Collin Stoddard Receives Gift of Creation
By Audra Smith
The 700 Club
From the time Collin Stoddard was a toddler, the piano drew him like a magnet. His parents saw his fascination and enrolled him in piano lessons at age five.
“With Collin, he especially had fun with the piano, more than most children,” said his mother, Keli Stoddard. “He even liked to get underneath the piano and put his hands up under and play backwards.”
“My piano teacher would teach me to read music and it was easier just to say, ‘I’ll just learn it by ear.’ It would drive my piano teacher crazy,” Collin said. So, I learned how to play many songs just by ear.”
But as Collin developed a passion for music, major complications with his ears also developed—complications that left doctors predicting that he would eventually be hearing impaired. Due to a series of severe colds and ear infections, at only 6-months-old, Collin’s ear drums had ruptured repeatedly.
“Those colds started when he was around 6 months of age,” Keli said. “But then he would get a cold that would be so bad that he would wake up at nighttime crying and there would be blood on the pillow. Then I knew that the ear drums had ruptured.”
Doctors decided to place tubes in Collin’s ears to release the pressure in his ear canals. However, the tubes had a destructive effect on the ears. Their doctor said that most tubes fall out or are taken out and tympanic membrane heals up on its own; but there are a few cases where a hole fails to heal.
The tubes had caused his ear drums to deteriorate completely.
“Our doctor was kind to let us look at Collin’s ears at almost every doctor’s office,” Keli said. “So I had personally looked through a giant otoscope and seen little tiny scar tissue that was lining the ear canal. It was discolored and it looked dead and was totally rolled back. You could see straight into Collin’s inner ear. I had seen that many, many times. So I know enough to know that without an ear drum there, he shouldn’t be able to hear.”
“What we were seeing with Collin though, is that Collin could hear,” Keli said. “His speech was developing way beyond that which would normally be expected. He was incredibly articulate as a 2 and 3-year-old and he loved music from a very, very young age.”
However, despite Collin’s ability to hear, serious complications with his ears still remained. His inner ears were dangerously exposed. Collin needed to undergo a skin graph surgery that would provide long term protection.
Eight-year-old Collin became terrified at the possibility of surgery; so Collin and his mother did something in addition to consulting with the doctors.
“It was comforting to Collin, I think, as a 7-8 year-old, when we were planning these surgeries to say, ‘God is going to heal your ears Collin.’ And those words brought me comfort as I was speaking to my own son,” Keli said.
Collin had one final doctor’s visit to plan the surgery.
“The next day, we go into the doctor’s office. He sat me down on the table and said, ‘I am going to look into your ears one more time and make sure we are good to go,’ As he was looking into my ears, he got really quiet,” Collin said. “He kept changing the magnification on his otoscope. My mom and dad both came with me on this visit, since it was to plan a surgery and everything. And I remember them saying, ‘What’s wrong? What’s the problem here?’”
“And he said, ‘Well, I don’t understand what happened, but Collin has ear drums all of a sudden. He’s got brand new ear drums and I’ve not ever seen ear drums this bright and pink in anything but an infant,’” Collin said.
“My whole stomach just kind of rose up into my throat,” Keli said. “I couldn’t talk at all. I remember kind of backing up against the wall, thinking I need to hold onto the wall because I was so surprised.”
“And me, stating the obvious, as a 7-year-old laying on the table - I go, ‘Oh, well, we prayed!’ And he just kind of looked at me and said, ‘Well, you sure did something, because Collin has brand new ear drums.’”
“And I looked in and it was beautiful,” Keli said. “It was so beautiful. It was pink. It was alive. There was life where there had been death in his ears.”
The doctor said that what may be unusual in Collin’s case was that he hadn’t healed at all; and then within one week, two office visits, he seemed to heal.
Collin went on to excel as a pianist and eventually earned a music degree from Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. Today, Collin travels the country singing and playing the piano as part of the Christian trio, 33 Miles.
“It has been amazing to me how the Lord took the simple idea when I was 5, of oh, we need to put Collin in piano lessons. And the world would say, ‘he doesn’t have ear drums.’ But my parents said, ‘well, that’s okay, because the Lord has a plan,’” Collin said.
Collin acknowledged that 33 Miles is his career and occupation. But, he said it is more than that.
“Really, for me, it is a gift that the Lord has given me to say, ‘I have prepared you for such a time as this.’ It’s just simply about me continuing the music that I felt like the Lord has wanted me to have, ever since being a little child,” he said.
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