“This little boy lay there in his father’s arms — his mother had been sent out into the field,” Bushman said. “With no anesthesia his leg was opened up, his bone was exposed, three pairs of holes were bored into his little shin bone and they pulled off that exterior bone to show the infection underneath and to clean that out, and then sew him back up.”
Afterwards, Bushman continued, “there were 14 pieces of bone scraps that came working their way to the surface It was a horrible experience for the young man.”
Horrible though it may have been, including three years of painful recovery, many Smith family members, including Elder M. Russell Ballard of the LDS Church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, are convinced that it was nonetheless miraculous.
“This surgery was truly miraculous,” said Elder Ballard, a direct descendant of young Joseph's elder brother, Hyrum, in a letter inviting Smith family members to participate in the 5K. “The surgery on young Joseph’s leg saved his life and gave him the fortitude to endure the unbelievably difficult trials and challenges of the Restoration. That work would have been insurmountable had Joseph lost his leg.”
Elder Ballard will be present at Joseph’s Miracle Run to give medals to all who participate. Proceeds from the run will go to provide a “gift of gratitude” to assist an aspiring medical student at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine in Joseph Smith’s name and in memory of Dr. Smith.
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