John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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Chris sees Dr. Black

1965, the year that changed my life
“…if Chris is cured.”

February 1965
 1. Chris used to see Dr. Cashman at Victoria Hospital, Blackpool, about his fits, but when Dr. Cashman moved away he was put on a Dr. Black’s list of outpatients at Wesham Park Hospital. Dr. Black was not as nice as Dr. Cashman. Chris used to see him every couple of months.

 2. After Pastor Williams had prayed for Chris, he kept his normal appointment, which would probably be at the end of February-time.
 Chris’s parents thought it would perhaps be better if they went in first to explain the situation.
 Of course, Chris didn’t hear any of this, but his Mum reported the conversation afterwards when they were back in the car going home. “What did he say, Mum?” Chris asked.
 She said, “Well, we just went in and said, ‘We’ve got something to tell you, Dr. Black. Chris is better.’
ETTER?’ he said, ‘What do you mean?’”
 And she told Chris how they had related his story briefly to Dr. Black.
 Then Fido, appearing quite pleased with himself and rather smug, told Chris that Dr. Black had asked, “‘Are you saying then that this illness was purely spiritual?’
 “‘No,’ I said, ‘I’m not’” He paused. “‘I’m not saying it wasn’t, either.’ That got him! That fixed him!”
 It was as though Fido had been fencing against a deft opponent and succeeded in scoring a point.

"Chris’s parents thought it would perhaps be better if they went in first to explain the situation…": "his Mum…", "Fido…" — 1972 photo
 3. It was then that Dr. Black had called Chris in and questioned him about this “faith healer”.
 “Are you still taking your tablets?” he asked him.
 “Did this ‘faith healer’ tell you to stop taking them?”
 But Chris did not “incriminate” Pastor Williams. “No,” he said. “I just don’t think I need to take them any more.”

 4. Dr. Black admitted to Fido that he was sceptical about the reality of this “cure”. But he added that he did not rule it out completely, since he himself was “a practising Christian.” Those were his words.
 Dr. Black said to Chris that although his fits may have stopped for the time being, there was a danger of his having a relapse; he might have a series of very severe fits, if he didn’t take his tablets.
 Of course, Chris was totally convinced otherwise.

 5. Then he asked Chris to wait outside and spoke again to his parents. He would like Christopher to come to Lancaster for an EEG. Dr. Black was based in Lancaster; he just held a clinic one day a week at Wesham.

 6. Chris went along to Lancaster Moor hospital with just his Dad. His Dad came in with him, which he wouldn’t normally do, and sat at his side while they did the EEG.

 7. The next visit to Wesham was Chris’s last. Again Dr. Black spoke privately to his Mum and Dad first.
 “What were the results of the EEG?” Chris’s Dad asked.
 On the way home, Chris’s Mum did most of the “impersonations” when she related to Chris what had happened, and she said, “Oh! No worse!”, as though he had waved his hand and dismissed it.
 Fido felt that the way Dr. Black said it, indicated that he was covering up an improvement.

 8. Dr. Black called Chris in, questioned him about his general state of health, then sent him out again. He told Fido that he expected that it would not be too long before he saw Chris again; he expressed his scepticism to the very end.
 “I wonder if this has hurt his professional pride?” mused Fido.

Another visit to the Williamses and to Sharon

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