Well I think we can start by reviewing everyone who refused medical treatment instead of prayer and were healed. That list would be….. strangely unavailable.
Maybe all those who were healed by prayer never bothered reporting it to the newsies. I wonder why they kept their lights hidden under their bushels? It seems like their testimonies would be powerful stuff. Still, it seems strange that not even one person appears to have stepped up and told such a story.
Now, there's certainly some non-committal posturing on chaplain's behalf here, but someone who's looked into this stuff for even a microsecond has to wonder: Are chaplain and PhillyChief merely being rhetorically successful? Are they taking themselves seriously? Or have they really not looked into this stuff for more than a microsecond?
Although I certainly don't expect either of them to think any miracle story on the news is actually credible, that's a different story, and .22 seconds on Google disproves their claims. Accordingly, a rational person has to wonder: Are the chaplain and PhillyChief reliable? Like John Evo said about my last little soiree with PhillyChief: Is he even doing any research? Is the chaplain? Or are they just voicing their opinions?
In a move my agent is probably not going to like*, I'd like to thank chaplain and Philly for the perfect opportunity to introduce a case I've been looking into for some time now – a case where standard medical treatment was refused and was "reported to the newsies" and that the chaplain and PhillyChief must have missed in all their robust distaste for religion – the case of Kayla Knight. When I say "looking into," I mean with the full investigative rigor of somebody conducting a real-world, publishable analysis, too: Personal cross-interviews, analysis of pertinent documents, research and cross-checking of facts. As the title implies, this introductory and very general post won't be my only one about this case, rest assured.
In May of 2008, Kayla Knight was eleven years old and living in Whitehouse, Texas, when she was diagnosed with a large brain tumor. The tumor was discovered in the advanced stages of development via X-ray at their local emergency room, where Knight was admitted with complaints of recurring headaches that were increasing in severity. Emergency room staff suggested that the Knight family see a neurologist "immediately." Amy Knight – Kayla's mother – found a neurologist in Tyler who would accept Medicaid, and a subsequent CAT scan and MRI appeared to confirm what the family feared most. Kayla was sent to a specialist outside Dallas for further confirmation.
In Dallas, a doctor who asks to remain unnamed confirmed the tumor's presence and that it had grown significantly. This doctor has specifically stated a desire to steer clear of any media circus. The initial prognosis was grim, with Kayla being offered an operation that had a roughly 95% chance of killing her, or the option of doing nothing and likely dying in as little as two weeks.
Amy and Kayla went home to think on it. The next morning, Kayla told Amy she'd rather live the last of her days enjoying and loving her family than caught up in a medical whirlwind, and they took the matter to their local church, Whitehouse First Assembly. Led by pastor Michael Fleming, over a dozen people prayed for and laid hands on Kayla, who essentially resigned herself to fate.
Long story short (for now), a subsequent MRI from the same doctor revealed something strange: The tumor had completely disappeared. Accordingly, the doctor was quite confused, and a third MRI again confirmed the tumor's absence. This was reported on KLTV 7 News, an ABC affiliate. Still, the little information that does exist about this case is scant, with over 95% of it coming from Christian bloggers claiming "proof" of miracles who simply copy-and-paste Clint Yeatts original KLTV transcript adding nothing new to the discussion. That is what motivated me to dig deeper and contact involved parties for myself. I testify that I've held private discussions with Amy Knight and other involved parties in this case, in which information has been disclosed that is not in the traditional reports.
And yes, we'll get to it.
I fully concede the possibility that future evidence could prove this case to be fraudulent or erroneous. Although I will certainly continue ongoing research, the point (for now) is, False Argument #30 tells us there are no reported cases where people have denied medical treatment and lived to make the news.
PhillyChief and the chaplain are of course free to deny the credibility of the Knight case, and that's what I fully expect them to do as skeptics. That's all they can do, because miracle claims aren't falsifiable – but I'll bet Kayla doesn't mind.
NOTE: Apparently this post reminded the chaplain who was correct, and she has amended her claim: "I read about Kayla Knight's story recently, but had forgotten it. I'll amend my comment accordingly: one person that I know of has stepped up to tell such a story." the chaplain, May 17, 2009 4:18pm