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It was a Saturday, 3 am, November 13, 2004. I had wakened to go to the bathroom. As I got up, I keeled over, hitting a TV on a low table. I was disoriented, still sleepy, quite angry at myself as I struggled to my feet, in vain. Our room was dark and I made a racket, just trying to get up.

As my whole family wakened, I realized that I had lost all control over my right side. I used my left side and I finally got to the urinal, assisted by my wife.

As it was 3am and no one could bring me anywhere, we prayed as a family our devotion to "Our Lord of Pardon".

I awoke at 6am. I could stand up! I hugged my children. It was a miracle!

I spent the morning puttering about. It was a normal work day.

Lunchtime, my right side had collapsed. I stayed upstairs.

My friend Mat, arrived just in time to pray over me. He asked me, "where do you want me to take you?" I said, "I don.t know what.s wrong, take me to town." My eldest son, Jonathan came with us. We arrived at Dr. Jov Guevarra.s clinic, just in time that his wife, Dra. Ednalyn Guevarra arrived. She checked my blood pressure on an old mercury type sphygmomanometer. She dropped her stethoscope, "Joel your bp is over 300!" She began yelling for Catapres! Catapres! I promptly crushed and swallowed 2, then a third.

Then Jov arrived, he gave me emergency meds which his brother Dr. Ulysses Guevarra, (who was also on the phone) kept inside his table drawer – just for occasions such as this.

I was asked to lie down until my blood pressure stabilized. After about an hour, it dropped to 240. Dr. Guevarra told me to go to Asian hospital, an hour away. Mat and Celen, his wife, took me. Violaine had replaced Jonathan, who "held the fort. at home.It was about 7pm, when we arrived at Asian Hosital.

We were met by Nanet Gamboa and her husband Babes. Nanet had recommended her personal cardiologist, who was not yet there. Dr. Ulyses Guevarra was also there with his family, he had brought my daughter Liaa.In the emergency room, my bp dropped to 220. I was brought to a normal room. I was told that they would attempt to lower my blood pressure to normal over a few days.Over the next couple of days, I could not sleep. My greatest fear was that, if I fell asleep, I might wake up a paraplegic. After four sleepless days and nights, I was exhausted and could only pray, "Lord tinatanggap ko na. Ikaw na ang bahala sa akin." (Lord, I accept. I put myself in Your hands." I was knocked out and slept like a baby.

After 5 days, and a complete double round of checkups: complete blood chem, chem. 21, xrays, ultrasounds, MRAs, my cardiologist told me that:

  • I had had a lacunar infarction of the basal ganglia of the left side my brain. A bit of cholesterol lodged inside a blood vessel and caused a clot, depriving a part of my brain of blood flow and killing part of my brain. It was my third such clot; preceded by two clots which were probably TIA's or transient ischemic attacks. This third clot had done the most damage; paralyzing my right side from my face to my toes.

  • I probably had hyperlipidimia – my liver produced and failed to reabsorb large amounts of cholesterol. My blood cholesterol was about 500% above normal. My SGPT, triglycerides and uric acid levels were also above maximum. I was subsequently able to find out that my brothers and sister had it to, in varying degrees and versions.

  • I would need to undergo therapy.

  • I needed to change my lifestyle.I needed to take heavy doses of medicine just to get me back to "normal..

I promised I would and asked Dr. Ernesto Chua to discharge me. I told him that I was not going to get well in the hospital. I needed the fresh air, coolness and quiet of my home on the farm.

We prayed every night our devotion to "Our Lord of Pardon" asking the Lord to heal me; to show us the way.

After a few days, I got a call, "Bro, naka pasa na si Ate, may bagong rehab clinic na siya!" (Bro, my elder sister has passed the board, she now has a new rehab clinic). It was Butch Noche, a member of Our Lord of Pardon prayer group, a good friend.

Next day, I showed up in Dr. Emily Noche.s clinic in Balayan, Batangas for two rounds of Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy.

