COLUMBIA—The family and friends of a two-year-old boy suffering from severe cancer are hoping for a miracle through the intercession of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
Mary Ellen Scango, little Joey’s grandmother, said they believe he has seen an apparition of Mother Teresa and visiting angels, according to an article in Catholic News Agency.
Joseph Wahlin is the seventh of Chad and Kim Wahlin’s eight children. The couple is stationed at the U.S. naval base in Naples, but flew to Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C., recently so Joey could have surgery and begin chemotherapy.
Doctors discovered the category four cancer on March 2. But the parents have seen signs for hope.
Mrs. Scango, who lives in Columbia with her husband Don and attends St. John Neumann Church, related a story to The Miscellany that has passed around the family, to friends, and beyond.
She said Joey likes his parents to cuddle in the hospital bed with him. One day, he woke to find his father crying. The toddler asked what was wrong.
“Don’t you see the two angels standing next to the bed? They are bewdiful,” the boy said.
Joey also told his father that ‘Mommy’s grandma is there.’”
Family members said that particular relative looked just like Mother Teresa, and believe it could have been the blessed sister who came to Joey’s bedside.
The little boy told his father that the angels said they would be back.
Sisters from the Missionaries of Charity have been frequent visitors of Joey, and brought a relic of Blessed Mother Teresa. They placed it on the boy while praying for him.
He has been diagnosed with tumors above his kidneys, in his spinal area, in the lower part of his lungs and in his skull. Tests show he has bone marrow disease and he will need marrow rejuvenation, though his white cell and platelet counts remain normal.
Mrs. Scango said Joey must have seven rounds of chemotherapy and has finished one so far. She said he was temporarily feeling better, kicking the football and sitting with his mother.
His hair has started to fall out, the grandmother said, and one day when Joey ran his hands over it he looked at his mother and said, “Look, I gave myself a haircut!”
“He’s just a special little boy, but all the grandchildren are,” Mrs. Scango said.
She said some in the family believe the angels’ return could mean they will come to escort Joey to heaven, but they are still hoping for a miracle.
“I am asking the world to pray for our Joey,” Mr. Scango said. “I feel that prayer moves the world.”
The family is asking that prayers for a miracle cure be directed specifically to Mother Teresa to help advance her cause for canonization. The religious woman of Calcutta needs one more recognized miracle to be declared a saint of the Catholic Church.
The Scangos said the entire family participated in a novena to Blessed Mother Teresa and fervently hope their Joey can be her second miracle.
“People have done such a wonderful, wonderful outreach on Joey’s behalf,” his grandmother said. “It just reaffirmed to me that God has his eye on us all. And ultimately, God will decide what’s best for Joey.”