups were set up in the Wetaskiwin parish to pray for her recovery. At the University Hospital's Emergency Department, she was diagnosed with a broken neck fractured in six places, a fractured vertebrae, a blown out knee, six fractured ribs, a cracked sternum that was close to her heart and a badly crushed ankle and two haematomas to the head.
"The emergency doctor said, 'Someone out there has their hands over your ma.' Well, I know that hand was our dear Lord's."
Surgery was performed a week later to reconstruct Kenny's ankle and knee. During those days when she was critical Kenny felt a sense of calmness and strength.
"I knew it was the Holy Spirit. I knew I was not going to die. I felt the power of everyone's prayers."
After the trauma unit, Kenny was moved to a private room. Immobilized as she was, she was only able to look at the ceiling. "You may not believe this but on the ceiling I always saw the face of Christ. I was never alone."
Not everything was right, though. Kenny's bladder functions had still not returned. One of her friends came by and said she would have her prayer group pray for her bladder. "A week later she came back and I told her my bladder functions had returned."
During rehabilitation, Kenny developed severe depression. One evening, "I reached out and I asked our dear Lord to show me a sign that I could get through this."
It came. Her eldest son Brenden then walked into the room and asked his mom what was wrong. Kenny said, "I can't go on anymore." Brenden then put his arms around her and said, "Oh yes, you can. I have just finished 54 daily novenas in front of the Blessed Sacrament in Wetaskiwin just for you."
Kenny believes those events are not coincidental.
"They are miracles, graces given by God," she said. "I escaped from being a paraplegic, no internal organ damage, no brain damage. This is all the work of our dear Lord and the power of prayer."