Dying man granted last wish to be baptized

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WKRG)– A man dying of Stage Four Lung Cancer is granted his dying wish, thanks to the staff at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Thomas Roberts had only days to live but felt compelled to be baptized. There was one small problem: He wanted to be submerged in water but could only be removed from his oxygen tubes for a short amount of time. The doctors and nurses performed a “miracle” and made it happen.

Here is a portion of the article written by Holly Gainer, in UAB’s Public Relations office.

“Roberts, who was a patient on the Palliative Care and Comfort Unit at UAB at the time, had only days to live. Upon learning of his request, Agricola spoke with Roberts’ physician, Ashley Nichols, M.D., to make sure he was able to be off oxygen long enough to go underwater.

Once he had her approval and knew the pool at Spain Rehabilitation Center was available, the team jumped into action. 

“Dr. Nichols made it clear he would only be able to be off oxygen for a few seconds, which meant we couldn’t roll him down the ramp in the pool wheelchair, so we had to use the chairlift to place him in the pool,” Agricola said.

UAB Office of Public Relations

Surrounded by his wife, son, two sisters, niece and nephew, and his UAB care team, Roberts was lowered into the water, where Agricola and physical therapist Marissa Smith were waiting for him.

“I have served in the ministry over 20 years and seven of those at UAB. This is the greatest day of my career,” Agricola told Roberts and his family at the start of the celebration. “Thomas, you never thought you would preach a sermon in your life; but you preached today. You made an impact on people who you do not even know.”

After a reading of Romans 6:4-11, Smith removed Thomas’ oxygen tubes, while Agricola held him in his arms.”

UAB Office of Public Relations

You can read the rest of the article here. It is very touching.

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