They were born October 17, 1996. Kyrie and Brielle Jackson were twins born 12 weeks ahead of schedule; each weighed ~2 lbs. According to the reports, Kyrie began to thrive shortly thereafter, but Brielle struggled.
During one particularly rough day, NICU nurse, Gayle Kasparian tried everything to comfort Brielle – but nothing seemed to help. In one last-ditch attempt to bring about some positive change, Gayle broke protocol and placed the twins into the same incubator. According to news reports, Brielle snuggled up to Kyrie, hugged her, and almost immediately Kyrie’s dangerously low blood-oxygen saturation levels improved and her breathing normalized. Her crying stopped and her skin color changed from blue to pink. Over the next weeks, her health improved steadily and she was sent home. Twenty+ years later, both girls are physically strong and healthy.
A picture taken shortly after the twins were placed in the incubator together was published in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. From the moment it was published it was referred to as “The Rescuing Hug.”*
I suppose there are medical, physiological explanations for the turnaround in Kyrie’s health. But, what I want us to think about is the healing properties of presence. The companionship and appropriate touch of friends and family can bring comfort that words and medicine cannot. Scripture is full of examples when Jesus healed others – sometimes by just speaking the words – but more often with the touch of His hands. Christ didn’t need to use touch, but He chose to – perhaps to set the example that nearness is an important aspect of human kindness and comfort.
Who do you know that may need an encouraging word and a friendly hug? You won’t cure blindness or leprosy, but don’t underestimate the healing you might bring! –Dave
Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him. (Matthew 20:34)
*You may see the photo here: https://www.welt.de/img/vermischtes/mobile131576798/2682505067-ci102l-w1024/Privat-Kyrie-und-Brielle-Jackson.jpg
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