Blog Post

Vatican to Investigate Kansas Miracle

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Writer A Vatican investigator is expected to arrive in Colwyn, Kansas this Friday to investigate the miraculous recovery of a 20 year-old man who suffered catastrophic head injuries during a pole-vault accident in October. The family prayed to a fellow Kansan, Rev. Emil Kapaun, a U.S. Army chaplain from Pilsen, Kansas, who died in a Korean prison camp and whose cause for sainthood is currently under investigation. According to reports in the Wichita Eagle and the Topeka Capital-Journal, the Vatican has dispatched Andrea Ambrosi, a lawyer, to investigate the case which involved Chase Kear who fractured his skull from ear to ear during a pole-vault accident on Oct. 2 at Hutchinson Community College.  With two sections of his brain bleeding, doctors were forced to remove part of Chase's skull to give his brain room to expand. However, days after the surgery, he remained unresponsive, eyes open, staring blankly past family members. Doctors did not expect him to make it or, if he did, they believed he would require special needs hospitalization for the rest of his life.   His parents, Paul and Paula Kear, were not willing to give up on their son and began praying to Fr. Kapaun as soon as the accident happened. As Chase’s prognosis grew dimmer, parishioners at the family’s parish, Sacred Heart Church in Colwich, joined the family in imploring Fr. Kapaun for Chase’s recovery. Finally, on his 10th day in the hospital, a nurse asked Chase to squeeze her hand if he understood what she was saying and he did. "That's when we knew he was in there," Paula Kear said. Chase went on to recover fully, with no permanent brain damage, and was home in time for Christmas. His neurosurgeon, Raymond Grundmeyer, told The Witchita Eagle that he believes Chase’s survival was miraculous. Dr. Grundmeyer will be one of the people Ambrosi will interview during his visit to Kansas this week. If he agrees with the doctor that Chase’s survival was miraculous, the case will move forward and Fr. Kapaun, whose cause for canonization was opened on June 29, 2008, will be one step closer to beatification. Fr. John Hotze, the judicial vicar for the Wichita diocese, has been investigating Fr. Kapaun’s case for eight years and said the church has considered making him a saint ever since soldiers coming out of prisoner-of-war camps in 1953 told tales of the priest’s heroism and faith. Depending on how the cause progresses, Fr. Kapaun could be only the third American-born person to be canonized a saint. However, Fr. Kapaun is already a saint in the eyes of many Kansans, especially the family of Chase Kear. “There is no doubt in anyone’s mind in our family that Father Kapaun helped save our son,” his mother said. For a more indepth story of Fr. Kapaun, visit /blog/?p=20 (C) All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace®