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'God Rescued Me!' Joni Eareckson Tada Home from Hospital After Serious Scare

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Joni Eareckson Tada, author, radio host, and founder of the ministry Joni and Friends, is recovering at home following a bout with double pneumonia.

In a Facebook post on Sept. 21 featuring a smiling Tada and her husband Ken, she told her followers about her recent 16-day hospital ordeal saying God pulled her through.

"Like many of the people we serve who struggle with constant health challenges, I can say with them, 'God rescued me!' After 16 days in the hospital struggling with double pneumonia, I am home, happy, healing, and resting. The hospital provided oxygen for me, but it's only temporary," Tada, 73, explained. 

Tada, who is an advocate for the disabled, said during her ordeal, God's promise in the book of Isaiah was a source of comfort for her. 

"I'm so thankful to Ken (and several awesome friends) for all they did to care for me… they made sure I rested. At night, the promise from God in Isaiah 43:1-2 was such a great source of comfort: 'Do not be afraid, for you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.' Yes, Jesus was with me through every scan, x-ray, blood draw, and breathing treatment," Tada wrote. 

"The entire experience reminded me of how critical it is to share the salvation message of Jesus with the families we serve. It's why we do what we do at Joni and Friends, and I couldn't be happier than to be on the frontlines with you and every friend of the ministry," she continued. 

"THANK YOU for your love, prayers, and support... and for rejoicing with me and Ken as I improve each day!" she said. 

"Onward and upward…" Tada concluded. 

slider img 2This was not Tada's first life-threatening health battle. She's been a fighter ever since she became a quadriplegic as a young woman, and previously she fought off cancer. As CBN News reported in 2019, she announced she was cancer-free, thanking her supporters for their prayers. 

Tada was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer eight years ago and underwent a mastectomy and chemotherapy treatment. She was declared cancer-free until tests revealed that a small nodule contained a cancerous tumor at the site of her mastectomy. 

However, she received the good news from her doctor after a PET scan. 

"Given the aggressive nature of that reoccurring cancer, this news is quite miraculous," Tada said. "For now, we have been spared of more cancer battles."

Awarded Ukrainian White Cross Medal of Honor

In a follow-up Facebook post on Sept. 22, Tada announced that she and her ministry were awarded the prestigious Ukrainian White Cross "Honor et Gloria" medal of honor for helping rescue disabled Ukrainians during the invasion of their country.

She also included photos of the medal and Serhii and Nataliya Bolchuk, longtime partners of Joni and Friends, who traveled to California to present Tada and her ministry with the medal at its headquarters.  

The medal is given on behalf of the Ukrainian government to non-Ukrainians. The award recognizes those who have played a significant role in aiding the country during the Russian-Ukrainian war. Recipients include volunteers, rescuers, philanthropists, and specialists who actively helped and supported Ukraine.

In her post, Tada wrote, "I am so grateful, and so honored… but of course, the real honor goes to all the strong and brave warriors who continue to fight in Ukraine, as well as to those like our friends Serhii Nataliya Bolchuk who continue to serve Ukrainians with disabilities."

READ 'Christianity with Sleeves Rolled Up': Joni and Friends Rescues 300+ People with Disabilities from Ukraine

As CBN News reported last April, Tada's ministry helped to rescue more than 300 people with disabilities who were stuck in Ukraine after Russia invaded.

She told CBN's PrayerLink about the difficulties many have been facing, calling their plight horrific. 

"Just imagine if you're a quadriplegic like me," Tada said during the interview. "I can't use my hands. I'm in a wheelchair and if you were on the seventh floor of an apartment building and you're in Mariupol being bombed and there were rocket strikes, it's not like you can jump out of bed, grab a few things, rush out the front door, make a dash for the border."

"You can't do that. And so, a lot of these people with disabilities are stuck in apartment buildings. A lot of them are in basements," she continued.

She explained how her ministry fought to get many out of the war zone.

"We've been working with our in-country partner Galyna," said Tada. "Galyna and our teams have been out searching for these people even in the most dangerous eastern parts of Ukraine to rescue them and get them across the border and to safe haven in not only Poland but Germany and the Netherlands. And we've evacuated over 300 people with disabilities thus far and caregivers and we're still active."

A diving accident more than 50 years ago, took away the founder of Joni and Friends' ability to walk, leaving her in a wheelchair. 

Since then, her faith in God has fueled her ministry for people with disabilities. For the last 47 years, the ministry has been committed to reaching and serving the disabled, not only with practical help but with the saving love of Jesus Christ. 

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About The Author

Steve Warren is a senior multimedia producer for CBN News. Warren has worked in the news departments of television stations and cable networks across the country. In addition, he also worked as a producer-director in television production and on-air promotion. A Civil War historian, he authored the book The Second Battle of Cabin Creek: Brilliant Victory. It was the companion book to the television documentary titled Last Raid at Cabin Creek currently streaming on Amazon Prime. He holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and a B.A. in Communication from the University of