I knew prayer would cure my cancer, says teen Josh Martin
A teenager from Northern Ireland has revealed he always believed he would be cured of cancer, after a global campaign of prayer.
The prayers of Josh Martin (14) were answered yesterday when he was told that the cancerous tumours which ravaged his young body only a year ago were gone.
"I feel better than I did before I had cancer," Josh revealed last night.
His overjoyed parents told him the miraculous news when he got home from school.
It was on Christmas Eve last year that the Donaghadee boy's life was thrown into complete turmoil when he was rushed to hospital with suspected appendicitis.
The Bangor Grammar School pupil and his devoted parents were devastated when doctors discovered numerous aggressive tumours in his abdomen during surgery.
The diagnosis prompted months of chemotherapy, invasive surgery and prolonged stays in hospital.
But yesterday - following promising updates in the past few months that his tumours were shrinking and no new cancer had been detected - his mother posted an amazing statement on her #prayforjosh Facebook page.
"We are incredibly excited to let you know that Joshua's scan results show that he has no tumours and no sign of any cancer growth!
Recounting his arduous journey through "countless surgeries, chemo and radiotherapy" she said: "Thousands of people worldwide have joined with us as we prayed for our 14-year-old son".
She said at times it was "heartbreaking watching him suffer and in such pain" but that their faith in prayer ensured their belief that "God wanted him well".
When the Belfast Telegraph contacted his overjoyed mum, she let her son speak for himself.
Sharing his parents' devout faith, he said that he knew God would see him through.
He said he learned the joyful news about an hour after getting home from school yesterday afternoon.
He'd been playing games on his Xbox when his parents came into his bedroom.
"They said they'd been at the hospital, but I wasn't really paying full attention.
"But then they said there were no tumours and I didn't have cancer any more," he said.
"When they told me, I was very shocked, but I wasn't really that surprised because I had faith that I would be healthy.
"I believed that I would get better and I had faith that I would," he said.
Josh said he appreciated how many people had prayed for his recovery.
He revealed that during a piano lesson, a man he doesn't know told him he was praying for him. "People would stop me in the street that I didn't even know and hug me, and I'm very thankful," he said.
The teenager admitted that at times he had succumbed to fears that he might not survive the aggressive cancer, although those darkest moments had only plagued him "for an hour on one or two days".
"But then I realised there is a God and he is looking after me."
The brave young man now just can't wait to get back to swimming, a past-time he enjoyed a great deal before his illness struck, though he's not able to get back to playing rugby just yet.