This remarkable and inspiring true story is about a happy man—successful, hardworking, healthy, with his own business and a close and loving family. A great life! His name is Mario.

Mario and his wife were loved and respected where they lived. They were active in their community, and their two teenage children were excellent students, athletic, talented, and popular.

One day, Mario woke up in the morning not feeling well; he was tired, exhausted. He went to the doctor who told him, “Don’t worry; must be a cold or some kind of virus.” Within days, however, Mario was hospitalized, completely paralyzed.

In bed, unable to move a muscle, he still could feel and understand everything that was happening around him. He was finally diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, an illness whose cause is unknown.

The immune system perceives the nervous system as a threat and paralyzes the connection between the muscles and the nerves. This condition has several levels, including death.

Mario had the worst kind. Within a week he went from an energetic, fun-loving, caring, contributing member of his community to a person unable to voluntarily move anything except his eyelids and eyeballs.

The doctors placed a tube in his throat so he could breathe. Later he was put on a ventilator. Given his poor condition, doctors advised his wife to disconnect everything and let him die. She vehemently refused.

Mario was aware. Unable to move or speak, he heard the doctors recommend pulling him off the ventilator and letting him die. They repeated their belief in Mario’s hopelessness and only stopped insisting on pulling the plug when confronted by the family’s faith in Mario’s recovery. The doctors didn’t know of Mario’s deep faith in God and in himself.

United, together, we decided to live in faith, demonstrating the principles on which Unity teachings are based.


During his hospitalization, Mario’s wife, children, father, brothers, sisters, friends, and the entire community set about providing Mario and his family with whatever was needed. They prayed repeatedly for Mario’s recovery. They prayed and took action, guided by divine wisdom.

Eventually, slowly, he recovered enough that he could be cared for at home with round-the-clock care. He had been in the hospital for a year when he was discharged, still needing intensive rehabilitation.

After many years, with perseverance, love, dedication, and faith, Mario was able to talk, feed himself, and use a wheelchair to get around. With the help of a walker, he could take some steps and manage the routines of daily life. Mario and his family dealt with his illness with confidence and a deep faith that he would recover gradually, bit by bit, step-by-step.

Mario’s inspiring story of tenacity, perseverance, support, and trust touches me deeply because Mario is my brother. My family is from the Dominican Republic, and I was raised in Puerto Rico. My mother and father birthed 15 children. I have seven brothers. Mario is the second oldest.


As a minister, I have always taught that we need to have a clear vision of what we are called to do in our lives and challenge ourselves to do it.

Mario once told me from his hospital bed, “My goal is to get up from here and return to work.” That was his vision, and he continues to work on achieving it.

Humanly, he has been overcoming obstacles. The wisdom of God in him always knew what he had to do. His spirit knew the possibilities.

Life presents difficulties. We don’t cower from them. In any situation, we can look from our highest selves beyond our fears and doubts and see possibilities. We can look beyond how things may appear and see the power of God manifesting.

Mario and my entire family had the audacity to believe in God, to see life where others saw desperation, decay, and even death. United, together, we decided to live in faith, demonstrating the principles on which Unity teachings are based.

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13

About the Author

Rev. Johannys Jiménez-Hartog is senior minister at Unity Para Todos, an online-only Spanish-language ministry (


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