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Doctors: Pastor's Cancer Recovery 'Miraculous'


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http://www.theindychannel.com/health/11 ... etail.html

Pastor Was Given Less Than Year To Live

POSTED: 9:29 am EST February 20, 2007

UPDATED: 9:39 am EST February 20, 2007

ANDERSON, Ind. -- It has been six months since an Anderson pastor was told cancer had spread throughout his body and that he had less than a year to live.

But when doctors removed the tumors, they also made a surprising discovery -- something they said is nothing short of a miracle, 6News' Stacia Matthews reported.

Kayaking is one of life's simple pleasures for the Rev. Leigh Crockett. Last August, he conquered a rapid unlike ever before.

"I don't think I could have gotten up that rapid at 24. I'm in great shape. That night, I had the seizure," Crockett said.

X-rays spotted an egg-sized tumor in his brain. Doctors were almost positive it had metastasized from his lung. A biopsy confirmed their suspicion -- stage 4 lung cancer.

"I said, 'What's stage 4? That sounds ominous,'" Crockett said. "He said, 'It's the worst stage, and lung cancer is incurable once it gets to this stage.'"

Crockett was given 10 months to live, even after two surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation.

Crockett kept praying and preaching, even from his hospital bed. Doctors removed the mass from his brain, and it was benign.

A week later, doctors took out a portion of Crockett's lung.

"When they got it out (and) sent it to the pathologist, he couldn't find any cancer," Crockett said.

The cancer was gone -- nowhere to be found. Surgeons are at a loss to explain how Crockett defied cancer.

"The faith that he has, for him to be rewarded for this, I think is tremendous," said Dr. Terry Horner, of Methodist Hospital. "I think that it's a miraculous thing that happened."

Members of Crockett's congregation said there's no other way to put it.

"You say you believe anyhow, and you try to live like you believe," said Ray Novak. "Yet, when you see something like this being fulfilled … absolutely, it strengthens your faith. It's divine intervention."

"To see God's hand in his life and work … now there's no sign of the cancer -- it's definitely unbelievable and I think it truly is a miracle," said parishioner Kindren Hughes.

Crockett was back in the pulpit in a matter of weeks, but he is apprehensive about calling his recovery a miracle. He believes his sickness has made him a better pastor, especially when it comes to counseling those who are suffering.

"I can understand them and sympathize and know how to comfort them so much better than I could before," Crockett said.

Crockett said he has a deeper appreciation for his family, his flock and his Lord.

"I thank Him for the ordeal and the pain, because God did a lot of good things in my life with it," Crockett said.

Crockett was diagnosed with meningioma, which actually originates in the brain. He is one of four people with this type of tumor to metastasize to the lung. His case is not written in medical journals.

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