Another in our ongoing series of people who had perhaps a tad too much faith takes us to South Carolina and 33 year-old Mr. Tillman. It seems Tillman tore his ACL back in March and when he went to the doctor’s office to get patched up they told him he’d have to pay $300 upfront before the repair could be done. Mr. Tillman couldn’t afford the appointment so he drove back home and settled his 550-pound frame, naked save for a blanket, into a recliner where he took up a Bible and stayed… for the past eight months believing all the while that God would heal him.
His wife tended to his needs as best as she could, but in the end God decided he had via better things to do than to heal Mr. Tillman:
“He read his Bible daily, he spent his full focus on God,” said Webb. “And he was literally waiting and praying for a Job miracle. If anybody knows the Bible and knows Job, he really and fully believed that God was going to heal him just like he did Job, because he said he couldn’t think of a better testimony to go out and to tell people.”
For eight months they had no visitors. Webb rarely left his side, and she tried to keep him clean.
“I couldn’t get him rolled over to use a bedpan,” said Webb.
Other than eating and reading the Bible, she says Tillmon posted sermons online and texted messages of faith through his cell phone.
“He wanted so much to get up and you know, he wanted to tell everybody what Jesus done,” said Webb.
I can only imagine the filth that must have gathered in that chair as he sat there, for eight months, relieving himself. I can’t imagine anyone else putting up with it for that long, but put up with it she did until the bitter end:
Webb says Tillmon consistently told her not to call for help. She says Wednesday morning he was in so much pain that she finally called an ambulance.
Greenwood County authorities say they found Tillmon covered with sores, and that he appeared to weigh about 800 pounds. They say he was stuck to his chair, and they had to saw the recliner apart. They cut a large hole around the front door to get him out.
He died at the hospital.
He had managed to pack on another 300 pounds in eight months? That’s an impressive feat in itself.
The wife, as you’d expect, is beside herself with grief for not getting help for her husband sooner.
Actually, that’s not true at all. She’s fine with it:
Webb says she has no regrets about leaving him in that recliner.
“If I feel anything right now, it’s envy for him because I wish he had taken me with him,” said Webb.
Officials, amazingly enough, aren’t charging her with a crime. I guess the figured they couldn’t come up with a punishment worse than what she’d spent the last eight months living with.
I get emails all the time from various True Believers™ with uplifting stories about how they prayed and God cured them of cancer, or gallstones, or whatever and I often write back and ask if they sought any medical treatment for their condition. Each time the answer is yes. I wonder how well they would have fared if they had the amount of faith in God that Mr. Tillman had. I wonder if their God would’ve been as happy to help had they not sought medical treatment. It’s somewhat amazing how often God’s willingness to cure you is tied to whether or not you’re getting medical attention.
The other aspect of this story that isn’t as obvious is how it shows the need for a public health care system in this country. Perhaps if Mr. Tillman didn’t need to worry about whether or not he could afford to go to the doctor he’d still be alive to spread the message of God’s love. At the very least, his wife wouldn’t have gone through eight months of hell on earth.
Found over at Pharyngula.