My therapists found that: I could not write or use my right hand; my right shoulder had fallen, was painful and had weakened; my right hip muscles and stomach muscles were not working; my right hamstrings were not working; my right thigh muscles and knee muscles were not working; my right dorsi flexor, shin muscles, foot and toe muscles were not working. My speech slurred and the right side of my face had fallen.

In short, I was almost totally paralyzed in my right side.

A couple of days later, I was in Dr. Bubay Castandiello.s clinic nearby. Bubay is a master acupuncturist and is Emily.s first cousin. Fortunately I knew them personally, this helped a lot. I was to undergo more than twenty sessions with Dr.Bubay. She started with about ten needles in the conventional acupuncture points. Later on, she was using the more esoteric and little known acupuncture points using less needles. During the last sessions, she used only two needles. By this time, I had gotten more sensitive. I felt the "chi" flowing to the areas where she wanted it to flow; revitalizing and strengthening them.

Dra. Emily, Bubay and her husband, Joseph would do Reiki on my affected side during my first sessions of acupuncture. I could feel their energies stimulating my affected side.

The next week, my wife was able to track down the best reflexologist that we know, Ilona Enriquez. Before our first session, I said, "Ilona, na stroke ako." She said, "di bale po, gagaling na kayo." (it doesn.t matter, you will get well). My reflexologist discovered all the other hidden muscles that did not work and that a lot of arteries and veins in both my legs had been constricted by my stroke.

After a few weeks, a visitor commented on my limping right leg, I told him about my stroke. He turned out to be an accu-pressurist.

I was almost finished completing my therapy in Balayan, when an engineer I had not seen for a very long time arrived. He had just finished making a very powerful electromagnet. He asked me if I wanted to try it. He magnetized my right arm and shoulder for about three hours. I found that this had "unlocked my right hand and arm". Mobilizing of these parts had begun.

I visited my neurologist. I asked him when I could begin driving again. He looked askance at me in a wheelchair and said, "Mr. Magsaysay, let us be realistic, you will never get back to normal again". I immediately realized that he had reached the limits of his experience, I said goodbye, never to see him again.

Next day, my kids had an evening function and my driver was absent. I drove to their school. We even ate out.

I would drive myself to Balayan, a 1 ½ hour trip. Do 4 hours of therapy and 1 hour of acupuncture. And drive all the way back to Silang. It took 4 ½ months for me to drive from the moment of my stroke. After a year, my therapists and acupuncturist graduated me.

Such was the response of the Lord.

He led, we followed.

The regimen He taught me was inter disciplinary:

  • What my therapists discovered, my acupuncturist addressed.

  • What my accu-pressurist uncovered, my reflexologist addressed.

  • What all of them were rehabilitating, my acupuncturist addressed.

  • My doctors sort of validated my healing.

Some months later, I had been graduated by my Occupational therapist, but my right leg was still not working properly. I still was using a light cane and could not drive.

I had cut down on my medicines and was slowly shifting to natural means. I decided I was ready for the last straw.

One afternoon, I returned from my physical therapy and acupuncture sessions. I asked my youngest child Marian to get some bees and help them sting me directly on the acupuncture needle marks. Eight stings in all. I felt the familiar searing, but somehow comforting, pain.

Next day, our driver was absent. There was no one to fetch my children from a school function that lasted until 8pm.

I was able to drive again!

The bee stings were the last hurrah in a medley of natural and supernatural methods that we employed:

  • My new diet consists of mostly fruits and vegetables plus fish. I avoid all fried foods, all meats: pork and beef. I avoid all processed or preserved foods. When we eat out, I make sure to tell the cook to avoid the MSG and I tend to order only seafood. Invariably, I take a mug of coffee first thing in the morning - my only indulgence. Then a bowlful of fruits in season topped with home made muesli and liberally doused with honey. Lunch is the heaviest meal; followed with a light and early dinner. My day is punctuated with overdoses of all our products. My blood pressure has remained a consistent 110/70. Blood chem test results are all for a twenty year old.

  • For speech therapy, I read verses from the Holy Bible aloud every morning during prayers. I especially love reading Psalms. My speech was the first thing, which was healed.

