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 | By Tim Ryan

Lasting Healing

For Dani Laurion, There’s New Joy in the Everyday Tasks Most of Us Take for Granted

For many people, it’s difficult to grasp what Dani Laurion has experienced during the past year.

In March, she and her husband, Doug, went to a parish mission at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Lansing. At one point, the mission leader asked people to come forward, and Dani felt compelled to respond. As she stepped forward, it became clear something very special was happening—after all, Dani had been confined to a wheelchair for almost 13 years before that night.

In 2009, Dani was diagnosed with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), a circulatory disorder that rendered her unable to stand or breathe on her own. Compounding the situation further, Dani had a tracheotomy in 2017. This left her with a hole in her throat and a plastic valve where a ventilator was attached.

But that night at St. Mary’s, everything changed. 

Dani sat in the pew with Doug, her mom, and a friend. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Dani lost herself in worship and song. She raised her hands into the air, asking God to hold her fast, like a child. 

The worship leader, Dr. Mary Healy, recalls receiving knowledge from the Lord in that moment: “The Lord is inflating lungs tonight,” Dr. Healy said aloud.

As Dani lowered her arms, she describes what felt like a rush of water down through her ears and into her body, and as Dr. Healy spoke the word of knowledge that someone’s lungs were being filled, Dani unhooked her ventilator, took a breath, then two, and she was free.

But there was more in store for Dani that evening. When asked to come forward, she was at first hesitant, yet compelled… Doug asked if he should get her chair ready, but she said no, and then stood. Holding on to Doug’s arm they walked forward, then to everyone’s surprise, she let go of his arm and sped on ahead of him to the altar.

And today, nine months later, Dani is still walking and breathing on her own.

So how do we, as people of faith, interpret this? Perhaps Dani has the best advice of all.

“We are all loved and favored by God,” Dani says. “The question is whether we are aware of and trust those favors. This trust is rooted in our relationship with God.”

Dani says her physical health, while challenging, was only a piece of the puzzle for her.

Before their marriage, she says, Doug challenged her long-standing image of God. Dani had always envisioned a faceless God who only wanted to experiment with her by constructing her out of leftover broken parts. Doug asked a simple question… how could she trust in a faceless God? 

At that moment it dawned on her that this faceless image could not be God, and in fact was likely the Devil trying to discourage her from the “big thing” for which she was destined. This breakthrough was also a catalyst for their spiritual journey together. They sought out a parish and ultimately found a home at St. Mary Cathedral. They joined a prayer group that would occasionally pray over Dani, and after one such event, Doug was convinced that Dani was ready to be healed. 

When they learned of the parish mission, Doug thought it was time. Dani’s expectation was simply that God would somehow make things easier for her. Dr. Healy, however, encouraged her to “pray big”… don’t limit God. 

Since her healing, Dani and Doug have been busy sharing their story of hope. Obviously, the Devil doesn’t like the idea of this message getting out, so Dani is tuned into spiritual movements including the inevitable spiritual attacks. Dani and Doug pray together, continue to meet with their prayer group, and have enrolled in the Encounter School for Ministry in Brighton, Michigan to grow in their faith life and encourage others to do the same. 

The main message that Dani and Doug want us all to take from their story is that we are all worthy and have the capacity to be healed. But it’s up to us to be aware of and open to the many favors bestowed by God … the gift has already been given, don’t be afraid to accept it.