The 700 Club with Pat Robertson


Reading, Writing, & Beating Cancer

By Shannon Woodland
The 700 Club“My ya ya, which is Greek for grandmother, told me as a boy that God has plans for you one day,” recounts David Sumrell.  “So all throughout my life I always knew this, but I didn’t understand it, never, never for any reason in this world I would ever thought God would do something so wonderful.”

David has led a rough and active life, traveling extensively around the world.   He finally understood his grandmother’s words after an earth-shattering diagnosis of inocular melanoma and a dramatic healing.

David was on a trip in Africa when he lost sight in his left eye.  After months of visits to eye specialists, he was given the bad news.

“Melanoma is very severe and frequently fatal,” explains Dr. Robert Deaton.  “They wanted to remove the eye and look for metastases elsewhere.”

Dr. Deaton of the Veterans Affair Medical Center in Hampton, Virginia, kept record of the treatment recommended by retinol specialists.  Since David refused to let doctors remove his eye, instead, radioactive plaque was placed behind his left eye for five days.    The procedure seemed to be successful.  It killed the cancer but David still lost his sight in his left eye.  He returned to work.  But a year later, David was in trouble again.

Says David, “One day I thought I had a piece of sand right here at the side of my neck.”

The 700 Club: At what point did you see him with this?

Dr. Deaton:  This time he came in very quickly, in about 72 hours. And we quickly had the surgeon excise it and have it analyzed.

What the surgeons removed was metastatic malignant melanoma.  The cancer that began in David’s eye had spread to the lymph system.  And another test revealed the cancer had spread to the liver and lungs.  The diagnosis – melanoma stage four.

The cancer specialists determined no treatment would help him.  They prescribed painkillers.  His sister drove him home from the hospital.

“And I’ve got my eyes shut and I’m thanking the Lord of all the blessings He’s given me in my life,” David remembers,  “for my children, to see them grow up to the ages they were, and I said, ‘Lord, if it’s your will for me to go, I’m ready for that.’”

But here is where David did something out of the ordinary. 

Says David, “And I said if you give me the opportunity, I’ll write three books in your honor.”

The weird thing is, David had never written a book in his life!

“So I sat down and wrote my first book in 11 and a half weeks,” David says.

The 700 Club:  Now you’re supposed to be, let’s do the math, that’s two months, you’re supposed to be dead at this point.

David:  I’m three months into my six month period, then, as soon as I put the end on the book, I started my second book.  I wrote the title to it, and I started writing my second book, I wrote that one in five and a half weeks.

David was tested on a regular basis to observe the melanoma cancer.  But in May 2005, he returned to Dr. Deaton’s office complaining of aches and pains.  Radiology tests that had previously been administered were read.

“So I went in and I said, Doc, I think this is muscular.  I don’t think its cancer,” says David.  “And he said, ‘why do you think that?’  And I said ‘because when I try to turn my head it runs all the way down the back of my leg.  It doesn’t seem like cancer.’  He said, ‘what have you been doing?’  Well, I’ve been writing my second book, and I said ‘I’ve been at the computer about 20 hours a day.’  And he said no wonder you have stiffness.  I’m going to give you a prescription for a muscle relaxant.  And as he’s writing this muscle relaxant prescription he looks at the computer and says, ‘by the way, your last x-rays were negative, and your labs were,’ and I said, ‘whoa Doc, what did you say?

Dr. Deaton: there was no evidence of tumor. 

The 700 Club:  As a physician and clinically speaking, how do you explain that?

Dr. Deaton:  It’s very hard.  You can’t explain things of this sort in modern medicine.  You have to recognize what has occurred, acknowledge that it’s there.

A year later, David had a complete metastatic workup to check eyes, neck, lungs and liver.

“Well, they ran the tests,” David explains.  “And they couldn’t find any cancer in my body.  They said there’s nothing in there and that’s when I knew that God had accepted my offer.”

David is active in his Greek orthodox church in Norfolk, Virginia. He loves to tell people that God had great plans for him and those great plans involved a miracle.

The 700 Club:  “Why are you here today to tell us this story?”

David:  I don’t know.  I don’t know but God does.  And by sharing this story, people ask how it happened. What did you do?  And God is the only one who can give us the miracle.”

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