What Other Leaders Are Saying
  • Jack Canfield... "Reading Unexpected Miracles made me smile over and over again. I know it will do the same for you. Life is full of miracles. When you expect them, they occur more often... this book will help you create more of them in your life."
  • Dr John Demartini... "One of the benefits of Dr John Hinwood's journey is reflected in his excellent writings, which bring individuals hope, and most definitely a collection of facts, more than just one of fads... he shares a life full of miracles."
  • Mark Victor Hansen... "Having read You Can EXPECT A MIRACLE… The Book To Change Your Life I have only three words for this book. I loved it!"
  • Irena Yashin-Shaw PhD... "If you ever have the opportunity to have John speak to your people or at your event, just grab it. He will literally hand you a miracle. Thanks for everything John."
  • Charles "Tremendous" Jones... "Dr Hinwood's life is filled with miracles because of his great level of expectation. His life of miracles has blessed the lives of thousands around the world because he never sought miracles for selfish reasons."
  • Amanda Vaccaro... "John's 'Expect A Miracle' cards ushers the dimension of possibility and invites each individual to be open to receive from this dimension. This card is now my trigger for daily expectancy and gratitude for wonders and miracles."
  • Dr Brian Kelly... "John has a rare gift of being able to communicate ideas and principles through stories and to empower audiences. It has often been said by participants that they felt he was 'speaking directly to them individually'."

Miracle Story


Peter Sharpham

Our Lady of the Miracles

Submitted into: Miracles Of Self Category,

On: 2009-03-08

I should not be writing this. I should have been taken from this mortal coil' more than once. When I was eight months old I contracted meningitis and was speedily conveyed to the little hospital in Victoria Avenue, Chatswood, north of the Sydney Harbour Bridge where I had been born. That evening my parents were called to my bedside and were told by the specialist, he will not live through the night, there is nothing we can do! My mother who is deeply religious had bought her bible with her and together my parents prayed for my recovery all night by my bedside. I was released within a few days.

When I was five years old I was recovering at home having just had my tonsils and adenoids removed because of persistent sore throat and similar ailments. Suddenly one afternoon my stiches ruptured and I started coughing up blood and could not breathe properly. My parents had recently had a telephone installed in our little rented duplex in Tulip Street, Chatswood. With my brother at school and my father at work my mother had no one to which she could turn. She immediately rang our doctor who rushed to my bedroom and performed first aid which saved my life, with Mum fervently reading her bible lessons by his side. This was the same wonderful doctor who had delivered me five years earlier.

A few years later we moved to North Epping which was mostly paddocks and bushland in the mid 1950s. When I was thirteen my dad allowed me to build a lizard and tortoise pit. One holiday morning I was on a bush ledge five metres about the most handsome blue-tongue lizard I had ever seen. As I was working out how to sneak down the track without startling him I apparently slipped of the moss-covered ledge. I awoke about half an hour later lying on the lizards table-top like sun-bathing rock. No prized lizard, no broken bones, no damage to my body whatsoever. A few days later I told Mum what had happened. Sure enough at the time of my accident my mother had been reading her bible lessons and praying for her family's safety as she always did at that time of the late morning.

When I was sixteen I was with some mates playing golf at North Ryde Golf Course in Sydney. On the second tee I had sliced my drive onto an adjacent fairway. As I approach my golf ball I heard the sudden cry of four, golf language for look out! I looked up to see a golf ball hurtling towards my head. I had no time to duck or move, so fast was it moving. It hit me fully in my lower mouth knocking out one tooth and pushing my lower gum backwards under my tongue. After repeated surgery most of my lower teeth were saved and my gum eventually healed. My Macquarie Street dental specialist was amazed that I was still alive. He calculated that if the golf ball had hit me in the nose or temple or throat I would have died instantly!

On completing high school, I was award a scholarship to study Physical Education at Sydney Teachers' College. At this institution I studied and worked with Dr John Hinwood and also met his delightful wife Judy. At a recent reunion I told John about some of my miracles and he asked me to write this essay.

Later in life as a single parent I moved to the mid north coast of New South Wales where my two sons went to school and I worked as a relief teacher. My boys joined in the local lapidary club and bought home some opals they had bought in the rough and cut into lovely stones. Leif and Eric on leaving school left home to take up an apprenticeship and scholarship respectively.

In 1990 I moved to Coober Pedy in South Australia because I had always wanted to try my hand at opal mining. Books by Ion Idriess on opal mining which I read in my younger days and my sons' opals had fuelled my interest in mining. After a few years of moderate success I became partners with a Hungarian-born miner named Paul Dudas. When were working together I spent some Sundays back on my old claim because I had been finding beautiful opal in small parcels but not in profitable quantity.

Paul in his dry way convinced me to abandon this claim because it was seventy kilometres south of Coober Pedy township. He said, You should take Sundays off, I wouldn't even drive down to Opal Valley for a barbeque and a beer. So I heeded his advice and pulled by claim pegs. Two weeks later a friend of Paul's asked me to take him down to check out my old claim at Opal Valley which I did. As I stood before the mouth of the large walk-in mine my face turned white and I could not speak. The whole mine had collapsed, the roof caving in with sandstone blocks as large as the Great Pyramid of Cheops.

My dear old blue-cattle dog Pixie, who lived for more than fifteen years, would never come into this particular mine. She would only stand guard outside its entrance. She must have known something I did not. Paul Dudas and I did not find much opal as partners but we have started a life-long friendship which to me is far more important than becoming wealthy. I telephone him once a month and call him every Christmas day. He probably saved my life.

While visiting Venice in 1997 I was walking from the Hotel Ala to visit the large white-domed church on the Grand Canal, called the Sacred Heart of Mary. During the long but pleasant walk I began to feel quite ill. By the time I had reached the magnificent church I was very sick. Once inside I asked a priest who was lighting incense for directions to the toilet as I needed to vomit. In good English he told me to go and talk to Our Lady, a magnificent, large Fifth Century, gold leaf icon of the Virgin Mary and the baby Jesus at the main alter. In my irreverent manner I asked Mary to help me as I was about to throw up at both ends of my body.

Then I noticed that the magnificent interior of this grand old church was festooned with paintings of old masters such as Titian and Tintoretto. I slowly walked around the walls fascinated by these wonderful works of art. Then minutes later it dawned on me that I was not feeling sick anymore. I went and thanked the priest who told me that the icon of the Blessed Virgin was well-known throughout Venice for its miraculous healings.

I am a protestant but I own and wear a beautiful opal mosaic pendant of the Virgin Mary and the Sacred Heart beautifully worked in tiny pieces of brilliant opal which a jeweller friend in Coober Pedy crafted for me more than a decade ago.

My life has been an incredible journey but I have had more than my fair share of life saving miracles. I am now a contended surfing grandpa' living on the Central Coast of New South Wales. I have had five hard-back books published and my mother has outlived two husbands and is a dynamic 91 year-old living in genteel retirement in Lane Cove. We are both blessed with good fortune and longevity.

Peter Sharpham,
M.Sc.(Sports History),
Dip.P.E., Dip.Archives