  • To help rest my liver and to make it function properly, I was taking at least a triple dose of honey daily.

  • To keep my blood pressure and cholesterol down, I take 3 cloves of garlic, two tablespoons of honey, a tablespoon of honey cider vinegar in a glass of water all before going to sleep. I overdose on royal jelly, for rehabilitating my nerves and for good sleep.

  • To maintain my energy and stamina during the grueling occupational therapy and physical therapy sessions, I take a teaspoonful of pollen and took along a jar of honey that I took liberally with lots of water.

  • I take a swig of propolis from time to time to build up my immune system.

  • I have changed my lifestyle and eating habits. This is the most difficult. Even more difficult than bee stings. Fruits (especially papayas and bananas), vegetables, fish and slivers of meat just to kill the longing.

  • Early to bed at about 8pm, early to rise at about 5am.

  • Lots of fresh air and mild exercise. Walking is best.

  • Mat has been praying over me once a week.

  • To date, I maintain my reflexology sessions and my bee stings. All other therapies have rendered themselves superfluous. I still feel improvements even after more than a year.

  • A special note. For maximum effectiveness, here is how we do my reflexology sessions:

  • I prepare by blocking off all activities for a half day, usually Monday, our day off.

  • 30 minutes before the session, I take overdoses of honey, honey cider vinegar, propolis and royal jelly.

Very hot shower, making sure to take a long time to soak my affected muscles in the hottest water I can stand. This is my substitute for the more effective hydrotherapy. Immediate massage. You will need to find a masseuse who is expert – knowing what muscles are weak and how to massage them. This, together with a good reflexology session will work wonders. We start with bee propolis liniment as a base coating. This penetrates to the deeper layers of muscles and tissue. It "delivers. the second coating to the underlying layers. Afterwards, we put Royal Jelly Face Oil on top of the liniment only on my affected muscles, as a second coating. Our Face Oil is an ancient formula that is over a hundred years old. It was used to rehabilitate the tissues, skin and nerves of a girl who was thrown through a windshield and was terribly mangled and scarred that she was paralyzed. Regular massage with this oil healed her. We add royal jelly to rejuvenate the underlying layers, especially the nerves. We put liniment and Healing Massage Oil on my non-affected muscles. I make sure to keep warm and rested afterwards. I take a very hot shower 6 to 8 hours after each session using only our natural soap and shampoo, then immediately go to sleep. This is a rather elaborate procedure that I do not ordinarily recommend. But, if you are paralyzed, its worth a try until you are well again, like me. I receive this session in front of our altar and I listen to or sing hymns throughout the procedure. This is the most effective method of all, 1 st century technology – prayer – in gratitude and thanksgiving to the Creator, the Giver and the Healer.

It is March 2006, about 15 months since my stroke. The facial disfigurement is gone. My speech is faultless. I have regained my handwriting. Last January, my bank teller told me, "Mr. Magsaysay! Nakuha nyo uli ang pirma nyo!" (Mr. Magsaysay, you got your signature back!). My right stomach muscles, right hip and buttocks are ok. My arm and shoulder are fine. I am walking all the time. Some muscles in my right leg are a little spastic and my walking coordination and timing is a little

off, especially when I.m tired. Fine tuning the rehabilitated muscles and getting them coordinated is all that is needed. Praise the Lord!

It is now November 2010. Hindsight has taught me some things:

  • When we pray, He answers. But we have to be absolutely quiet, to hear.

  • When we hear the answers, we should not hesitate to obey without question.

  • Healing begins with acceptance and surrendering everything to the Lord.

  • He will replace despondency and depression with His supernatural positive attitude. I always thought I would get well.

  • We must believe we are getting well and we must trust that we are going to be fully well.

  • Perseverance, tenacity and boundless enthusiasm has to come from us. Remember, when He fed the 5,000, He first asked for leftover loaves and fish.

  • A real miracle contains many backup miracles. I offer beestings on Wednesdays to all who have tried everything and are not getting well. Many people are getting well.

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