Joe Farley: Struck by God's Power
By Jeremy Callahan
The 700 Club
Joe: It was a beautiful day. Beautiful day. I was hitting the ball real well.
It wasn’t often that Joe Farley went golfing when family came to visit. He and his brother-in-law, Daniel were on a fairway in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. They were enjoying a great round when they noticed a thunderstorm brewing in the distance. They quickly made their way towards cover.
Daniel: I was out 4 or 5 steps when this bolt of lightning came down, and the next thing I know I was on the ground. I could feel it going through me like you’ve got shocked by 110.
The lightning struck Joe directly on the head and he now layed unconscious on the ground. Daniel got up and rushed over to him.
Daniel: He didn’t have pulse. He wasn’t breathing. So I started CPR on him. At first, it didn’t work and it really scared me when you see something like that. You could smell burnt flesh, which is a terrible smell. All of a sudden he came around. He was alive, but he wasn’t conscious.
Without a cell phone, Daniel yelled at the golfers behind them who called 911. Within minutes, the ambulance rushed them to the hospital, while Daniel arranged for Joe’s wife to meet them there.
Dawn Farley: I think I was in shock. It was almost like I was living a dream, okay, Joe’s been struck by lightning, right? I got to the hospital, I went in. They were actually at the time when I first saw him putting staples in his head.
Daniel left the accident without injuries, while Joe began treatment at St. Luke’s Hospital in Bethlehem. Dr. James Cipolla remembers his case.
Dr. Cipolla: With Joe having been reported as dead in the field and that being substantiated by multiple bystanders and EMS, those patients—you would expect them to have something with the range of weeks to months of recovery. He described his pain as 10 out of 10 in both arms, specifically that if felt like a thousand little needles were pressing in his arms constantly, and he had some weakness as well in the upper extremities.
Joe: I’ll never forget the pain. The pain was bad. I literally said cut my arms off, it was so bad. They said that the lightning went down the arms, into the hands and actually destroyed the nerves and muscle tissue. They tried taking the morphine out of my arm and my body went almost like in convulsions. It went crazy.
Joe is a Christian, and had family and friends praying for a full recovery.
Dawn: As soon as people found out that this had happened, um, everybody was praying. And I can only say there was a peace that came over me.
Alone in his room that night, Joe never considered how unusual his recovery would happen… until he was startled by something that woke him.
Joe: 3:00 in the morning, I woke up like you and I just sitting here, just as bright as can be. And all I heard was, get out of bed, you’ve been healed. I heard the voice and the voice, this is hard to believe, vibrated right through my body. It wasn’t like any voice that I’ve ever heard before. It was a powerful voice, though. It scared me so much that I had no –I just did it. I took the morphine off me, (which they tried hours before that and couldn’t), took the IV’s out of me, took the oxygen off me, threw the blanket back and hopped on my feet.
A doctor rushed in and found joe standing by the bed.
Joe: I grabbed him by the shirt collar. I said, you a doctor? And he goes, yes. I go, good, we’re going for a walk. I said if I fall, you pick me up. He’s like oh, okay. And I walked around the trauma center. There was no pain, there wasn’t—there wasn’t anything.
At 6 am, another doctor came in to check on Joe.
Joe: I looked at her, hopped on my feet, went over and grabbed a hold of her hand. I said, let’s go for a walk. And her face went blank. I mean, just totally blank. She goes, did you sleep last night? I said yeah, I slept like a baby. Till 3:00 in the morning. I said then Jesus told me to get out of bed, that I was healed. And I go, when we go back to the room, I want you to bring every machine that you have into that room and you check me out. I said cause I think I can go home.
Doctors performed a series of comprehensive tests . They were amazed at the results.
Dr. James Cipolla: Someone who comes in having been dead in the field and going home 48 hours later is dramatic. We were a little bit pleasantly surprised that he did not have something of a structural nature of damage to the brain or to the upper part of his spinal cord. In general, he looked like he was getting his daily strength back.
Only two days after being struck by 10 million volts of lighting, the staples were removed from his head and Joe was released to go home.
Dawn: One day they’re saying rehab to try to write and eat and he couldn’t walk. And then the next day, he’s walking and going home.
Joe: A couple days later, I got the mirror out so I could see the back of my head. And noticed that there’s no—no scars or no tissue. There was nothing there.
Exactly one month after the accident, Joe returned to work. He still has the hat he was wearing when he was struck.
Joe: It was always my favorite hat anyway. But now it’s got a hole into it. I’m a skeptical person. I got to see things, I got to touch things. And what happened to me, it was Jesus—it was Jesus. I got hit by lightning that should have blown me apart, I should have been—I should be fertilizer out on the golf course right now.
Dawn: I really believe it was just the prayers of everyone.
Joe: Everybody goes, oh it was a miracle. No. It’s way, way above that. It’s only because of God’s grace that I’m sitting here. That’s the only reason.
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