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Excerpted from Edgar Cayce: An American Prophet by Sidney D. Kirkpatrick. Copyright 2000 by Sidney D. Kirkpatrick. Excerpted by permission of Penguin Putnam, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.

"Dr. House had witnessed something that would make it impossible for him to return to the medical profession as he knew it."

  Sidney D. Kirkpatrick
Edgar Cayce: An American Prophet

Part 5

At his wife's insistence, and despite his very great reservations, House ultimately agreed to prepare the belladonna. He justified the decision by saying that his son would surely die anyway if nothing else was done. He and Dr. Jackson might be able to prolong the infant's life by a few hours, but they were powerless to keep him alive through the night. At the very worst, giving little Tommy belladonna would put the child out of his misery.

Edgar and Lynn Evans went outside to collect the ingredients for the poultice which had been recommended in the treatment. By the light of an oil lamp, Edgar climbed a peach tree in the orchard behind the barn. Using a pen-knife, he skillfully cut the bark from around the youngest shoots he could reach, then handed them down to Lynn Evans. They took the bark to the kitchen at the rear of the house where Aunt Kate had put a kettle on the stove to boil.

Aunt Kate prepared the hot poultice and then carried it into the parlor where Dr. House had already measured out the belladonna. He dissolved the white powder into a spoonful of water, and Carrie forced her son to swallow it. Edgar didn't join the others in the parlor to see what would happen, because, as he later said, he "couldn't stand the thought of seeing Tommy House die in his mother's arms."

Medical records do not exist to describe the child's physiological reaction to the belladonna, or to the steaming hot towels dipped in peach-tree solution in which the naked child was immediately wrapped. All that is known is that the crying stopped as soon as the mother spooned the poison into her child's mouth, and that he fell into his first deep and uninterrupted sleep since birth. 

Thomas House Jr. awoke hours later, drenched in sweat, cheeks pink, and breathing steadily. He was never to have a convulsion again. No one at The Hill that night knew who or what force had intervened to save the child's life. They knew only that their lives, like that of little Tommy House, had been irrevocably changed. There was no turning back. The tears in their eyes and the pounding in their hearts told them that what they had experienced could neither be ignored nor denied. Edgar Cayce had saved the child's life.

Dr. House had witnessed something that would make it impossible for him to return to the medical profession as he knew it. Twenty years later, he would close his practice and dedicate the remainder of his career to operating a hospital in Virginia Beach, Virginia, which would be devoted to Edgar Cayce and his healing arts. Carrie House would become the Cayce hospital's supervising nurse, and an outspoken proponent of the Divine "message" that she believed was being communicated through the man to whom the hospital was dedicated. Thomas House Jr. would grow up and spend his adult life designing and building innovative medical technology based on Cayce's trance readings, and, at great personal expense, would frequently drive hundreds of miles to deliver readings to patients unable to come to Virginia Beach.

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