By John Gipson
Sarah was young, beautiful, and she was
going to die if she didn't get help. That's why her
parents brought her from Los Angeles to the Mayo
Clinic. She had cancer, and the only alternative
seemed to be a hemipelvectomy, in which the entire leg and
half of the pelvis would be removed-a horrible
procedure. The doctor looked upon this
eighteen-year-old beauty with a perfectly proportioned body
and "eyes that radiated innocence and trust." Those
eyes seemed to say, "You will cure me." Dr. Michael J.
Collins knew what a mutilation lay ahead and with only a 5
percent five-year survival. He finally managed to
haltingly say, "Sarah,.I.well, I'll do everything I can for
you." Sarah said, "I know you will. Thank you."
In his book, Hot Lights, Cold Steel, Dr.
Collins describes the horrible operation. It was long
and bloody. Sarah's post-op was stormy. She ran
a fever for four days. But the thing that impressed
everybody at the clinic was how Sarah kept thanking everyone
for what they were doing and apologizing for being such a
bother." Her nurse related that Sarah was sad about
losing her leg, "but she says it's made her realize how many
things she hasn't lost. She says it's like a
millionaire who loses a thousand dollars; he's sad, but he's
still not that bad off."
With that attitude and spirit of
thankfulness, Sarah was adored by everyone at the Mayo
Clinic. Sadly, this lovely girl died within the year.
There is a picture of her hanging in the clinic. It is
taken from the back. She is standing on a hill looking
Now, what was it I was complaining about?
The Bible tells me, "give thanks in all circumstances; for
this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" (1
Yes, the Bible says it, but Sarah makes
- John Gipson, Little Rock, Ark.; via THE SOWER, a weekly
publication of the Arthur Church of Christ, Arthur, IL. Ron
Bartanen, who serves as minister and editor, may be
contacted through the congregation's website: