Thursday 3 April 2014

One Doctor's Miracle

"Everyone in the room went silent, not a sound.  If it were night, you'd only hear the sound of the crickets singing their songs." (Jack Bradley)

Jack Bradley got into photojournalism to travel the world.  He was a combat photographer in Korea and had seen it all.  So it was quite an adjustment when he came back to the United States and had to settle for a job with a small town newspaper in Illinois.  It had been 20 years since he started working for the Journal Star.  He wrote human interest stories, accompanied by pictures taken with his Brownie-like camera with the stereotypical giant flash bulb.  It seemed like his boss gave him the same humdrum assignments day after day, week after week, year after year.  

But all of that changed on what seemed like an average day in February of 1974.  Jack and his colleague were dispatched to a doctor's office in Peoria.  Jack grabbed his camera, his colleague grabbed his notepad and pen (there were no laptops back then) and they headed out the door.  

At the doctor's office, Jack noticed a group of burly men whom he assumed were from the Medical Board. A doctor stood ready for the test to commence.  A nurse stood beside him ready to assist.  And the patient, a 5 year old boy with light brown hair and brown eyes, sat waiting in anticipation.  Jack raised his camera ready to shoot.  The doctor placed a small ear piece in his ear.  The little boys eyes almost popped out of his head: He could hear for the first time in his life!  "No one spoke for several minutes after that doctor pulled that switch."  They had witnessed a miracle.

According to Jack, in his 25 year career as a photographer, this was the "most magnificent photo" he had ever captured.  He didn't need to travel the world to get the scoop -- it happened right in his own backyard.

Harold Whittles hears for the first time courtesy

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